While it may be true that involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill, it has also been suggested that arts learning can improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork.
Increasingly we hear from teachers that they feel the arts are under attack. Teaching positions for art teachers are disappearing, and funding for supplies are scarce.
In an attempt to help UAEA members engage in meaningful conversations with administrators, parents, and community members, we've prepared some resources, found to the right, that might assist you in becoming an advocate for art education outside your classroom.
- Americans for the Arts
- Art Aware
- Arts Edge
- Arts Education Partnership
- Art Works for Kids
- Center for Arts & Culture
- Getty Institute
- Arts in the News
- Education Points
- The arts are central to life-long learning.
We are surrounded by the arts. Our clothing, cars and homes reflect complex and expressive design. We hear music throughout the day. TV and cinema are filled with dance and drama. More and more we go to museums, to the theater, music and dance performances.
The arts have been central to every culture past and present. Often the best way to understand other societies is through their arts. The arts are a reflection of our society. They inform and engage us, both subtly and deeply, and give meaning to our shared experience.
- A comprehensive, sequential arts education is essential for all students.
Students can develop unique expressive skills through their creation of the arts, and the arts present ways for students with differing learning styles and abilities to "find their voices."
The arts present a powerful way for students to perceive the world around them. Thinking starts with the ability to perceive.
Experience with the arts transfers to and strengthens basic thinking skills in a variety of areas, e.g. spatial-temporal thinking for higher level mathematical reasoning (research by Gardiner and Shaw), language and analytical thinking needed for verbal thinking and communication.
Experiences in creating the arts are highly motivating ways for students to develop social/group skills, e.g. collaboration, loyalty, responsibility, reliability, and respect for others and their work.
Many state school boards have mandated all arts for all students through junior high, and proficiency in one art form for high school graduation.
- The arts should be integrated into the curriculum and taught as independent disciplines.
Dance, theater, and the visual arts are each a distinct discipline and students must learn to critique and understand the role of each in society They should also be introduced to creating in each art form.
The arts are basic to the study of social studies and language arts since they are found in all social contexts and are a means of communication.
The arts are a highly motivating method for students to learn about many subjects including math, science and foreign languages.
- Arts education prepares students for the workplace.
There are many well-paying, interesting job opportunities in the arts, or that use an arts background in the technology/communications and entertainment industries and in education.
Business seeks students with arts degrees because they have developed valuable reasoning, creating and communication skills.
- Arts education prepares students for college.
The U.S. Department of Education recommends that college-bound middle school, junior high, and high school students study the arts. Many universities require one high school arts credit for admission. The skills and behaviors students need to learn for successful job performance are directly impacted by their training in the arts.