Importance of Arts in Education
You've probably heard that arts curriculum is beneficial to students, but did you know that it benefits all students, even the ones who aren't particularly artsy? There's no doubt that the arts are fun for kids. Diving into those finger paints and making a beautiful picture to hang on the fridge is awesome. Acting in a play is exhilarating. But the arts also help kids develop on many fundamental levels. Large amounts of research worldwide has shown that exposing children to the creative arts contributes enormously to their brain development, equipping them for 21st century living and giving them a sound base upon which they can build successful and happy lives.
Art Makes You Healthier
The National Endowment for the Arts recently released research from the University of Michigan, which notes that: "Older adults who both created art and attended arts events reported higher cognitive functioning and lower rates of both hypertension and limitations to their physical functioning than did adults who neither created nor attended art."
It's nice to know continued involvement in the arts doesn't just benefit youngsters. Even when you're grown, art literally makes your smarter, stronger, and faster!
Art Makes Us Happier
The arts can make your kids smarter, they can make you stronger, and they can put money in your pocket, but they're not done yet-they can also make you feel better too. Research from the University of Western Australia suggests that exposure to the arts for just two hours every week can drastically improve your mental health and overall well-being. It can be active exposure, like painting a picture, or passive exposure, like strolling through a gallery or museum.
Improves Motor Skills
This applies mostly to younger kids who do art or play an instrument. Simple things like holding a paintbrush and scribbling with a crayon are an important element to developing a child's fine motor skills. According to the National Institutes of Health developmental milestones around age three should include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors. Around age four, children may be able to draw a square and begin cutting straight lines with scissors.
Teachers can take steps to reap the benefits of the arts in nearly any subject. It may be as simple as using music to introduce foreign vocabulary words for younger students or, like one of the classrooms in Hansen's report, incorporating life-size models of storybook characters or a "dream bedroom" design complete with 3-D floor plans into lesson plans. Virtually any lesson has the potential for arts integration.
Teach us Better Ways to Collaborate
Many of the arts such as band, choir, and theater require kids to work together. They must share responsibility and compromise to achieve their common goal. Kids learn that their contribution to the group is integral to its successâeven if they don't have the solo or lead role.
Integrating the Arts into the Classroom
Integrating the arts in the classroom encourages a level of creativity that builds students' abilities and thinking processes and exposes them to the arts, which has its own deep value. With the arts in the classroom, teachers can experiment with approaches that connect to students and accelerate their learning, interests and passions.