Why Take Art?
Learning to respond to, perform, and create works of art teaches children and young adults the skills, values, and habits of mind crucial to their assuming roles in our social, cultural and economic life. Not only do the arts require self-discipline, creativity, and confidence to succeed, but these and other important habits stay with students and help them succeed in other areas of school, life, and work. Research shows the benefit of arts education:
4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students who reported a high level of instruction and participation in the arts showed higher levels of confidence about their own academics than did low arts children.10 general lessons the arts teach children:
source: Learning and the Arts: Crossing Boundaries, 2000,
to make good judgments about qualitative relationships;
that problems can have more than one solution;
- to celebrate multiple perspectives;
- that in complex forms of problem solving, purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity;
- that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know;
- that small differences can have large effects;
- to think through and within a material;
- constructive ways to say what cannot be said; that the arts offer experience we can have from no other source; and
- that the arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.
p. 14, article: Ten Lessons the Arts Teach
Professor of Education Elliot Eisner