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 work. Often times however, students “lose” their artistic abilities as they grow older; the traits that would allow them to be successful in any occupation become dormant. As an art educator, it is my belief that a healthy education in the arts provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful regardless of the path they choose in life.
I greatly support cross-curricular learning as the integration of art into other subjects easily enriches any topic. In my classroom art becomes a tool to teach students who learn using multiple intelligences, and emphasizes lessons learned in other subjects. This allows instructors to come together using various forms of assessment to better monitor their students' comprehension.
In my art room, 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 about learning to be an artist, but rather learning that everyone possesses creative capability. It is important to be aware of this inner artist, so that humanity may continue to progress as a creative and innovative species.