Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.

Find Lesson Plans on! GettyGames

Why Teach Art? article


From: MaryAnn Kohl (maryann_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 10:33:37 PST

This article comes from The California Kindergarten Association, and I
thought it might help someone at a parent meeting or parent conference when
parents ask, "Why are kids doing art when they could be larning something
important?" This is only a summary. You can get the actual article with
photographs, etc. from the address below:

To order "Art Really Teaches" contact:
The California Kindergarten Association
1710 So. Amphlett Blvd. Suite 117
San Mateo, CA 94402
(415) 286-1067

       MaryAnn Kohl

Why Teach Art?

All children need a variety of experiences to assist them in exploring their
environment. Through art, children learn to value their own uniqueness and
to appreciate the individuality of others. The teacher needs to choose art
activities of variety which will contribute to all aspects of a child's

In summary, from the California Kindergarten Association publication, Art
Really Teaches, Dr. Violet Robinson, President 1992-94 discusses Child
Development Through Art.

Personal Development

Art provides an opportunity to augment creative expression, self discovery,
self esteem and self concept. Dr. Robinson points out that each work of art
creates a sense of achievement in the child or children who create the art.

Social Development

She notes that social development is enhanced as children learn to cooperate
during group art projects. When individual projects are combined as in art
quilts, young artists gain a sense of individual contribution to a group
product and develop a "we" feeling.

Physical Development

Small muscles, eye-hand coordination, dexterity, and a sense of rhythm are
developed as children engage in art activities.

Language Development

The publication notes that the young learners use art as a means of
expression that does not rely on verbal or decoding skills. Language is
applied and their vocabulary is increased as the children talk about their
art projects. Dr. Robinson also notes that drawing contributes to the
development of writing and written expression in emergent writers.

Cognitive Development

The benefits of cognitive development are discussed thoroughly in the
following areas:

Correspondences such as one-to-one or one-to-several
Part-Whole relations
Order, relationships, seriation
Symbolic representation
Spatial relationships
Dimensional relations
States of matter
Number and quantity
Topological relationships

This publication was just released in January, 1997 at the California
Kindergarten Conference in San Francisco. Art Really Teaches was published
to help teachers, administrators and parents understand the value of using
art in the educational process. Photos highlight some of the many samples
which are on display each year at the conference. All samples are sent to
the conference by teachers and students from all over to share their
creations with teachers everywhere.

Highlights of Art Really Teaches are articles, descriptions of 'How To' of
each of the 36 pictured samples, directions for 'Art Prints and Projects',
'Recipes for Art Projects' such as Fluffy Paint, Soap Snow, four different
Finger Paints, Colored Sand, Modeling Clay and many, many more, suggestions
for 'Organizing a Mural', and 'Information for Parents'.

Art Really Teaches was edited by Ruth Velasquez. Linda Becker, Liz Blek,
Zelda Le Frak, Pat Rees-Miller, Vi Robinson, Cindy Tuisku, and Tom Velasquez
all joined together to develop and produce Art Really Teaches.

---------------- NEW -----------------------
MaryAnn F. Kohl
Bright Ring Publishing, Inc.
PO Box 31338
Bellingham, WA 98228-3338
360-383-0001 fax