Art is something essential to human expression and in most cases it can be a form of teaching as well. A form a teaching that is continuously being torn down and diminished in schools throughout our nation. But why?
Most of us know that cuts in school funding has led to the end of many art classes, especially those in elementary and middle schools. In the time since schools have shifted their focus to more “academic” classes such as reading, writing, and math instead. An estimated 1.3 million elementary students don’t have access to music and art programs. Current GHS senior Emily Shooltz states “I lived off of it, it was only thing I liked about middle school.” Many reports such as a 2002 report by the Arts Education Partnership revealed that schoolchildren exposed to drama, music and dance are often more proficient at reading, writing, and math.
In a blog posted by “dannygregory” titled Let’s Get Rid of Art, Gregory claims that art classes are just for kids and are good way to waste time coloring. Gregory also claims “In short, every child starts out with a natural interest in art which is slowly drained — until all that’s left is a handful of teens in eyeliner and black clothing whose parent worry they’ll never move out of basement.” Quite a bold statement if I do say so myself.
Despite Gregory’s strong opinion on the presence of the arts in school, many studies have, and continue, to prove that not only do art classes increase academic abilities but they also help with child development and provide a creative outlet. Junior Sydney Hudson believes that “Schools stress students out with all the science and math and they (students) just need a class to just let some of that stress out and be unique and creative.” Recent brain research has shown how art can promote creativity, personality adjustment, along with building of self worth; it seems absurd that a majority of school systems believe that these classes are less of a priority when in reality they will most successfully prepare children for their personal development as well as their academic careers.
It’s time for art classes to become a priority in children’s academic routines because in the long run they will help and prepare them for more than we know.