Making Room for the Arts Essay by Jessica Hoffmann Davis, EdD
As a student of artistic expression and creativity in Room 13 Quest, the child artist's clear and simple answers are fun and inspiring. funny. why again? The enjoyment children get from artistic activities is, on the one hand, the heart of the matter, but on the other hand, it is beside the point. Because fun is a word that educators too often think of as foreign.
Why should the arts be prioritized in our children's education? This is a question that Hoffmann Davis's two managers ask each year as they deal with budget and time constraints. More than any other subject, the arts are constantly being asked to justify their value to the curriculum arbiters who determine what our children learn in school. As an advocate for arts education for over half a century, I've seen this legitimacy change repeatedly with the divergent priorities of mainstream education. As a child in the 1940s, I thought making and understanding art would help me grow into a whole person who could express myself and empathize with others. These results were valued in an age of progress. In the 1950s, with the launch of the first artificial satellite, science education boomed, and art began to be classified as 'good but not necessary'. Reflecting various trends in pedagogy and psychology in subsequent decades, arts education has been promoted as contributing to a very wide range of outcomes. These include: 1) development of cognitive skills that characterize critical thinking and mind habits, such as self-initiated and self-regulating capacities; 2) acquisition of personal and interpersonal skills ranging from increased self-esteem to leadership and/or collaboration skills; 3) as a means to improve learning in non-arts (i.e., more important) subjects, increase IQ, and improve scores on standardized tests; 4) as a means to increase school attendance and reduce dropout rates (Davis, 2012).
In creating their own work and understanding the work of others, students are expected to apply and develop their imaginative skills. Thinking beyond the givens of what philosophers have called "what ifs" (Greene, 1995).
Students learn to acknowledge and find meaning in the feelings of others as they strive to understand timeless works of art and/or work created by their peers. Unlike other subjects, art teaches our children about expression and empathy. ambiguity. A work of art does not have a clear meaning like words or numbers. Works of art evoke different understandings that change with different individuals and over time.
Because art is ambiguous, art learning introduces our children to interpretation, the ability to create multiple understandings from a single piece of art.
Art learning teaches our children interpretation and respect.
Some educators argue that student polio should be called “process polio” and that its overarching goal is to acquire self-assessment skills—the ability to explain why something was done and consider its effects (Gardner, 1989).
The process orientation of art works invites our students to engage in conversations about real questions, questions that have no right or wrong answers, but which can lead to new questions that facilitate the process of creating and understanding the work of others. .
Art learning teaches our children to explore and reflect.
After your life draws or takes pictures, you will see the paintings and photos in your gallery in a new light. She will feel connected to the artists who created the work and the themes they represent. These connections are enriched and expanded when students have the privilege of working with artists in residence. When students experience the joy of being part of an ensemble, they will understand the relevance of co-creating performance pieces.
By participating in a functional studio space such as Hoffmann Davis' Room 13 Inquiry, students gain a range of life skills linked to a valuable and actionable arena: the world of art.
The sense of participation sustained by making and sharing extends beyond the moment of performance or meeting in a gallery to a profound realization of one's humanity revealed and experienced through art, that is, one's participation in the cultural landscape. And as we often see in the powerful social commentary provided by artists, there comes a sense of responsibility to one another and to the broader field of humanity.
Artistic connection introduces our students to participation in and our responsibility to the world of others.
Learning is fun. Discovering is fun. Turning our thoughts into objects is really fun. Let's not mislead students into thinking that education has a fixed trajectory. Teaching and learning are adventures full of risks and surprises.
Myungja Anna Koh