Do you know what the top ten things students learn from the Arts are? No? That is okay neither did I until recently, since everyone is influenced but not aware of the benefits of the Arts. Here are the top ten benefits:
- Problem Solving
- Non-Verbal Communication
- Receiving Constructive Feedback
There are five areas of the Arts in our school. Firstly and one of the most popular are the art and ceramics classes. Secondly, are the cooking, sewing, and childcare courses. Thirdly, is the woodworking and technology classes. Fourth and also fairly popular are the web design and Photoshop courses. Last but not least and widely known through the school are the music classes and the high school shows. In the past there were seven teachers who cover these areas. Yet due to our new budgeting, we currently only have five teachers for each subject.
I asked teachers whose subjects are based around the Arts, about how they feel about the Arts and how they feel our lives would be affected if we did not have those classes.
Mrs. Howarth is the teacher of our home economics courses. Her official area of expertise is Clothing and Foods as well as Family and Consumer Science. She feels that reduction of the arts in public schools is upsetting and will cause the population to become less creative. For example, purchasing clothes instead of making them, or buying fast food instead of cooking home meals. On the positive side, she loves what she does. She may cook all day then go home and make a whole new meal. Mrs. Howarth states that the greatest skill students can learn from her courses is self-confidence.
Mrs. Marzano teaches the visual computer classes. These classes are in the business department and not the arts, but the creativity students use in her classes, such as Photoshop, graphic design, and digital publishing, are very appealing. She feels that its a shame that some districts have cut these courses because of low funds. She feels that the tools she teaches her students in her classes are skills they can carry into their future studies and careers.
Mr. Gulich holds the reins in the woodshop and technology courses. Technically, he takes care of the design and implementation of graphics, automotive, and furniture, both academically and trade professionally. Its safe to say he likes what he does. Mr. Gulich finds enjoyment in giving people any tool they can use to become experienced “well read” society members. The greatest thing to learn? The ability to use infinite knowledge, skills, and information to help them succeed in life is what students achieve in his class. He thinks that any reduction of any education affects all society, and makes us become a more dependent on others.
The following is a video by Dr. Peter Benson, a leading authority on human development. During this seminar, he talks about how youth thrive with extracurricular activities and participation in the arts. One thing in particular he says is that there are eighty million kids from age zero to eighteen in America, out of that eighty million, one quarter are on a pathway to human thriving, and youth are n0t vessels to be filled, but fires to be lit.
“Any arts builds a skill that people can use to tackle challenges in life from choosing a career that suits their life, evaluating media, to something as simple as decorating their bathroom. Without exposure at school, some people may never have the opportunity to build these skills.”