Torrecillas, Xoana Soledad
10 July 2013
Arts Education and Its Inclusion in the Education System
Arts education is the communication and integration of life, literacy and learning that can only be achieved through experience by learners. Art education scoupes from music and dancing to visual arts and theatre (Junior, 2008). Art can provide an opportunity to keep the community together. Indeed art is the universal language that communicates all people across cultures. In the early 1960's arts education was secure but the scenario changed in the late 1970's. The support for arts related activities was eliminated from the school budgets (Atkinson, D. 2002). Any learning must appreciate the role of art for its success, the emphasis should be on ‘doing' in order to fully understand during the learning process. Activities like music, drawing and drama appeared to consume much of the budgetary distribution and that causes the risk of being fully eliminated from the school system. As such a risk grows bigger and bigger, it is very important to show the importance of introducing art education and artistic methods of learning in the education structure as well as the way this kind of instruction influences learners.
Firstly, we have to say that none can deny the importance of art in education. "Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence," sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has said. Arts education, on the other hand, solves problems. Besides, it is closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunities. Furthermore, involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. As if it was not enough, arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork.
Secondly, we have to talk about the existence of the integration of mind, body and the spirit which is produced by art. Art has the capability of expressing emotions and ideas into live experience (Koopman, 2005). Concepts expressed in words may affect only the mind and fail to integrate with the body and spirit. Learning is most effective when what has been kept in the mind can be experienced in the body and affect the spirit. That is possible thanks to art, since it can be expressed in words e.g. songs and poems as well as theatre plays as well as pictures and sculptures.
Then, we have to focus on another advantage of this kind of education, and it has to do with the fact that art develops collaboration. The modern world requires more social skills, that is, it demands more interactivity among people. This is something hard to comprehend by an individual, but it could be simply presented as an art for easy understanding. For example, children would easily understand historical events not through mere reading about them but also through painting them in a timeline, acting them or even writing a song on them. Students can spend an afternoon writing a poem related to those historical events, in the company of parents, teachers and/ or their classmates. Different topics can be presented to the students by creating opportunities where they could manage the ideas by their own, as a group. The elimination of art education in the education system risks having a disintegrated society.
Finally, based on the advantages of art education before mentioned, there is an urgent need to integrate the art aspect into the education system. The legislature needs to make arts an obligatory subject in all schools, perhaps right from elementary to graduate levels. Besides, teachers and parents need also encourage arts activities among the students. Every country should also make arts education a priority in order to avoid the elimination of it from the educational budget. Furthermore, when giving assignments, the teachers should emphasize use of artistic methods in coming up with solutions (Skilling & Jerry, 2003).
All in all, in the education structure, the introduction of art education as well as artistic methods of learning should be introduced in the early schooling years. At the kindergarten and nursery schools, teaching should use artistic methods in explaining concrete concepts. The children should be encouraged to interact in learning activities. Elementary levels should fully integrate art education in the school curriculum. Other than using artistic teaching methods and learning activities, the learners should be introduced to art as a subject. Appreciation for artistic representation of historical events in terms of drawings and narrations should be encouraged. At the secondary level there should very high standards of emphasis on art. For example, outdoor activities can be included during curriculum redesigning in order to offer the basis for evaluating the learnt art outcomes among students (Atkinson, D. 2002).
To conclude, the discussion has explored advantages of the concept of art education and its inclusion in the education system. The full inclusion of this kind of education and its appreciation by the participants would improve the traditional and conventional form of education. Since, it not only provides a useful way of teaching abstracts concepts but also it makes people interact among them. Art education can therefore generate joy into the learning process as well as making schools to be more vibrant places for creativity as well as practical application in learnt skills.
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Available at: http://www.edutopia.org/arts-music-curriculum-child-development Retrieved: June 28, 2013
Junior. T. E. (2008). Keeping the Arts Alive. School Libary Journal , 88.
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