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Amber LaFerriere, Section 002

The Art of the Arts


Art education is an integral part of the American school system and should be treated as such.
This is not always the case. Some people are confused about what art education really is. One
[misconception] is that only special people are creative. The assumption is that real creativity
is limited to people of rare abilityIn reality, we are all born with tremendous creative
potential. Another misconception is that creativity is confined to certain sorts of activities, like
the arts or design. The truth is we can be creative at anything that involves the active use of our
intelligence. These misconceptions are causing people to miss the importance of art education
not just in the lives of children and teenagers, but to society as well which is why it is important
for individuals to step up and make a difference in the current state of art education.
Art education is much more than an art class. Teaching art is not teaching crafts; it is about
examining and creating works of art that express a meaning or intent. It goes beyond drawing,
painting, or even sculpting. Art education encompasses many of the creative outlets available
such as visual arts programs, music programs including band, orchestra, and choir, theater, and
dance. There are three approaches to teaching art education in schools the contextualist
approach, the media approach, and the formalist approach. The contextualist approach focuses on
context of the art or what the artist is trying to say through the artwork. This approach links art
and society. The media approach focuses on teaching about the different types of art media such
as watercolors, clay, colored pencils, or collage. This approach deals more with what goes into
making art and the processes by which to create it. The formalist approach focuses on creating
beautiful art and finding the beauty in all art forms. Art education is more than what meets the
eye.
Art education is critically important to children and teenagers. Art education fulfills many
important functions of schooling. Learning about and producing art is a critical part of what
our children need to be doing as they develop their awareness of the world around them. In
order to produce well-rounded young adults, students need art in their curriculum. Through art,
students have the world at their fingertips. They can learn about other cultures through the
viewing and studying of art from around the globe. Additionally, children can learn to find ways
to express themselves beyond the typically use of the oral or written language. Through art,
students can discover a language from within that they can share with the world. Art is an
international language; it is universally accessible even to those with little knowledge of how it
was used in a culture. This can be especially important to adolescents who feel they are not
being heard. It has been said that a picture speaks 1000 words, but I do not feel that is limited to
photography. I think any piece of art, be that a painting, a musical composition, or a drawing, has
the ability to spark conversation and get people thinking. Moreover, art education can open the
door to many possible occupations for students. These include many inherently creative choices
other than art or music, such as photography, interior design, and fashion design as well as
vocations that are considered more practical such as architecture, advertising, and computer
graphics. Furthermore, art education can teach many skills that can be translated to core
courses. For example, young students can learn fine motor skills by learning how to manipulate
items such as a crayon, paintbrush, or scissors. Students can also improve their language
development as they learn how to discuss and explain their artwork. Childrens vocabulary may

also improve through the use of art education classes where they have the opportunity to
encounter words that may not be used as frequently in the typical classroom setting. These are
just a few of the benefits that art education has for children and teenagers.
Art is important to society because it impacts how Americas future, the children, are going to
be able to function in society. For students living in a rapidly changing world, the arts teach
vital modes of seeing, imagining, inventing and thinking. Those who have learned the lessons of
arts how to see new patterns, how to learn from mistakes, and how to envision solutions
are the ones likely to come up with the novel answers needed most for the future. These are the
people that businesses are looking to hire creative people with innovative ideas. America
needs a workforce that is flexible, adaptable and highly creative; and it needs an education
system that can develop these qualities in everyone. As previously mentioned, art education
classes can help people learn about cultures, their own and others. The ability to understand
another persons culture is essential to function effectively in society. It helps people be able to
relate to others and see that their viewpoint is not the only one that exists. It is important for
people in all societies to have these qualities.
There are many ways to make a difference in art education. As a teacher (or future teacher), it
is important to have an opinion on whether art education should be taken seriously in the
curriculum. The arts position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults
believe is important. In my opinion, art education is just as important as any of the core
courses. Art education courses are not blow-off classes just because they may not require papers
or exams. Students are challenged in a variety of ways. By advocating for the arts and arts
education in schools, I can show students that it is important to find a passion and take it
wherever it may lead you. On the other hand, treating arts education courses as lower level
courses that water down the curriculum teaches students that it is only important to deal with
subjects where everything is black or white, and there is a right answer and many wrong
answers. Art thrives on its multiplicity of viewpoints and its unwillingness to be governed by
any hard and fast rules. There is no right answer in art. It is all about expression. By
advocating for art education, I can show students that everything is not about getting the right
answer, but about having meaningful experiences they can keep for a lifetime. Another way that I
can make a difference in art education is by incorporating art into my classroom whether or not
formal art education classes are available to students. There is a way to include art in every
subject. Some example could include having students make a video to teach a math lesson, create
a song to remember the order of the presidents, or build an enlarged model of a cell. Art does not
need to dominate every lesson, but it needs to be included. These are just a few ways that I, and
others, could make a difference in art education.
Art education is necessary to create well-rounded members of society. It ensures that students
have a creative outlet to express themselves. It is a time to let imaginations run wild and forget
some of the rules that other subjects set the sky does not have to be blue and pigs can fly if you
want them to. Everyone has artistic potential, and it is important to give them the opportunities to
tap into it. The skills learned from the arts can be applied to many aspects of life inside and
outside the classroom including problem solving and communication. Even if formal art
education classes are not offered, there are many ways to ensure that students still have those
creative outlets in the classroom. There really is no excuse for not incorporating art education
into the school system. A grand gesture is not required to make a difference in art education;
even the smallest of changes or choices can make a difference in a childs life and school
experience.

Works Cited
Barnes, R. (2015). Teaching art to young children (3rd ed.). New York, New York: Routledge.
Clements, R., & Wachowiak, F. (2010). The Role of Art in Society and in the Schools. In
Emphasis art: A qualitative art program for elementary and middle schools (9th ed.).
Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Eisner, E. (2002). What the Arts Teach and How It Shows. In The Arts and the Creation of Mind
(pp. 70-92). Yale University Press.
Hermus, C. (2007). The Classroom Teacher and Art. Dick Blick Company, Inc.
Morrison, B. (2005, April 1). How Creativity, Education and the Arts Shape a Modern Economy.
Retrieved September 10, 2015.
Winner, E., & Hetland, L. (2009). Art for Our Sake. Colleagues, 4(2), 4-7.