The place of the creative arts in the school curriculum is sometimes fiercely contested, but across the world they have enduring importance and there is a wide consensus over their value for general education. However, there has been a tendency of late to rely on an economic justification for their place in the curriculum. A key problem with this strategy is that many of the economic arguments may prove false, as was pointed out by Grayson Perry in one of his BBC Reith lectures, where he pointed out those studying arts subjects are often at the bottom of the economic table for future earnings potential. Grayson does go on to say, however, that this is should be a ‘cause for celebration’, since the enduring popularity of arts courses implies that people still want to go to study art despite the lack of an economic incentive, testament to the values of art education. This draws our attention to the nature of creative experimentation, of finding time to make mistakes, which is of great importance to pedagogy in the arts, reminding us of those other purposes of education that once seemed so fundamental, prior to onset of economic and market dogmas.
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