This book brings an important reality to light--many kids do not find success in school and the drop-out rate remains high in certain areas. Is it possible increasing art education in schools is enough to keep more kids interested and engaged?
Yes, it's true that core academic subjects like science can provide a clear path to future employment for high schools, but is it possible that art can do the same? With the development of the internet, the world of the arts has opened up considerably for young students. How can this skill set create well-rounded, hireable professionals in the future?
Sometimes this debate can feel a little outdated--who doesn't believe in the arts? Alas, there are some who argue its efficacy in aiding academic performance, and out of Harvard no less! The arts need to be valued for their own intrinsic reasons; however, a great study is explained here supporting its ability to do a lot more than just enrich.
How does study of the arts contribute to student achievement and success? The hard truth tells us that the young people who struggle most when the arts are slowly diminished are the students in low-income and rural areas where budget cuts demand difficult choices. Considered as a class and race issue, the arts become a luxury we all need to afford, without question.
Academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, cognitive ability…aren't these ideals we can all espouse as educators? Although it's been said, "art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence," we are beginning to fully understand that art does, in fact, solve a lot of problems. You will find some clear connections between the goals of learning and the process that art provides...and some interesting information on how we can revive a failing system.
The arts can be described as music, theater, dance, and the visual arts; each brings something valuable to the cognitive process of human beings. Remembering that engaging in creative and artistic behavior is not only for happiness, there are specifically established brain functions that need this kind of outlet.
This is a juicy resource into the discussion of the arts in the older classroom…it lists ten different studies (which can all be accessed here) and a short summary of each and how it relates to the issue. It touches on some big educational milestones like literacy, performance, and social cohesion.