Art education is often underestimated by many who believe that school was created to teach only analytical concepts such as mathematics and literature. However, research has shown that art courses are important, even necessary for students in elementary, middle, and high schools. These art classes may include not only visual arts but performing arts such as dance, theatre and choir. Barbara Streisand said, “Art does not exist only to entertain, but also to challenge one to think, to provoke, even to disturb, in a constant search for the truth,” (Quotations). Streisand points out that there are multiple benefits to art whether it be painted by a brush or sung from the heart. Art has the ability to allow people to see situations from different points of view not merely to look beautiful as decoration. Those who believe that art education is unimportant are simply ignorant to the benefits that involvement in the arts holds for not just the individual but for society in general. While some in society may not recognize the immediate results. Art education is beneficial to students in primary and secondary schools.
Art education is defined as a specific occupational area where the subject art is taught within a public or private school system. Because art classes are publicly funded, classes are provided to students who show artistic talent and those who do not (Salmon 103). The use of art can be dated back to the days of the Neanderthal, and until the Italian Renaissance, art was only considered culturally important and was not taught (DeHoyas). At the birth of the United States of America, male and female students were taught different forms of art, where the boys’ art was typically more functional. The teachings of art were often private until the 1870’s when art education was welcomed into the American public school system (DeHoyas). During the early twentieth century, art education was seen as unproductive and more often not cost effective. However, in the 1950’s opinions about art education made a drastic change as Americans craved more self-expression. Art education began to flourish as the importance of art involvement became known (DeHoyas).
Figure 1 represents the answers of 97 people when they were asked whether art education was important in school from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. 100% of them answered that art education was important. This poll was conducted using people of various ages, demographics, and backgrounds (Saal).
With the utilization of visual and performing arts, students can begin to enhance their personal growth. By producing original works, enjoying the time spent on the piece of art, and having a sense of pride in one’s accomplishments, an art student will experience an increase in self-esteem and confidence (Importance). A child who receives praise for their art work from parents and teachers will most likely be more positive in their artistic abilities. For example, when a child brings a painting...