There are numerous reasons that justify the importance of arts education in our education system. Arts
are the mother of innovation and creativity (Jones and Stephena, 1986). It contributes significantly to the expansion of the mind and soul. Many of the arts educators believe that arts education is not only about creating artists. It contributes to the moral development of the students. In the words of John and Stephena (1986), “Arts education has something broader since it enables students to develop a sense of satisfaction by creating something new.” Arts have a complex relationship with society, and the proponents of art education believe that it enables students to develop a deep knowledge concerning history and their commitment to humanist principles. Arts education is instrumental in supporting the school curriculum. It makes the rest of the school curriculum more interesting since it contributes to student’s employability. In addition, it enables students to develop good health and environmentally conscious. Without arts in the education system, people are likely to become more stupid since they would be inclined to immoral behavior and criminal activities. Arts education has a significant contribution to harnessing the moral of the members of the society by contributing to contemporary social, economic and civic priorities.
Arts education is central to the education system. Education involves acquiring knowledge and inculcating an attitude of learning. Artists are traditionally associated with being educated. Most of the artists are believed to have undergone training to develop specific artworks. It is no accident that most of the educated individuals have developed interest or love for arts (Jones and Stephena, 1986). Ernst Cassirer who is German philosopher asserts that “Science gives us order in thoughts, morality gives us order in actions; art gives us order in the apprehension of visible, tangible and audible appearances.” A good education system must incorporate arts education. It introduces students to a variety of literature contained in short stories, poetry, and plays. In addition, children are introduced to music, visual arts, film, and dance.
Art is part of the society we live in. It has become part of the common language that children use to perceive things (Robelen, 2012). When we see great buildings or paintings, we begin to wonder the ambition and ingenuity of human beings. Such great works give us an insight into the human condition. Arts enable children to appreciate the importance of education. It allows students to develop a sense of understanding the origin of art and its contribution to knowledge and learning. Art can be used to pass on wisdom to future generations. Some of the artwork of the ancient artists has enabled students to understand history. Artwork eases the process of teaching since the information learned from arts can sink quickly. In most cases, people can draw knowledge and insight if they can understand human experience. Arts enable students to understand themselves because they are familiar with the history of the world.
Education is a conservative process that provides students with a foundational knowledge about the world and what is contained in it. Most people view education as a mechanism to allow people cope with the contemporary problems that we experience in the society today such as unemployment. This imagination degenerates the historical meaning of education. Art education has been used to bridge the gap between contemporary social problems and education (Robelen, 2012). In this way, it allows students to understand themselves. As such, they equip themselves with skills and knowledge that they can use to overcome the social and economic problems that affect our society today.
It is essential for students to learn how to create before they create change. Arts are important in our education system because it enables young people to understand and communicate emotions, viewpoints, and ideas. Arts play a critical role in cultivating critical thinking which can be supplemented with problem-solving (Robelen, 2012). In this way, arts help students in the academic pursuits in different disciplines. It plays an essential role in developing creative abilities among students. This is not limited to students who are interested in pursuing arts as the professional careers as writers or artists. For instance, a biologist who acquired creative skills in high school during art classes can use the skills to perform research on various cancer treatment methods. The current economy thrives and depends on innovation. The new ways of thinking will help the contemporary economy to thrive and take the world to a different level. This will be only possible if arts education is considered in our education system. Arts education nurtures innovation and makes young people see the world at a different level. The creative practice that the students are involved in allows them to develop skills to imagine things differently. Just like humanities, arts education plays a powerful role in increasing the engagement level of students and nurturing skills that are bound to change the world. In this way, arts education should not be viewed as a separate subject since it plays an integral role in developing creative skills that will ultimately create change in the world.
Arts play a critical role in developing life skills among students. Arts rely on a wide range of abilities and skills that that are responsible for social and personal development among students. Furthermore, the students acquire specific artistic techniques which contribute to their personal development. In the words of Siegesmund (1998), “students who are exposed to arts scored consistently higher grades in other subjects such as reading tests and mathematics.” Siegesmund refers to this effect as rotary learning. As such, education in arts contributes to academic achievement in arts-related subjects and other academic areas. Siegesmund further asserts that “arts play a pivotal role in learning how to learn.” As such, arts are an essential skill that contributes to success both in school and workplace environment. Therefore, it is essential for all students to pursue arts.
Arts students are always the toughest critics of their own creation. Arts education enables students to achieve self-motivation and self-drive in pursuit of their interest (Robelen, 2012). Arts education teaches students presents the students with an opportunity to have an experience of learning rather than obtaining grades in the subjects. Students learn how to create new things and handle their failures which are a requirement in the contemporary economy.
There are multitudes of options available for art students while required to contribute their ideas or opinions about a particular aspect. Arts education allows students to think about and solve problems from different perspectives. Today, many working environments require human resources who have the ability to solve problems and communicate effectively (Robelen, 2012). Arts education provides students with these skills which makes them suitable for the job market. In this way, schools arts program in their curriculum to allow them to develop students who can communicate effectively and generate ideas which are an essential requirement in the workplace.
Arts education provides an opportunity for students who are not successful in science and Mathematics subjects (Carpenter, 2010). The possibilities for improvement in arts is endless compared to other subjects since students are continually presented with challenging tasks. The students who are disadvantaged to excel in a typical classroom have the reason to stay in school since arts provide them with the opportunity to improve. Students who engage in arts-related programs after school find it easy to perform better in school. Their personal lives are likely to improve than others in the same class but are not involved in arts (Carpenter, 2010). The teachers to art students can understand their students better by analyzing their artwork. In this case, they will understand how the students learn and develop strategies to help them teach better.
In conclusion, arts education plays a critical role in developing interest and support in the professional art field. Arts education provides students with the exposure that is essential in cultivating greater interest in professional arts. In this way, arts education is of great significance to our education. It has helped in developing different artist who has contributed significantly to our economy. Therefore, arts education is important just like any other subject in or education. It helps in developing skills that are required in the workplace.
- Caroll, Noël. “Can Government Funding of the Arts Be Justified Theoretically?” The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 1987, pp. 21–35. JSTOR [JSTOR].
- Carpenter, Stephen. “Drawing (Past, Present, and Future) Together: A (Graphic) Look at the Reconceptualization of Art Education.” Studies in Art Education, vol. 51, no. 4, 2010, pp. 327–352. JSTOR [JSTOR].
- Clark, Helen. “Arts Education Funding .” Craft Arts International, 2000, p. 82. Academic Search Complete [EBSCO].
- Jones, Nancy Tondre, and Stephena Hobbs Runyan. “Demystifying Art Education.” Art Education, vol. 39, no. 2, 1986, pp. 42–43. JSTOR [JSTOR], doi:10.2307/3193005.
- Kenton , Tristram. “Arts Education Funding Is Essential for Young People to Showcase Their Creative Talent.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 1 Apr. 2016.
- Page, Tara. “Conceptions of Art Education Programs Held by a Rural and Remote Australian Community.” Studies in Art Education, vol. 49, no. 1, 2007, pp. 42–58. JSTOR [JSTOR].
- Robelen, Erik W. “Los Angeles School Board Makes Arts an Essential ‘Core’ Subject.” Education Week, 17 Oct. 2012, p. 4. Academic Search Complete [EBSCO], web.b.ebscohost.com.qbcc.ezproxy.cuny.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=17&sid=0270f648-f692-41d8-8086-4e9e52e5a90e%40pdc-v-sessmgr01&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=82590323&db=a9h.
- Siegesmund, Richard. “Why Do We Teach Art Today? Conceptions of Art Education and Their Justification.” Studies in Art Education, vol. 39, ser. 3, 1998, pp. 197–214. JSTOR [JSTOR].