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Arts for a long life

Psychologist Colwyn Trevarthen of Edinburgh University has been making the case for putting arts at the centre of education.

Writing in the latest issue of Children in Europe magazine, he argues that embedding the use of arts and culture in formal education provision could deliver many of the aspirations outlined in A Curriculum for Excellence.

The emeritus professor of child psychology and psychobiology argues, however, that children must have these creative experiences at an early age if they are to meet the four capacities of ACfE. "Children are born to be creative artists," says Professor Trevarthen.

But for many children, these creative and artistic abilities seem to dissipate as they progress through a school system dominated by examinations and league tables, he argues.

"A curriculum for instruction that excludes or neglects the arts is like a heart disease of learning that will cut short the life of reason and understanding," he says.

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