I hope to unravel (with supporting evidence) the multitude of skills that can be developed through an enriching art program. Last week I presented an introduction to the topic of art and education. A brief introduction explaining that the study of art promotes skills important in academic and life success. But before I go into the detail about what you and your children will learn while practicing art, there is an assumption I need to reveal. And in doing so, I will show that Artmania is different from other art programs I’ve encountered; Artmania is better.

 

So what’s the assumption? The assumption is that they (the arts) are taught well. In reality, arts can be taught as badly as any other subject. Consider Bob Steele’s (1997) claim that, “Formula art (providing images for coloring-in, making uniform craft objects and seasonal decorations) makes no use at all of children’s creativity.” This is typically the kind of “art” practiced in many art programs. Without creativity, developing the traits of imaginative, complex and critical thinking, and problem solving is left out of the equation.

 

Creativity is the key, but I must admit that formula art is also important….I can hear the art purest gasping in disbelief…..but stay with me for a while….Let’s not undermine the importance of the skills developed through “formula arts” in the primary years. There is a short window of opportunity in which to teach the proper use of scissors, holding a pencil, drawing a line. After the age of 7, this window of opportunity begins to close and it becomes almost impossible to re-learn (it will always be important to know how to use a pencil, scissors, hold a fork and knife….). Formula art also introduces children to many wonderful art techniques! With all these tools under their belt, imagine the possibilities! Many art programs do a good job teaching these occupational skills, but creativity (and maybe, the extensive learning of different art techniques) may be lacking. And this is why Artmania is so important for our children. It teaches the necessary occupational skills, it teaches so many wonderful art techniques (taught no where else) and always (ALWAYS) leaves room for creativity.

 

I am proud to be a part of a team that teaches more than just “occupational art”. Children are given the opportunity to explore their creativity. Every child is given the opportunity to learn ALL the arts can teach! And adults? Learning different art techniques will supply a larger “art vocabulary” for you to express yourself.

 

The arts promote skills important in academic and life success. The assumption is that thought is put into practicing occupational skills and different art techniques; leaving room for children (and adults) to use these skills for their own interpretations (thus promoting creativity). With these assumptions in mind, my next post will outline all the scholarly information about why the arts are so important ….I promise!

 

 

References:

Bob Steele (1997) Draw me a Story: An illustrated exploration of drawing-as-language. Peguis Publishers, Manitoba, Canada