WHY ART EDUCATION MATTERS
Crafts in Art
Teaching art or teaching to think like an artist? | Cindy Foley | TEDxColumbus
What is the purpose and value of Art education in the 21st Century? Foley makes the case the Art’s critical value is to develop learners that think like Artists which means learners who are creative, curious, that seek questions, develop ideas, and play. For that to happen society will need to stop the pervasive, problematic and cliché messaging that implies that creativity is somehow defined as artistic skill. This shift in perception will give educators the courage to teach for creativity, by focusing on three critical habits that artist employ, 1. Comfort with Ambiguity, 2. Idea Generation, and 3. Transdisciplinary Research. This change can make way for Center’s for Creativity in our schools and museums where ideas are king and curiosity reigns.
ART FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
In ART 4140, Art Education for the Special Child, students are introduced to a wide variety of art strategies and instructional adaptations for use with the child with physical, emotional or mental differences.
So, what’s the evidence?Research has consistently demonstrated that involvement in the arts increases student achievement across all subject areas, as well as social and adaptive skills. Part of this is due to the multi-sensory nature of the arts: memory and cognition improve when academic content is combined with color-coding, movement, rhythm, sound phrases, textures and other sensory input.
For example, when my son draws a diagram, map or visual interpretation for homework, he is more likely to remember the key terms and concepts. Medical studies have found that participation in creative arts reduces stress, which in turn enhances the ability to learn. In addition, because procedural memory is more reliable than short-term memory, the daily drills and routines of music, dance and drama classes allow a person with special needs to retain that knowledge and experience.
But for therapeutic goals, music therapy has the largest body of evidence to support its efficacy for students in special education, especially those with autism . Scientists hypothesize that music engages the mirror neuron system in the human brain, which supports development in sensory-motor integration, speech and social skills. Music therapy can be individualized to accomplish goals in fine motor skills, speech, social skills, emotional processing and memory.