The argument for the art educator to advocate for the art experience and diligently reinforce hands-on learning is described through cultural anthropologists as the basic human need for the act of "making nice".
The process of learning as conceptualized by John Dewey is absent in American society today, and in this product-oriented education system, students do not have the opportunity to internalize the importance of the process of learning in relation to the product; therefore students do not experience the value of learning and the value of the role that the arts play as a vehicle in this experience. Twenty-first century artists share part of the blame in allowing the loss within society of knowledge of the strong foundation of academics and technique involved within the art-making process. Much of the work of the visual artist has been separated from culture and society by the modernists and literary-based post-modernists.
The story of the art process and the value of this process must be advocated by the artist-as-practitioner and educator, using his or her personal philosophy and engaging in dialogue about the value of Dewey's philosophy of the art experience. Political and policymaking bodies have and will continue to make decisions for young learners that will further disengage them from the value of and passion for art and culture and the meaning of what it is to be human; the adults who endure this experience will suffer a void that can never be filled. American society will arrive at a point where there will be no reclamation of the socially shared significances of the arts, because society as a whole will no longer value what it does not know...
Anne Goeman Jones, PhD