Educational value of Art

Art is the “conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects”. Artistry is all that represents self-expression and ingenuity.

The educational value of art as a mainstay in primary schools is incalculable. However, art offerings are rarely viewed as pertinent components of the early education curriculum. English, Math and Sciences are the keystone subjects of instruction in most primary schools; while art is considered second tier or ranked as extracurricular. In situations where budgets are restricted or cut, arts programs are the first to be eliminated. This is unconscionable and a significant mistake.

“Researchers have found that sustained learning in music and theater correlates strongly with higher achievement in both Math and reading.”  Not only does art instruction significantly impact individual achievement but collective achievement. It was also found that “in countries that rank consistently among the highest for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands.  Arts and music education programs are mandatory.”

What does the current curriculum offer? 

English, Math, and Sciences are creative disciplines. A teacher uses  these disciplines to  introduce abstract and concrete principles to help students understand how the world works. The ability to process these concepts for deeper understanding help students to understand their environment, physical and natural law, successful adaptation, and improvement of the environment.

Principles taught in Math and Science are the seedlings of discovery, innovation, technological and social advancement; advancement which requires a blend of intelligence and creativity.

 Why is art important?

Art also teaches principles of abstraction and concretion and how to distinguish between the two concepts. Art teaches one how to awaken and use imagination to creatively devise ideas and contribute something to the world, whether for aestheticism or utility. Art teaches one how to take raw substances and create;and even moreso how to develop a masterpiece from what appears to be nothing but bits and parts. Art teaches one how to use the principles taught, abstract concepts of Math and Science, and combine them for a purpose; one that would successfully advance humanity.

Orville Wright, the inventor of the airplane once said; “If we all worked on assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance.”

When Science and Math are dispensed apart from art, one is teaching that the student  should work on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true.  Art teaches the student to think beyond the assumptions, the abstract, and the concrete; and to create and advance.