The Arts are essential to the core educational experience of all children. They consist of unique disciplines that foster multiple intelligences, and build the bridges that strengthen bonds between cultures and generations. The nurturing of every student’s ability to perform, create, and respond to the Arts empowers and encourages the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of all children.
Through Arts education children learn responsibility, self-discipline, commitment, and collaboration, which are key attributes of successful learners. Furthermore, higher order thinking skills that include evaluation, analysis, and synthesis, are constantly engaged as students reflect on the Arts, aspire to reach performance standards, and learn to make qualitative judgments.
The Arts are an integral part of a child’s education. Participation in the Arts fosters communication and understanding of ourselves and those around us. Skills learned through the Arts reinforce and improve learning in many subject areas such as reading, language, and physical education. It is through the Arts that students experience the culture and aesthetics that enrich all aspects of life.
10 lessons the Arts Teach:
- The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.
- The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
- The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
- The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.
- The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.
- The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.
- The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
- The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.
- The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
- The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.
SOURCE: Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind.