ART FOR A START, NY
With school budgets being drastically cut, some schools, especially those lacking in funds, may choose to exclude art classes from their curriculum. However, the students at these schools may be missing out on some important benefits of an education in the various art related fields. Whether it’s painting, theater, sculpture, music or dance, the arts provide students with an excellent opportunity to increase their academic success and develop important skills.
Art helps with cognitive development
Art education has been linked to advanced cognitive development in children. In a 1998 report, "Young Children and the Arts: Making Creative Connections," researchers found that art education contributes immensely to a child's cognitive, language and motor skills. Another report from 2000 entitled "Learning and the Arts: Crossing Boundaries" concludes that brain scans proved that all parts of the cerebral cortex are active while playing music.
Art linked to higher achievements in school
Many students involved in art classes perform better in other areas of study. According to Howard Gardener's Theory of Multiple Intelligences, students who take art classes increase their capacity to learn because they expand their learning styles and vocabulary beyond linguistic and mathematical reasoning in their traditional classes. Dr. James Catterall from UCLA found that students who took arts classes performed better on standardized tests and had higher grades than students who were not exposed to art education.
Art contributes to personal development and problem solving
Students pick up important life skills from their arts education classes. Also reported in "Young Children and the Arts: Making Creative Connections"was the fact that students pick up excellent skills from the arts, such as better memory, enhanced understanding and an ability to communicate symbolically. Education Week reported in 2005 that art education can have a fantastic impact on a student's drive to succeed and their ability to take on new challenges and resolve them.