The Educational value of Art in the Primary School

When administrators and lawmakers look at cutting school funding, art is often one of the areas to be hit hardest. Contrary to what some may think, art is an important part of the primary school curriculum. It helps young students to develop important skills, and it can positively affect school attendance, students’ health, and personal development.

Creativity

Art assignments often call for the student to use their imagination to create things from raw materials. This assignments help to encourage the students to be creative, to try new things, and to take risks.

Fine motor skills

Small children are often uncoordinated. Many art projects require students to use crayons, paint brushes, and scissors. By using these items, young students are developing their hand-eye coordination.

Critical Thinking

Art is a mentally stimulating activity, and as such, it is a great way to keep the brain functioning at its best. Exposure to art has also been shown to increase the brain’s functions and help to improve the students’ critical thinking skills. It prompts young children to analyze problems and brainstorm ways to solve those problems. Art encourages students to focus on details and find new ways to express themselves.

Individuality

There is no right or wrong way to create art. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Young students can develop self-esteem and individuality by working on art projects. They also learn how to set goals and how to work toward those goals.

Attendance

Students are more likely to attend school if they like school. Art can help to increase student attendance. Because art is fun, it gives the students something to look forward to each day. Excited students want to come to school.

Stress relief

Painting, drawing, and other art activities can help to relieve stress. And, yes, young children do experience stress. Like adults, they have issues that they have to deal with too. They have to deal with homework assignments, peers, and less than perfect home situations. When a child is under stress, the stress hormone called cortisol is released into their blood system. This hormone put their body in a “fight-or-fight” mode. It stops all functions that are not need immediately. It can cause young children to stop eating, to have difficulty sleeping, and to have difficulty concentrating in class.  Art offers a way to release some of that stress.

Art is an important part of the primary school curriculum. It increases students’ creativity, helps to hone fine motor skills, improve critical thinking skills, relieve stress, and increase school attendance.