Throughout my childhood, art has always been teaching me a lot. One morning I wanted to know how Art education contributes towards child development. What is this tool which is available to everyone? The sheer number of its’ positive aspects are impressive, and yet it is also seriously underestimated. This therefore, marks the beginning of a great adventure.
The author Robert Fulghum who wrote the best-selling book “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” said that if you go to any kindergarten and ask, “How many of you here can draw?, almost all children will raise their hands. If you ask, “How many of you can sing? All hands would rise again. “And what would happen if you did not know the words? , ‘’We would do it’’ , the children would reply. “How many of you can dance?” All hands would rise again. The young child at the Kindergarten shows us that the human being is an artist. It is part of our essential nature, that we are indeed creators. Art is for the child therefore is a most vital element.
The Centre for the Developing Child of Harvard University, demonstrated that the human brain creates a major part of its neuronal connections during the early years of its growth. What a great gift it would be to offer to a child the means to develop by expressing himself/herself fully and freely. To explore his/her abilities and become aware of their potential and live life with greater depth from an early age. Art is not only a vital element for the child, it is also vital for education.
The Artistic Organizations are very clear today. If one looks at a publication that was issued by the National Committee of the State Legislators: Reinventing the Wheel: A Design for Student Achievement in the Twentieth Century, there are an impressive number of positive aspects that the “experts” of Art Education provide. These includes:
1) Art can integrate all areas in a school.
2) Art offers the possibility of new ways of evaluating students.
3) Art excites the learners and keeps them in school. (Studies show that dropout levels decrease with the number of art courses taken by students.)
4) Art promotes a perception of an enlightened development.
5) Art helps creative problem-solving, decision-making, and critical thinking skills.
6) Art helps promote self-discipline, self-esteem and self-awareness.
7) Art stimulates co-operative learning and helps multicultural understanding.
The Department of Labour reports that in 2013, 80% of the jobs available in the United States are those which didn’t exist in 2002. This trend could only change with the influx of new technologies. Skills such as adaptability, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and observation – all developed by the arts – should be considered as fundamental parts in the education of tomorrow.