January 26, 2008
Poll finds support for ‘imagination in education’
Poll information: www.theimaginenation.net
A new poll shows that nearly one-third of Americans are dissatisfied with public education's focus on basics.
The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners, also showed that the same group of people believe developing imagination — "imagination in education" — is a critical but missing ingredient for student success.
Last year the Louisiana Legislature enacted Act 175, requiring music and arts training in every Louisiana public school. The legislation introduces visual and performing arts education into the public schools over the next five years. Numerous studies have found exposure to the arts increases aptitude in reading and math, raises standardized test scores, reduces truancy and promotes tolerance and good behavior.
Lake Research surveyed 1,000 likely voters for its poll. Support for national research to gain better access to information is provided by the National Education Association, the National Association of Manufacturers and the International Music Products Association.
Other key findings underscored the concern about imagination in public education.
Almost nine in 10 voters said using imagination is important to innovation, while 68 percent of voters believe that America, when compared to other nations, devotes less attention to developing imagination and innovation.
A majority of those polled believe an education in and through the arts helps substantiate imaginative learning and should be considered part of the basics.
Results from the poll echo findings from current research and poll data.
According to a national poll released in November by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a majority of those responding indicated that schools need to do a better job of keeping up with changing education needs.
A broad coalition of national leaders has joined with national, state and local organizations on an agenda to restore imagination and innovation as key outcomes of learning.
The coalition includes three successful models for building capacities of the imagination: The Dallas Arts Learning Initiative; the Ohio Department of Education initiatives to strengthen innovation along with science, technology, engineering and math; and the Oklahoma Creativity Project.