By Sharon Jones
When you think back to first becoming an adult, you may remember quite a few times exclaiming the phrase “why wasn’t I taught this in school?” It could have been anything from paying your taxes to how to insure your car. Now education is being scrutinised, made increasingly more difficult for children, and constantly raising grade expectations. There are even subjects being cut from the curriculum to encourage more enthusiasm for the core subjects. Those subjects in question fall under the more creative side of academia – The Arts. This includes drama, dance, DT, woodwork, textiles, art, illustration and so on. The question now has changed to “why should we teach art in schools”. Many argue that The Arts breed unsustainable employment, and distract children from appropriate lifestyle choices in terms of careers. However, should the future be the only thing we are concerned with when it comes to our children’s education? Or should we also take into account their well being and the constant pressure that is on them to achieve higher than average grades and to know right from wrong at such a young age? Here are a few reasons why The Arts should most definitely be taught in schools, and why it is beneficial to young students.
Pupils Learn Differently
In many classes, other than Physical Education, the students are presented with solo work where the teacher stands at the front of a silent room of children, teaching them what will be in their exams. This is only beneficial to a number of children in the room, as children all learn differently. Audio learners will definitely be benefiting the most from this sort of environment as will the reading and writing learners and the visual, however, the kinesthetic learners of the group may be falling behind. Not because they are not capable, but because some pupils simply don’t learn well in this environment. Within The Arts, there are plenty of lessons that are up on your feet, physically doing the work set out in front of you, and learning along the way. This is why many kinesthetic learners will excel in The Arts, and potentially need further help in the more academic subjects. You shouldn’t be penalised because your brain works differently to others. This is not a measure of the pupil’s intelligence; this is a case of taking information in differently to other pupils.
Aids Social Skills and Encourages Teamwork
Two of the most employable qualities a person can have are being able to work in a team, and the ability to communicate effectively with other employees and customers. The Arts – especially drama – allow pupils to work in a team and present ideas to one another. Not only will they gain initiative, but they will also be able to comprehend constructive criticism and ideas not being taken on board by the group, without taking either to heart. The Arts also teach good public speaking, thinking outside the box, and being confident in your own ability. All extremely attractive skills and qualities when evidenced on a curriculum vitae.
The Arts has always been top of the list when it comes to funding cuts, so it’s important to not to have cuts made to education also.