It's National Literacy and Numeracy Week in Australia this week.
I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the events - which can be found on this website: http://www.literacyandnumeracy.gov.au/
However, I'd also like to point out that the URL indicates this is an Australian Government site. The same government that is currently discussing cuts to Arts subjects in mainstream curriculum. This is in the face of the many studies that indicate greater literacy and numeracy skills in students who have regular access to music, visual arts, dance and drama in their regular class time - not just as extra-curricular classes outside school. There's an excellent paper that can be read if you follow this link:
The paper touches on the integrated exposure to the arts that is a part of life for less 'civilised' cultures; where dance and music for religious observance is a normal part of life, painting for decorative purposes ditto... It looks at practices in other parts of the Western world at different times. It looks at practices in Australia, and the implications for our education system, and more importantly, for our children.
There appears to me to be a great push to increase the technological capabilities of our school system, and offer our children the possibility of a laptop each in the classroom. But, should this be done at the cost of offering them music, paint and clay, creative movement and drama?