Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Importance of The Arts

"A broad education in the arts helps give children a better understanding of their world…
We need students who are culturally literate as well as math and science literate."
–Paul Ostergard, Vice President, Citicorp

Friday's A Day In The Arts was a wonderful example of how important the Arts are in the development of students. I want to thank Ms Inhen, Ms Marek, Mr. and Mrs. Tempero, and the many artists and volunteers that gave their time so that we could celebrate the importance of the Arts in educating our students. It was an amazing day with an amazing message.
 I am a proponent of arts programs in the schools. I cannot imagine a school without the language of the arts, without this avenue provided to students to express themselves and  learn through art, music, dance, and theatre.  For some students art is the access point to other content areas. 
During Friday's event we witnessed students expressing their self worth through poetry, music, painting, engineering, drawing, story telling, designing and song. Our students were learning  with science, math, art, music,literacy, movement, social and emotional sciences and more. I think we can all agree that it was exciting and inspiring.  It is my hope that this excitement and inspiration will continue.  Let's continue to explore ways to bring more opportunities for arts integration.  Arts integration demands creativity, problem-solving, perseverance, collaboration and the ability to work through the rigorous demands of multiple ideas and concepts woven together to create a final product. 

“The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic…music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.”
   –William Bennett, Former US Secretary of Education

A 2005 Rand Corporation report about visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasure and excitement of the art experience do more than just enhance a student's life. The report states arts "can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing". Strong arts programs and integration of the arts into the general education classroom helps close a gap that exists in many schools. Equity in the access to the arts students experience can be leveled with arts education. As our nation continues to set our sights on the math and science scores from counties like Japan, Hungary and the Netherlands it is interesting that those countries all mandate arts and music education programs.

"I believe that creativity will be the currency of the 21st century." 
– Gerald Gordon, Ph.D., President/CEO, Fairfax County (Virginia) Economic Development Authority

According to The Bloomberg Job Skills report the skills that are least common but most desired in applicants are: creative thinking, problem solving, leadership and communication.  These aren't skills that can just be added to a child's toolbox in high school or college, we have to start now in building leaders who can think of creative ways to solve problems and also use their voice to advocate and  communicate with multiple people and groups throughout the process. Almost everyone has one art form (visual art, music, dance or drama) with which they connect and use to make sense of the world. The Day In The Arts confirmed this for us as we watched students open up and connect to the art. It also reminded me of the importance of these forms of expression being available to them everyday and in every classroom. Art is a tool, a language, that we can use to communicate with each other about our learning, our feelings and our world. Let's keep the enthusiasm for the Arts going long after A Day In The Arts has ended.  

"The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create."
President Barack Obama

Thank you   Heather Puri for all the great pictures!

No comments:

Post a Comment