School is about getting an education and preparing students for the future. From the very beginning, it molds students into who they will grow up to be and what they will do. Children need to learn a little of everything in order to spark their interest. Not only should school make people well rounded in many topics but also helps them seek further knowledge in a subject whether that is in a core subject or the arts. It gets them ready for life after school when they will be out in the real world having a career. However, the lack of art programs in school is a problem. Art programs have been continuously eliminated throughout the years. Schools focus on standardize testing and trying to improve their students’ scores. Schools enforce the core classes of English, Science, Math, and History, leaving no time for kids to take what little art classes they offer. “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” This is a famous quote by Pablo Picasso. If schools keep getting rid of arts programs than the artist in the child will not be able to emerge. The question is not what arts can do for other subjects in schools but what arts can do for a person. Therefore, my advice is that we make sure that the school districts increase funding and continue to provide these art programs from theater, art, dance, band, and much more for all ages.
In 2002, the federal government passed the No Child Left Behind Act, which was to boosts test scores in literacy and mathematics (Arts and Smarts 1). This however drills in the basic knowledge that teachers know will be on the standard test in order to make sure their students pass. These tests do not allow the kids think, they just memorize what they have to. Jessica Hoffmann Davis, the founder of the Arts in Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School and a cognitive developmental psychologist adds that the “No Child left Behind at has sapped the energy and passion out of our classrooms. Standardized testing is leaving everyone behind- teachers and kids- with this heavy preoccupation on what we can measure… Strength lies beyond the measurable” (Arts and Smarts 4). Students need to learn how to be creative and innovative for the future. That is where the arts come in from visual art, musical art, to kinesthetic art.
Hetland and Winner published a book called “Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Art Education.” They worked in a high school art class where they found a specific set of thinking skills that they called “Studio habits of mind” where students learn from their mistakes and push ahead of any obstacle. They must commit themselves and follow through on their work. They also learn how to “envision” which where they think about what they cannot see. This tool could be helpful in science when generating a hypothesis (Arts and Smarts 4).
The arts are good for kids of all ages and these days we have research to prove it. Ellen Winner also did a four-year...