Why Arts Education Matters
Children reap tremendous benefits from positive, meaningful experiences in the arts. Through them, they can gain a deeper understanding of the world around them and the human experience.
Art education teaches kids to be confident and creative lifelong learners. Children learn how to be, think, and work—holistic skills essential for success in school and in life.
How To Be/Act
Aside from being enjoyable, the arts foster a positive self-concept. Through the arts, children discover their own abilities, interests, and ideas. Creativity also facilitates self-expression—an intrinsic human need.
What’s more, the arts teach children important values, like respect for differing viewpoints, appreciating diversity, and social responsibility. They teach children to connect more deeply to other people and to the world, creating the foundation for compassion, empathy, and sense of community.
How To Think
Neurological research shows that art experiences help develop a more complex neural network in children. Experience with the arts helps develop children’s senses and enrich their minds. It is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skills. As children are exposed to the visual arts, they become more visually literate. They learn how to closely attend to visual and non-verbal stimuli, and to make and interpret symbols. This is important in a world saturated with pictures, images, and graphics.
How To Work
Through a variety of art-making experiences, children acquire the knowledge and skills for creative expression. They learn art techniques, how to achieve different artistic styles, and how to work with a variety of media and materials.
As they complete projects, children learn effective work habits like focus and persistence in a task, time management, effective planning, good decision-making, and reflective execution. Furthermore, the arts teach children how to work in groups. As children work together to complete projects, they learn how to communicate ideas, share plans, assume roles, and work collaboratively toward a vision.
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