Teaching Arts in School: How Important Is It?

Arts in SchoolMany consider art to be an important subject in young people,s lives. Art enhances creativity and strengthens students’ cognitive abilities. But if art is so valuable to our youth, why is it being cut out of so many schools curriculum’s?

Today, numerous public schools are eliminating art education, as did elementary schools in Milton, Massachusetts last year. In this economic climate, schools’ budgets are extremely tight, requiring administrators to make tough decisions regarding what is important to teach versus what isn’t.

Parents of students attending Milton elementary schools formed a group called the Milton Visual Arts Alliance to demonstrate their disapproval of the school district’s decision to cut funding for art education. And in many other school districts around the country, students and parents are also demanding the inclusion of arts in school curriculum’s. People often forget that there are many art careers that pay well and should be taken as a serious career option.

 

What You Can Do to Support Arts in School?

  • There are several steps that students and parents can take to get their state legislature’s attention and encourage them to provide more funding to art programs at public schools. Supports of arts education can do the following:
  • Write a letter to state legislature detailing their concerns about not learning art in school
  • Contact media sources
  • Speak with your Congressman

Let’s face it, our world wouldn’t be the same without the contributions of artists like DaVinci, Beethoven, or even Lady Gaga. If it weren’t for individuals who went against the norm and questioned authority, where would we as a society be today? Art transforms people and teaches them to think outside the box. It has the potential to change the world.

Why Our Youth Needs Art

Art is important for young children and adults because it allows them to creatively express their emotions. Sometimes, the only way children know how to communicate their feelings is through drawings, poems, and other artistic mediums. Children living in low-income areas are particularly positioned to benefit from art education because it has the potential to lift them out of the cycle of poverty. Underprivileged children are basically forced into a life of crime and poverty because of the circumstances they were born into. Art is way out for them, it allows them to learn more about themselves and achieve things that they never thought possible.

Studies have also shown that music, a form of art, has many positive effects on children’s cognitive development. Companies have tapped into this phenomenon by selling parents instrumental toys and games that expose children to music. It is believed that music has a calming effect on children who are hyperactive or under stress.

Art is crucial to children’s development and should be a part of every young person’s education. Art allows children to explore and exercise their creativity. It offers a much-needed respite in the school day from tracing letters, crunching numbers, and memorizing important dates in history. Art is a trans formative tool that must not be overlooked by schools or institutes at any level.

Art programs in elementary, middle, and high schools are disappearing quickly, which is a growing concern for those who support art education and realize its benefits. Donft let arts in school disappear, contact your members of Congress to let them know that you support art education for our youth.

The Future of Art Education

While it’s unfortunate that elementary, middle, and high school students are losing access to art education and it’s essential to do all that’s in our power to stop its decline, many post-secondary institutions in the United States continue to offer countless courses related to art. In fact, there are many colleges that are dedicated exclusively to teaching art. So, while it might not be possible to get a solid art education in grade school, the artistically-inclined still have a chance to pursue their interests outside of school and in art programs at the college level.  Many of the future jobs in America may rely on artists so we must continue teaching this important trade.

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