“The lessons the arts teach can find their application in life outside school virtually any time students opens their eyes,” said Elliot Eisner in a speech delivered on January 14, 1998. An incredible speech; a work of art on it’s own. There is much to be said about the topic of art and education. This post is just a brief introduction. In following posts, I hope to unravel (with supporting evidence) the multitude of skills that can be developed through an enriching art program.
In Draw Me A Story, Bob Steele writes, “It is all too easy to overlook or downgrade an activity associated with emotions and feelings when the main thrust of education is said to be intellectual.” Considering art to have very little to do with knowledge, it was neglected in education and financial support greatly diminished. But the exclusion of the arts from educational institutions created enough of an uproar that we now have mounds of evidence supporting the importance of a well-balanced education that includes arts in the curriculum. Parents, teachers and educational scholars agree that in a social climate where emotional pressures are increasing for young people, “we should not fail to recognize the significance of drawing (or any art) to emotional health,” Bob Steele (1997). Art is more than a source of pleasure and means towards healthy emotional development. It enriches lives in many ways. It teaches students to be able to think in imaginative, complex and critical ways. It creates people who can think on their own, raise important questions and solve puzzling problems.
The study of art promotes skills important in academic and life success and the web is full of other positive traits developed during the practice of art. I will search them all out, write them all down and present them to you in the weeks to come. In the meantime, visit Artmania, buy art, do art, have fun!
Eisner, Elliot W. (2003) http://ed.arte.gov.tw/uploadfile/periodical/429_7_25.pdf
Bob Steele (1997) Draw me a Story: An illustrated exploration of drawing-as-language. Peguis Publishers, Manitoba, Canada