Why Care About
ARTS EDUCATION FACTS
Did You Know?
People Who Participate In The Arts For At Least Three Hours On Three
Days Each Week For At Least One Full Year Are:
times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their
4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem
Artists, As Compared With Their Peers, Are Likely To:
music, art, and dance classes nearly three times as frequently
Participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently
Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
Perform community service more than four times as often
the Arts through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-based Youth
Organizations, Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University and Carnegie
Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching, Americans for the Arts
Monograph, November 1998)
Facts Are That Arts Education:
a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has
proven to help level
the "learning field" across socioeconomic boundaries. (Involvement in
the Arts and Success in Secondary School, James S. Catterall, The UCLA
Imagination Project, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies,
UCLA, Americans for
measurable impact on at risk youth in deterring delinquent behavior and
truancy problems while also increasing overall academic performance
among those youth engaged in after school and summer arts programs
targeted toward delinquency prevention.
Development Project, 1996, U.S. Department of Justice, National
Endowment for the Arts, and Americans for the Arts)
Businesses Understand That Arts Education:
a school climate of high expectation, discipline, and academic rigor
that attracts businesses relocating to your community.
Strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills,
adding to overall academic achievement and school success.
Helps students develop a sense of craftsmanship, quality task
performance, and goal-setting skills needed to succeed in the classroom
Can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to destructive
behavior and another way for students to approach learning.
Provides another opportunity for parental, community, and business
involvement with schools, including arts and humanities organizations.
Helps all students develop more appreciation and understanding of the
world around them.
Helps students develop a positive work ethic and pride in a job well
(Business Circle for Arts Education in Oklahoma, "Arts at the Core of
Learning 1999 Initiative")
does arts education do for the individual and for society? Why do we
teach the arts? How do the arts contribute to education on all levels?
There are many good answers to these questions, but three stand out as
crucial in todays social and economic climate.
believe that arts and therefore arts education means three things that
everyone wants and needs.
Arts Means Work
Beyond the qualities of creativity, self-expression, and communication,
art is a type of work. This is what art has been from the beginning.
This is what art is from childhood to old age. Through art, our students
learn the meaning of joy of work -- work done to the best of ones
ability, for its own sake, for the satisfaction of a job well done.
There is a desperate need in our society for a revival
of the idea of good work; work for personal fulfillment; work for social
recognition; work for economic development. Work is one of the noblest
expressions of the human spirit, and art is the visible evidence of work
carried to the highest possible level.
hear much about productivity and workmanship. Both of these ideals are
strengthened each time we commit ourselves to the endeavor of art. We
are dedicated to the idea that art is the best way for every young
person to learn the value of work.
Arts Means Language
Art is a language of visual images that everyone must learn to read. In
art classes, we make visual images, and we study images. Increasingly,
these images affect our needs, our daily behavior, our hopes, our
opinions, and our ultimate ideals. That is why the individual who cannot
understand or read images is incompletely educated. Complete literacy
includes the ability to
understand, respond to, and talk about visual images. As art teachers we
work continuously on the development of critical skills. This is our way
of encouraging linguistic skills. By teaching pupils to describe,
analyze, and interpret visual images, we enhance their powers of verbal
Arts Mean Values
You cannot touch art without touching values: values about home and
family, work, and play, the individual and society, nature and the
environment, war and peace, beauty and ugliness, violence and love. The
great art of the past and the present deals with these durable human
concerns. As art teachers we do not indoctrinate. But when we study the
art of many lands and peoples, we expose our students to the expression
of a wide range of human values and concerns.
sensitize students to the fact that values shape all human efforts, and
that visual images can affect their personal value choices. All of them
should be given the opportunity to see how art can express the highest
aspirations of the human spirit. From that foundation we believe they
will be in a better position to choose what is right and good.
Education? was prepared by the National Art Education Association.
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