Education in the Arts and Through the Arts
Why is Art Education Important?
Art is essential to learning-not just an educational frill. Learning about the visual artsgives students a window onto the rich and interesting world around them, teaching them about their own history and culture, as well as those of other people. It cultivates self-expression,imagination and creativity as well as critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Students who learn about art develop their capacities to weigh meanings and make evaluations and judgments. Understanding andmaking art can teach students how to work cooperatively in groups and how to work hard to achieve a goal.
The development of all of these skills and attributed not only makes students betterlearners but it also helps students feel good about themselves-it builds self-esteem. And in a world in which ideas and information are often delivered visually, children need to learn how to analyze andjudge the meaning of images and how to use them to communicate their own ideas.
Today's educators and business leaders consider these skills and attributes vital to individual achievement andAmerica's progress. Yet the fact is that most schools have experienced budget cuts in art programs during the last 10 years and, as a result, some schools offer little or no instruction in art. The studentsat these schools are missing an opportunity to expand skills so necessary to succeeding in a competitive economic environment in our culturally diverse, visually oriented world.
Education in thearts and through the arts is essential, and a complete approach to learning includes comprehensive visual arts education for grades K-12.
Parents and Art Education
Parents can make a difference:by encouraging their children's participation in art at home, by supporting art programs in their community and by helping to decide how art will be taught in school. Parents can become influential...