For several years now arts education in schools has been on the decline and has been gradually making way for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. Arts is no longer recognized as a vital ingredient for 21st-century learning.
However, arts holds as much weight today as it did years ago in a child’s holistic development and education. Several pieces of research done over the years show how important it is to integrate arts as part of the curriculum to produce well-prepared students for the future.
At Orchids The International School, our arts programs (art, music, dance, and theatre), are integral to the curriculum. We blend the arts into our main classroom education as well as teach artistic abilities and skills to help them become all-rounded thinkers.
There’s certainly no doubt that the children love the arts. Cutting colorful cardboards into various shapes and sizes and pasting them to make a design is awesome. Taking the brush and letting the imagination run riot on paper is even better. There are several benefits of arts than meets the eye at fundamental levels.
Here are the several ways art class is important for the success of your child and will teach them skills they will need as adults:
This is as simple as it gets and needs no introduction. Children are creative by birth and will express themselves better than science or maths. While this doesn’t mean that children hate playing with numbers, but when given a chance between working with numbers and coloring a book, children will prefer the latter. When children can practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them not just now but in the future also.
- Better academic performance
Arts not only help with developing a child’s creativity but also improves their academic performance. According to a recent U.S. study, published by the Journal of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, students that were exposed to music and the arts had an academic advantage over students that did not study any arts.
In the decade long experiment, researchers found that students that took some art program such as music, dance, drama, visual art during middle school, had higher GPAs and math and reading scores.
According to another research by Americans for the Arts, it was found that students that participated or participate regularly in the arts for nine hours a week in a full year were recognized for academic achievement or won prizes in their school or elsewhere.
- Develops motor skills, improves handwriting
The gestures and techniques used to create art need fine-tuned motor skills. Everything a child does during the artistic journey requires attention to detail and continuous hand movements and this helps them make better use of their hands. All these lead to better dexterity and when a child develops better dexterity, their handwriting improves and their drawings and paintings become precise.
Well, this has been spoken about a lot. Art classes help students become confident. Here’s how it works. When children get better at something artistic and creative, their confidence gets a boost and that boost reflects in everything they do—whether socially, personally or academically.
- Visually appealing
When children work on drawing, painting, craft during art classes, their visual-spatial skills improve. Art classes are the only place where children learn visual information without texts and numbers.
- Decision making and critical thinking
There’s something in art that’s not present in other subjects: decision making and critical thinking. Every design they cut in the cardboard, every line they draw in the drawing class, every brush stoke they make has a reason behind it. And that is the contributing factor behind decision making and critical thinking. it also helps that they need to make a certain decision instantly and on the spot.
- Focus and patience
Focus and patience are two of the biggest traits one learns from art classes. When a child gets ready for painting or drawing or for that matter anything creative, they learn to focus and have patience in order to get it right. These two traits can come handy when they become professionals.
- Collaboration and accountability
For the most part, artistic endeavors are always a team effort. Many of the arts such as crafts, music, or paintings require children to work together. They learn to share responsibilities and become accountable for everything they do as part of the team to achieve a common goal.
Art classes encourage children to take risks and express themselves through their work. They are using the innovative part of their brain to create something creative—something that is in their head. Every child has a different vision of the world and when asked to put these through art, they will come up with a unique version. That’s how helpful art can be for self-expression.
Due to a heavy focus on STEM, art classes have seen a downward trend at most educational establishments, but not at Orchids The International School. We believe that students benefit immensely from a diverse education including arts. It helps them not just with better academic results but also with better professional life.