Art Education Philosophy
Art education plays a crucial role for the world's inhabitants. Generally, our cultures are visual; people learn from, and are influenced by, what they see. Thus, it is important to understand the heavily visual society in which we are immersed.
From a young age, all people are artists. In my experience, elementary aged boys and girls all show great aptitude in the arts. They are inquisitive, creative, imaginative, and willing to experiment and play. Often, students lose these artistic abilities as they grow older; the traits that would allow them to be successful in any occupation are suppressed and become dormant. A healthy education in the arts provides individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful regardless of the path they choose in life or the sector in which they work.
I greatly support cross-curricular learning as the integration of art into other subjects enriches any topic. In my classroom, art becomes a tool to teach students who learn using multiple intelligences, and emphasises lessons learned in other subjects. This allows instructors to come together using various forms of assessment to better monitor students' comprehension, and encourage intellectual growth.
From art classes, students learn skill sets; specific physical skills, critical thinking skills, and the theories behind their work. They learn from seeing demonstrations, visual examples, reading directions, hearing instructions, and making their own projects. The goal of this type of teaching is to deepen understanding and give students the chance to apply their knowledge in other areas.
Through this process students also learn the hidden curriculum. They learn how to envision the outcome of an idea, and plan a project. They learn how to make their ideas a reality, and how to give and receive positive criticism. In this curriculum, students also learn how to appropriately interact with their peers and work toward a common goal. Perhaps most importantly, students learn that they are connected to something which they have made with their own hands, heart, and mind; giving them pride and confidence in their abilities.
It is imperative that humans continue to feel this connection and the need to create. Art Education is not simply about learning to be an artist, but rather learning that everyone possesses creative capability and how it can be applied. It is important to be aware of this inner artist, so that humanity may continue to progress as an innovative species.