More than 100 years ago, university-dominated educational commissions began ascribing a priority to school subjects in primary and secondary education. In defining the roles and purposes of the modern secondary school, educators struggled with how best to determine the relative importance of individual school subjects. In 1894, Harvard president Charles Eliot led the Committee of Ten on Secondary School Studies, established by the NEA to recommend that all secondary school students study a common curriculum focusing on sciences, history, reading, writing and arithmetic. Art and music were eventually placed in positions of curricular inferiority.
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Applegate, T., & Evans, K. (2003). Evolving Practices in Art Education. Perspectives In Learning, 4 (1). Retrieved from https://csuepress.columbusstate.edu/pil/vol4/iss1/7