The Kind of Schools We Need: Personal Essays.
The Kind of Schools We Need: Personal Essays. Elliot W. Eisner.
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann (800-793-2154), 1998. Illus., softcover, 234
Elliot Eisner has been an influential advocate of and spokesperson
for American art education for more than thirty years. This book serves
as a confluence of Eisner's incisive thoughts on what the arts
contribute to education, by reprinting selected articles and essays that
he has written for leading scholarly journals over the past decade.
Sixteen essays are presented in groupings of four with these section
headings: Cognition and Representation, The Arts and their Role in
Education, Rethinking Educational Research, and The Practice and Reform
of Schools. Within each of these groupings the reader will encounter
Eisner's logical analysis of the problems, and note that when he
defines a problem, lucid suggestions and proposed solutions are sure to
follow. The depth of Eisner's experience in and grasp of art
education philosophy and practice is apparent in every essay. A
discussion of the current school reform movement and the search for
standards now underway is leavened by Eisner's reminder of the zeal
with which behavioral objectives were promoted and pursued in the 1960s.
The centrality of perception in cognition is an underlying theme in much
of Eisner's writing and is but one of many reasons why this
publication belongs on the bookshelf of every art educator,
administrator, and other education decision-makers.