Posted on 11/19/2009 at 11:18 AM by Global Reach

One doesn't normally expect to hear about the importance of the arts at a technology conference, but that was definitely the case at the ITEC 2009 conference in Coralville this fall. Both keynote speakers, Daniel Pink and David Warlick, discussed the importance of the arts in our schools.

Daniel Pink believe that there are six indicators for future success, a person's ability to design being one of them. IQ contributes only about 20% to the factors that determine life success. What schools need to do to help their students be successful is to infuse arts education throughout the curriculum. Currently, the thinking in the majority of schools throughout the United States is that the arts are ornamental. We need to have a paradigm shift about this thinking, and view the arts as fundamental, Pink said. "It's crucial for our kids' future. China is doing this!"

David Warlick spoke on the same theme. He said we don't know what the future will look like, but it is possible that by 2039, we will have x-ray vision, invisibility cloaks, hand-held healing machines, spiderman-like materials for gloves and boots, and human energy phone chargers. How should we be preparing our students for this unknown future? By redefining literacy! Students need to be taught to be willing and able to ask questions, to investigate, to be exposed to what's true, to use skills and information to accomplish their goals. Contemporary literacy should be redefined as:

  • Exposing what's true
  • Employ the information
  • Express ideas compellingly
  • Expand our notions of what it is to be literate
  • Ethical use of information

David Warlick concluded that, "Any school that thinks it can teach its students without art, music, and drama is not a school."


For more information about Daniel Pink, go to:

For more information about David Warlick, go to:



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