Importance of Learning Art for Children in Modern Society
Gone are the days when Fine Art was considered to be a mandatory part of curriculum in schools; it was just about teachers teaching their students drawing, painting, theatre, music or sculpture. There are many public schools where arts as a subject is not considered important; then a few budget cuts across the country a few years back forced many public schools to either limit or completely stop their arts programs. These schools pay more attention on core subjects such as reading and math; however this practice can have serious consequences on those children who have innate talent and are inclined towards arts.
Not giving due attention to arts in this modern society could easily deprive students of building up their creativity and imagination. And in today’s world where competition is so tough and children have exposure to so many things, it is highly important to allow young children to express themselves however they feel comfortable. There is a need to understand that some children are just not about grammar and grades; they have other talents that make them artists.
Developmental benefits of Art for a child include:
- Development of cognitive and motor skills in a child
- Language development,
- Cultural awareness
- Visual learning process
- Decision making power
Around the age of three, the developmental milestones of a child include holding safety scissors properly and drawing a circle perfectly. These are the motor skills that determine child’s normal developmental process and are very important for the diagnosis of dyslexia and other such conditions. As far as language and speaking is concerned, learning about colors, pointing them out and talking about them is the early learning necessary for the beginners.
MaryAnn Kohl is an arts educator and author of numerous books about children’s art education. She says:
“If they are exploring and thinking and experimenting and trying new ideas, then creativity has a chance to blossom.”
Modern Gadgets Have a Role to Play
The visual learning process has now more importance than it had in the past. Children nowadays can handle and use mobile phones, tablets and computers more at an early age, which shows how visual graphics have an impact on their learning process. That is why clay sculptures, mud houses, art and culture of different regions taught with models and drawings can leave a stronger impact and make them more aware than reading and cramming. Why? Because, thanks to modern technological gadgets, children start to recognize shapes and illustrations before they learn to read. These gadgets have not only enhanced their imagination, but have also given them more innovative ways of thinking and expressing themselves.
“The kind of people society needs to make it move forward are thinking, inventive people who seek new ways and improvements, not people who can only follow directions. Art is a way to encourage the process and the experience of thinking and making things better!” says Kohl.
Art and Its Important Role In Child’s IQ
Research has shown that encouraging arts in children can improve their intelligence level and help them to better in academics.
This research lead educationists to implement art as a mandatory subject, especially for poor communities that cannot afford expensive art accessories and hence their cognitive and imaginative skills at every age remain suppressed. Teaching arts to these groups can reduce the socioeconomic gap between children and help them flourish equally, giving everyone equal chance to succeed and progress.
Studying art can modify brain structure and dramatically increase IQ levels of students. John Hopkins Institute conducted a study and studied the brain structures of the students studying music for four years. A dramatic change was seen in the brain and that too in a positive way.
Not sure how to introduce your child to art? This video is very informative.
Art: Not Just For the Kids
Learning and teaching arts is not only beneficial for students, but also has a positive impact on teachers. A research study conducted in 1999 showed that teachers who taught art were more satisfied with their jobs because results were fruitful and it gave them a chance to be innovative, forced them to think and create different ideas and helped develop their mental creativity along with their students.
Can Art Prevent School Dropout Rates?
Another research was conducted in 2009, which showed that the high school dropout rate was higher in public schools where Performing and Fine Art was not considered importance and wasn’t focused on. Private schools and public schools with access to this subject had a higher number of students who graduated and attended college later on. Lack of art subjects may not be the only reason for the dropout rate, but it is one of the major ones.
According to Douglas Israel in his report Staying in School, published in October, 2009:
“In New York City, the cultural capital of the world, public school students do not enjoy equal access to an art education. In fact, in schools with the lowest graduation rates—where the arts could have the greatest impact—students have the least opportunity to participate in arts learning.
Learning art, be it painting, drawing, sculpture, theatre, music or dance, can be a mind refreshing and soul soothing activity. It is not a way to express only for children, but adults as well. It brings out a different more imaginative side of your child and encourages them to be more expressive. In today’s world where progress is driven through innovation, it is very important that you allow you to child to think differently and focus on what really helps them think more and better and what makes them truly happy.