Art Education

Art [in]Education

 

I spent a few hours at MESA, a public art school in Mapleton, Colorado. I went in to observe from the art education perspective. This school is in the public school system; however, they focus on improving the arts. I sat in on a 7th grade art class and observed how the students worked together to convey meaning through the art they were making. After the class I walked around and saw some of the art from the students. There was an assignment to create an owl made of clay. This owl could be anything. One student’s owl caught my attention; this one girl had sculpted an owl lying dead in a coffin. I later found out from the teacher that girl’s mother had cancer. This girl had expressed something that could not be spoken and cannot be heard. She had not discussed this with her family, friends or teachers but in this 3 pounds of clay she had created an object worth a million words and feelings. This is a small example of why art is essential in schools. Children and young adults can express themselves with out using words. Students in school don’t always like to talk about personal things. However, art gives them a voice in which they can say words with out speaking. The arts help children to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find words to do the job.
            Budget cuts in schools are affecting art programs; however, an education is not complete unless the arts are included. The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail. The arts are very important throughout elementary and high school students. A child’s education is not complete unless it includes the arts. Due to budget cuts, art programs are being cut from schools. The school board officials of this topic feel art is not an essential need in schools. They feel it is excess and can be cut from schools. The officials do not realize what the arts add to students.
Firstly, I would like to address that fact that art prepares students for school, work and life. I have already stated that a child’s education is not complete unless it includes art. As our country works to regain a good economy, jobs are limited and work is hard. The arts equip students with a creative, competitive edge. To succeed in this economy a student must use many skills and learn communication through images, sounds and movement, these skills are derived from art. The arts provide knowledge and skills that develop creativity and determination. These skills are necessary for being successful in today’s economy.
            Secondly, The arts strengthen the learning environment. Many people have stated that art has nothing to do with learning; however that is not true. A study by the Arts Education Partnership took interest in finding out how art affects the learning environment for a student. They discovered that in schools that have large populations of students in economic poverty, they have large amounts of frustration and stress that result in failure for the student; However, that frustration can be transformed into vibrant hubs of learning when the arts are infused into their culture and curriculum. Additionally, a study was completed with 8th graders from under-resourced environments, who were highly involved in the arts have better grades. Also they are less likely to drop out by 10th grade. Having a positive attitude about school means they are more likely to go to college. The art position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.
            Thirdly, the arts not only help students but also teachers. Retaining good teachers can be a very hard effort these days, however by ensuring the arts in school it helps the teachers express creative, innovative ideas to the students. Educators are in charge of teaching a student to be successful, innovative and logical. The arts simply help teachers love what they do. If it was just curriculum they were teaching the result would stand different because they would be teaching about one solution, an one solution learning, limits a child’s creativity and takes away curiosity.
            Fourthly, the arts teaches children that problems can have more than one solution and that question can have more that one answer. The arts create a world of possibilities for a child. There is no “right” there is no “wrong”. It’s a perspective that the student sees as right. This is a necessary component within education because all other subjects are taught having only one solution. In math there is a question and an answer and only one way to solve. In all other subject it is the same learning standards. Arts are the only subject in school where students create their own boundaries of right and wrong.
            Fifthly, the arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of the large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world. This is one of the biggest skills a student will need in life. In life bad things happen; however, depending on how you look at the situation they can get a little better. The arts teach this skill because you need different perspectives to make and see art. This is a skill that is not taught in other curriculum because in all other subjects there is one solution and one way to see it. Art creates a theme of perspective in a student’s life.
            Lastly, Art education requires students to use their eyes and hands to give form to ideas generated in the brain, a discipline that Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel proved boosts brainpower. This is another reason why arts are essential to the learning process, these children are the future. Teaching them art adds to child’s success, happiness, creativity, determination, communication, expression, innovation, skill, kinetic thinking, knowledge and developmental growth. Art is essential to an education.
            Budget cuts are making it hard to keep art in the school system. Schools are struggling in the current economy; therefore the first program to go is art, for money saving purposes; However, budget cuts can be made without cutting art. Art making can be a very inexpensive process. Using recycled materials, inexpensive resources, and natural resources can make good art projects for students. So if budget cuts have to be made that’s fine, but cutting arts is not fine. Schools should come up with innovative creative ideas to practice the arts. Schools should find different solutions for art projects, other then expensive materials. There are plenty of solutions to keep art a cheap process. There are stores that sell recycled art materials for very inexpensive prices. Art is just as necessary as math, English, and science. Art creates a student’s success for their future, life and school.
            It is essential for art to be a part of a learning environment. The truth is that learning to paint or create a website, or design an energy efficient home requires mastering skill which are often invisible to the naked eye, but are developed through a strong visual arts education. The arts create a form of expression and perspective that cannot be found anywhere else in school curriculum. So yes, the arts are essential to a student for many different reasons. And yes budget cuts are being made in school, making it harder to keep art programs. However art cannot be cut from school, this would take away a piece of education. Budget cuts must be made but can be distributed between other areas of study and art can be made more inexpensively. These are the children of the future and skills in the arts will help them shape it. The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.

           

 

 

 

Bibliography

Roberts Teresa. Teaching Real Art Making. Art Education 2005
            This source was used for the gathering of research for art and its importance. Also expressing the importance of “real” art. Real meaning the importance of conveying emotion with in the arts. Teaching arts is essential to students up to 12th grade.  It helps them discover a voice that cannot be spoken. It expresses the importance of creating this skill, which is “real” art.

 Arts Education: Creating student Success In School, Work and Life. NAEA. March 12010. Accessed March 2012.
     This source demonstrated the importance of creativity through school. It states a child’s education is not complete unless it includes the arts. It listed how the arts add to the child’s intelligence and lists evidence. This article is from a renowned National arts advocacy website called NAEA.

The Visual Arts: So Much More than what you see. NAEA. Accessed March 2012
            An article that lists facts and research material that add evidence to the importance of art in education. Art teaches students to apply certain skill to jobs and responsibilities. This article states testing evidence and factual evidence of the importance of art. Also Coming from NAEA. 
 
For more information on Art Advocacy,
Colorado Council on the Art. Arts Advocacy: Quick Reference Guide. NAEA website,
            Advocacy section, 2009. Accessed March 2012.
Shows a list of art Advocacy sources: More can be found at these website. (These are not sources I have used for my argument or research). These are merely in example of renowned websites who state the same argument as I do.
           
Americans for the Arts
                http://www.artusa.org/
           
            Keep Arts in Schools
            http://www.keepartsinschools.org/

           


Visual Arts: So Much More than what you see. NAEA. Accessed March 2012.

Arts Education: Creating student Success In School, Work and Life. NAEA.( March 1 2010. Accessed March 2012).

Ibid.

Visual Arts: So Much More than what you see. NAEA. Accessed March 2012.

Ibid.

Teresa Roberts.Teaching Real Art Making. Art Education 2005

Arts Education: Creating student Success In School, Work and Life. NAEA.( March 1 2010. Accessed March 2012).

Ibid.

Visual Arts: So Much More than what you see. NAEA. Accessed March 2012.

Arts Education: Creating student Success In School, Work and Life. NAEA.( March 1 2010. Accessed March 2012).

Ibid.

Visual Arts: So Much More than what you see. NAEA. Accessed March 2012.

Ibid.

Ibid.

Visual Arts: So Much More than what you see. NAEA. Accessed March 2012.

Ibid.

Ibid.

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