Incorporating the arts in education is essential. Kids develop life skills while learning from art, whether they’re practicing dancing, painting, or acting.
Prior studies have shown that fine arts education improves students’ academic performance and psychological wellbeing. It also helps students learn how to observe, interpret, and see different perspectives.
1. It Boosts Creativity
The arts provide students with a variety of ways to construct and demonstrate their understandings. These different learning modalities encourage the use of visual, auditory and kinesthetic thinking to make sense of information.
At the mini-c level, a child’s painting of a tree may not be revolutionary, but it is new and exciting to them and means something. This type of creativity is the kind of spontaneous creative output that can inspire academically disinclined students to find renewed interest in their studies.
Teaching with creativity is also a way to nurture students’ intrinsic motivation, as research shows that this helps fuel their learning. In other words, students who are pursuing their passions become more absorbed in the task at hand and more driven to acquire the knowledge and skills they need.
2. It Improves Communication Skills
Students of all ages, backgrounds and learning abilities can communicate through the arts. They can paint a picture, write a song or create a monologue to express their point of view.
The creative process is a powerful tool for understanding and retaining information. Foregrounding creativity in instruction helps students engage with new content and make connections by using modalities other than speaking and reading.
Arts-infused classrooms can encourage student risk-free exploration and promote collaboration, building confidence in students of all ages and backgrounds. In fact, research shows that students with high levels of arts participation have higher community engagement rates and civic-mindedness. This is particularly important for kids in low-income neighborhoods who may lack access to art and cultural opportunities outside of school. The arts help to cultivate the curiosity and impulse control that are critical for success in life.
3. It Develops Leadership Skills
In today’s educational climate, arts programs are often the first to be cut when times get tight. This is unfortunate because the creative arts cultivate children’s imaginations and teach them to be flexible and inventive thinkers.
In addition, art teaches students to take risks and not be afraid of failure, skills that are important for leadership. It also teaches students to be self-reflective and know themselves. As a result, they become more confident and able to collaborate with others.
Additionally, the process of generating ideas (such as brainstorming or using a mind map) teaches students to organize and categorize thoughts and information. This skill can be applied to a variety of real-life situations, including when solving complex maths problems or conducting scientific experiments. The arts help students develop their problem-solving abilities, which is another important aspect of leadership.
4. It Enhances Teamwork Skills
Research has shown that students who have a background in the arts perform better on tests of creative problem solving. This is because art education teaches children to experiment with solutions while keeping in mind a goal or desired outcome.
Creativity requires having deep knowledge of a subject area and having the flexibility to adapt it to new situations. Therefore, students who are more involved in visual and performing arts tend to have higher cognitive abilities than their peers who don’t engage in these activities.
While it is tempting to cut arts programs in order to focus more time on subjects that are measured by standardized tests, it’s important to remember that focusing only on the core academic subjects deprives students of a well-rounded education. Furthermore, studies have found that students with a background in the arts are four times more likely to plan to attend college and three times more likely to be elected class officers.
5. It Helps Develop Self-Discipline
It’s no secret that a well-rounded education is key to success in life. Students who study the arts often achieve better results in critical subjects like math, science and foreign languages.
But what isn’t often realized is how valuable the arts also are for developing self-discipline. Art helps develop the ability to focus and persevere when things get difficult, which is a necessary skill in any learning environment.
Think about the moment a child stops banging on a piano and discovers that middle C, lower C and C above it all make the same note! That’s what I call discipline! And it’s a skill that can be applied to any task. The same goes for creativity. Creativity requires the same type of self-discipline to push through and find solutions.