Arts in education: connect the dots

Broadly diverse, the arts offer something for everyone.

Yet, when I think of how the arts are approached in education; I see creative teachers and a big book of what they should do.

Children are taught a restrictive skill set, with bureaucratic expectations of what art should be. Creative subjects, just like every other subject, are to be measured and quantified.

When I decided to go to art school, I found out that smaller schools don’t have the facilities or opportunities to teach the varied art practice required to get into college.

This has nothing to do with the teachers, but highlights that those who create the ‘curriculum of excellence’ don’t acknowledge the importance of visual art in education.  Rather, they see art as ‘hobby’ to be taken on at a child’s leisure.

Across the globe, the UK is known for harnessing creativity as a necessary and valued part of the education system. International schools following the British system benefit from a broad range of equipment to offer students, along with thematic and interesting topics for the students to engage with. But ,of course, these are private schools.

With this in mind, you have wonder: why do we see arts to be the first to go when faced with cuts in public schools?

Let’s think about the kids here.

With out knowing about the diversity of the arts, a child is not only limited in creative freedom, but are constrained in what and how they learn.

In working with a range of materials, a child can develop essential problem solving skills, develop intuition, and confidence.

Yes, that’s right; those ‘transferable skills’ that get you employed.

 

The left and right side of the brain need to work together:, yet public school education systems encourage one side and not the other.

Practicing the arts allows your brain to think freely and creatively: letting the brain digest information while you work. For arts education to be effective, and beneficial to a childs education, it cannot be marked objectively; but subjectively.

When teaching a creative subject, it’s worth acknowledging the Montessori approach (that is to allow a child to teach themselves) to establish an effective means of how art should be integrated into the education system and into a child’s life.

Creativity is about exploring materials and subjects to discover what works for you; be it writing, drawing or playing the trumpet.

Finding an effective means of expressing yourself let’s the brain connect the dots between everything else. Creative subjects are a chance to make and develop at the child’s own pace and become independent, while reaping the benefits the life skills that come with it.

 

 

 

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