When you think of art and art education, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Probably that art is a beautiful hobby that can only be pursued by those who have the talent, but one that is not of vital importance to one’s future or career. I, however, dare to disagree with that opinion. For decades now, teachers and specifically art teachers have been talking about the importance of art education and its impact on a child’s future and career options. The lessons art teaches go far beyond just the skills of drawing and painting. Although those skills are important for they teach children fine motor skills and dexterity, skills which are very important in careers such as surgery. However, the impact of art education goes well beyond those skills and it just being a fun hobby that your child will enjoy, but one that is not as important as other academic subjects. Here are ten reasons why art education is important and how it can impact your child’s future
Art inspires creativity and creative thinking. This might seem like a no brainer, but creativity and creative thinking, which are highly encouraged in the art room, are very important skills, one that pave the way to innovative thinking. Because in an art room setting children are allowed to express themselves and are encouraged to think outside the box and express their individuality in their artwork, those skills that they learn will stay with them as they grow older and will eventually set them apart in a world of qualified professionals.
Art encourages collaboration and teamwork. In an art class, children learn the values of teamwork as they work side by side with other children, sometimes towards a common goal; finish a collaborative piece or a mural. Working with others towards a common goal teaches children how to communicate effectively with others, how to compromise when necessary and that no matter how small their contribution might seem, it’s still important and makes a difference. Those are all skills that they will need in any field of work they embark on in their future.
Art inspires and instills confidence in the students. The art room provides a safe haven for students where they can freely express themselves without judgment. In this safe setting, students can learn to build their self confidence, and shy students can be encouraged to participate and become vocal about their opinions and their artworks. Also, seeing their own skill level improve over time instills
confidence in the students. The more confident the students become, the more likely they are to take risks and step out of their comfort zone and try new things.
Art encourages tolerance of others. Art provides a unique opportunity for children to learn about other cultures as well as their own. Learning about people and events from different cultures teaches students about the struggles of others who may seem different and in turn helps the students become more tolerant and empathetic. According to a study published by education week; students’ “awareness of different people, places, and ideas through the arts helps them appreciate and accept the differences they find in the broader world.''
Art teaches kindness and empathy. An art class can teach students about kindness and accepting criticism. During an art class, not only can the teacher walk around and give constructive criticism to students on how to improve their work, but students can help each other out by giving peer feedback. When doing so, students learn how to be kind, but also be specific when giving criticism. So instead of saying I don't like your work or I think it’s bad, they can instead learn to be specific and say things like, I think your painting could have used contrasting colours to make it stand out more, maybe try that next time. The student giving the criticism learns how to be kind to his peers, but also how to be constructive and helpful. Meanwhile, the student receiving the criticism learns that we all make mistakes and to accept help and criticism from other so that s/he can grow into a better artist.