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Arts often seen as unnecessary - Morris

- By Vivienne Rowland

The first 2015 Drama for Life Distinguished Lecture took place on Thursday, 12 March 2015 when Emeritus Associate Professor, Dr Gay Morris spoke about Arts education in schools: Does arts education help teachers and learners, or conceal substantive teaching and learning problems? 

Morris visits Wits as part of its Distinguished Scholars Programme in the Faculty of Humanities and is the first Drama for Life scholar to deliver a lecture this year.

Morris is an Emeritus Associate Professor in the Drama Department at the University of Cape Town, where she was Head of the Department until 2003. Prior to her retirement Morris served as the Postgraduate Programmes Convenor for Drama. Read more.

Morris said that arts education and creativity in schools are often seen as a luxury and suffers when budget cuts and other constraints step in.

“When pressed, what education departments often do is cut, or reduce, art education as an unnecessary luxury. The arts, it is claimed, are not actually supporting teaching pedagogies (or pupil skills) with regard to literacy and numeracy, which is what “is really needed”. So cuts happen: in both the metaphoric and practical senses,” said Morris. Listen to the lecture.