The Arts have always been a major topic of contingents within American society. Whether you believe in the necessity of the Arts as a school curriculum or not, throughout your time in the public school system, you’re bound to have had at least one art class in your life, be it music, design, photography, drawing, painting or literature. Patroning for the Arts as a continued curriculum schools is important.
Some of the most common arguments for banning any art curriculum in the public schools and focusing energy and financing solely on math, science, and physical education is that they are a pointless frivolity. Students don’t learn anything productive, so why waste time and energy on keeping them going? Right? Wrong!
Studies by the College Board in regards to the continuation of the Arts programs in the public schools showed that, “Students who took four years of art scored 91 points better on SAT exams.” (Let’s Get Rid of Art Education in Schools) and “at-risk students who take art are significantly more likely to stay in school and ultimately to get college degrees.” (Let’s Get Rid of Art Education in Schools).
These statistics show that students who take art as a curriculum in schools, regardless of ethnicity or gender or social class, are nearly 91% more likely to actively want to go on to higher education, and thus obtain better jobs, than those without the opportunity to have an art curriculum in their schools. This betters students’ own prospects in life, gaining the creativity and forethought they need to succeed in their chosen careers, and contributes to the overall betterment of their town’s economy.
Another argument for why art is a valuable curriculum in our public school systems, beyond those of obtaining the highest test scores, is that the Arts, as a curriculum, actively contribute to the students of all age groups. Studying the Art’s increases one’s capacity for critical-thinking, self-discipline, problem-solving, and self-directed learning. In classes related to the Arts, “…students are given open-ended problems to solve. This encourages them to think critically to solve problems in their own unique way,” (A Better Argument for Art Education) and thus “Theses skills transfer to many other areas of life. And they cannot be assessed on a standardized test.” (A Better Argument for Art Education).
The third point for why art is a necessary curriculum for our public school systems is that art is vital for cross-continental communication and greater ethical understanding at a global level. With the increase in technological advancement in our society, we have a growing dependency of this technology, and an ever-expanding desire to stay connected. The few Art curriculums we learn in school, and the vital critical thinking and communication skills that thus follow, are too often ignored and cast aside in favor of the better, more flashy frivolities of the greater net.
Yet, in recent studies, “When art students analyze an artwork, they use art vocabulary to express their ideas. Discussions about art build students’ capacities to listen to and learn from one another. When a student creates an artwork, they make careful choices to communicate their ideas. And when reflecting about art-making through artist statements, students are further developing these skills.” (A Better Argument for Art Education).
The skills learned in any Art-based curriculum can only serve to prosper the continued social and emotional intelligence of our growing future. This allows students valuable skills that they can hone and use in the furthering of their education, as well as provide important attributes they can implement in the workforce no matter what they decide to do. This proves, beyond all shadow of doubt, that Art as a continued curriculum in our schools is of vital importance both socially and economically. Thus, a curriculum we should both continue to uphold and actively petition to finance better not only for the betterment of ourselves, but also for all the future young minds to come.
After all, who doesn’t want smarter kids?