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Lesson Plans

Re: Teaching Art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Wed, 28 Feb 1996 00:37:41 -0500 (EST)

Dear Shelly:
One of the most important things for those of us in art education is to
articulate the MANY reasons for arts in education advocacy. A number of the
"reasons" I am listing are taken from an excellent article printed in an
article in the Journal of the Association for Chldhood Education International.
It was published in Summer 1990, and is entitled "The CHild's Right to the
Expressive Arts: Nurturing the Imagination as Well as the Intellect." It
is written by Mary Renck Jalongo.

"The expressive arts--music, art, drama, dance, writing--are important because
they are a means of communicating our creative productivity and imaginative
thinking." Aditional benefits include:

1. The arts promote a "learning from the inside out", also referred to as a
an authentic learning, one that changes behavior and promotes reflection.
2. The arts enhance interpretation of symbols, ultimately very important
in learning in other disciplines which use symbolic representations such as
reading and mathematics.
3. The arts are associated with cognitive development in all areas, including
4. Through the arts, the child discovers and interprets personal meaning, a
meaning which it is more likely they will internalize, as they are actively
involved in learning as opposed to being "the passive recipient of someone
else's ready-made answers."

There are many additional reasons that the arts are important in the education
of ALL children, not just the artistically "gifted" or children from middle
or upper income families, or children expected to go on to college or have a
career in the arts. THe arts should be accessible to all children because:
1. Art is a very imporatnt method of communication, one that is basic to
all human cultures.
2. Art experiences emphasize cognitive, affective and psychomotor growth.
3. Art experiences give students the means to develop skills in problem solving.4. The integrative nature of art experiences help students to learn in all subjects.
5. Art experiences increase the students' enthusiasm for learning.
6. Art experiences develp self esteem.
7. Art experiences are a fundamental way to give form to imagination
8. Art experiences enhance students' creativity
9. Art experiences encourage students to express emotions

These are only a few of the benefits to the child of an education in the arts.
If you think about it, I am sure that you can think of many of your own to

Hope this is helpful, and good luck in your studies.
Ruth Voyles
The University of Toledo
The Toledo Museum of Art