In Defense of the Arts: Book Study Expert Commentary for Chapter 25 (Week 13)

Published on: November 23, 2015

Filled Under: Beyond The Pages, Books, Guest Speakers

Views: 7139

What If Book Study Marketing PicThis week we are discussing Chapter 25: In Defense of the Arts. Laurie Greeninger will provide insight and lead our discussion this week. Just joining us? Get all the book study details HERE.

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In Chapter 25, In Defense of the Arts, Rae starts out the chapter with a recent article in the Washington Post about a school that cancelled their Kindergarten show because somehow it made sense, considering all the demands on schools today.  This takes me back to when I first started working as an art teacher in Southern Minnesota in the late 80’s.  I quickly realized that art teachers and art programs were “hit and miss” in many schools and if you had your own classroom and an adequate budget for materials, you were considered quite lucky.  It was part of our professional responsibility to speak loudly regarding the arts and get involved to advocate locally and beyond, or you might find your own art program and position reduced or eliminated entirely.  So are we really still having these conversations twenty-five years later? Haven’t we gained any more respect?  Yes and yes.

I believe that we have gained ground, however, I also believe that the arts will always be part of the conversation when it comes to school budgeting and increasing curricular demands.  We just have to make sure that we have someone at the bargaining table that can continue speaking out and making sure that the arts are part of every child’s education.  Teachers have a voice too and leadership in the classroom to offer the most captivating educational experience possible.  In order to do that, they must include the arts in the school day to reach children of all ages, all learning styles, left-brain or right-brain learners, and children from all cultures, backgrounds, and abilities.

There is no question that the arts in all disciplines benefit children of all ages, especially the early childhood classroom.  Rae lists many of those benefits in Chapter 25.  Valerie Strauss, in a Washington Post article dated January 22, 2013, lists the Top 10 skills children learn from the arts.  Elliot Eisner’s 10 Lessons the Arts Teach, printed by the National Arts Education Association in 2002, provides ten more good reasons to offer arts programming in your classroom and get parents and administration on board at your school.

But the arts also benefit people of all ages.  Research is showing that creating art benefits older adults in numerous physical and emotional ways, offering an opportunity to stay active, engaged and social.  In the last year, I participated in a professional development course with a nonprofit organization in Minnesota called Artsage (www.artsagemn.org) where artists of all disciplines received training to work with older adults in independent living, senior centers, and care centers around the state.  Dr. Gene D. Cohen, an American psychiatrist who pioneered research into geriatric mental health, argued that “the brain would continue creating new cells at any age so long as it was engaged in new and challenging intellectual activities.”  He paved the way for more creative opportunities for older adults and a tremendous need in the years to come.  There is certainly a correlation between creative art activities and lifelong learning skills.  French painter Georges Braque said, “With age, art and life become one.”  Abraham Maslow believed that “creativity is a characteristic given to all human beings at birth.”  Doesn’t it make sense to nurture that part of us that is innate in all of us?

So how important is creativity now and do we really need it in the Information Age?  We have witnessed the evolution of technology in daily life and the modernization of information and communication processes and yes, it has changed our classrooms.  But the importance of creativity now is quite astounding.  From my graduate studies, my thesis happened to be called, “Creativity in the 21st Century” and my research showed that creativity was the number one skill needed in the 21st century.  Mark Batey’s article in Psychology Today on February 7, 2011, entitled, “Is Creativity the Number 1 Skill for the 21st Century?” agrees.  In this article he states, “Leaders will need to be creative (solve problems in new and useful ways) to stay abreast of rapid change.  Further, they will need to orchestrate and encourage creativity across all the levels for which creativity is important.  They will need to identify and develop creativity in individuals, build and nurture creativity in teams and set the culture and align processes to promulgate creativity throughout the whole organization.”  These are skills that are practiced and nurtured in a typical arts class.  So please do not cancel the shows, the plays, drawing and painting, storytelling, singing and dancing from your school day because we need the arts now more than ever!  What are your thoughts?

Laurie GLaurie Greeninger is a K-12 art instructor and arts advocate in Minnesota who holds a M.A. degree in Arts Administration and a B.S. degree in Art Education.  Laurie’s teaching style is one that encourages creativity and innovation by using instructional practices that stimulate critical thinking, combine interdisciplinary learning, and connect with the individual child.  As a volunteer and arts advocate, Laurie has served on the Board of Directors for the East Central Arts Council, Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council and the Art Educators of Minnesota.  She was awarded a Middle School Art Educator of the Year Award from the Art Educators of Minnesota and a Leadership Award from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

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Please share/retweet this post! Let us know that you’re participating in this study. We’d love to hear from you about your thoughts regarding Chapter 25 and the commentary that Laurie has provided. Your voice matters – participate in the dialogue and share your ideas here! (Comment below) If you’ve chosen to blog about what you’ve read on your own site, link back and share your post with us here. Perhaps you have a burning question about something that you read in one of these chapters… we have a feature for that – Ask The Author! That’s right, Rae Pica will be available throughout this live study to answer your questions. #AskAuthor

What to read next: Chapter 27: Bribes and Threats Work, But… and Chapter 28: Time to Give Time-out and Time-out (11/23/15).

*If you’re a MN participant seeking training hours, please visit this link to access to requirements.

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45 Responses to In Defense of the Arts: Book Study Expert Commentary for Chapter 25 (Week 13)

  1. Rae Pica says:

    Thank you, Laurie! It is indeed sad that we’re still having this conversation 25 years later, but at least we now have a great deal of research with which to advocate for the arts. I’m sure the blog study participants here will be grateful for the additional resources you provided!

  2. Mike Huber says:

    When my daughter was 8 or 9, I told her, “I wonder if you’re going to be a scientist or an artist when you grow up. (She was prone to do things like build a loom on the floor of the living room). She looked at me somewhat exasperated and said, “Dad, they’re the same thing.” I don’t think I could say anything smarter than that.

  3. Jen Nagorski says:

    I think Mike’s daughter hit the nail on the head. We need to stop seeing “the arts” a something separate from other academic subjects. We know we need children to become good problem solvers in order to succeed in a multitude of endeavors as adults (school, work, personal life). It seems to me that fostering creativity is the best way to teach problem solving skills. When a child is in a creative environment, the very point of the activity is to think outside the box and to be focused on the process, not the product. Their imagination knows no limits, and isn’t that what we want in our world’s future problem solvers?
    I wonder also if schools would view the arts differently if these creative activities (art, music, theater) were more intentionally intertwined with other disciplines. While most of us know that learning about music certainly has implications for mathematics and English, I wonder if we need to be more vocal in creating and identifying these synergies. Easier said than done, I’m sure, but perhaps a worthwhile perspective.
    It’s interesting to read this chapter right after reading about technology, as often times it seems like we are trading the arts for technology—pencils for keyboards—human interaction for virtual connections.

  4. Jane says:

    Rae, I really appreciated your challenge to encourage creative problem solving. The arts including: music, singing, instruments, dance, acting, writing, speaking, painting, drawing, and sculpture stimulate creative expression in a child that infiltrate all aspects of learning and the process of problem solving. Early Childhood education can provide the opportunity to inspire a child to enjoy becoming a life long learner.
    I was also inspired by Jennifer’s comment “What do we value, and what kind of people do we want to have in the world?” We need to spend time instilling the value of creatively solving problems as well as allowing for social skill development to raise a generation of children confident and able to face the challenges of the world.

  5. Rae Pica says:

    From the mouths of babes, huh, Mike? : )

    Jen and Jane…beautifully stated.

  6. Sarah Fritsch says:

    I do feel that we have to be advocates for the arts like Laurie. I agree with Jen that we have to give examples of how creative projects help to develop all those “lifelong skills.” I do an activity with my parenting groups where they name some careers they would like their children to have, then we brainstorm skills that they would need for that career. I then discuss how these skills are developed through creative play. Once this is explained to parents a light bulb seems to go off! I need to start doing this activity at school board meetings:) Thank you Laurie for the links, I will be sharing them.

  7. Dianne says:

    The arts are very important in developing creativity in children. It is something that more and more children lack in as they grow up. I hear many adults say that they just aren’t creative. Maybe more exposure and experiences as children would develop that creativity. I agree that people need to keep advocating to keep arts in the schools even when budget cuts need to be made. There is no replacement for the developmental benefits children receive from them.

  8. Kim Woehl says:

    “Is creativity not necessary in all aspects of life?” (page 119). I think it is. As a young child I loved playing in sensory stuff. Mud, sand, and paint. I loved the way the mediums smelled, the way in which they moved across the paper, canvas or play space.

    Sadly, when I see art being defined even in early educational settings it is craft rather than art and while I can see objectives that might fit with craft, it is far different than the experiences and thought processes that go into creative art.

    Creative art is open ended and allows the child to know when they are finished. Children are allowed to choose from the materials they wish. Sometimes children will struggle to get the effect they want and as a result they learn or problem solve how else they might do it.

    Over the years I watch children add paint and more paint until they have a messy, soggy brown blob in the center of their paper. To the unskilled eye, we might say that the child has made a mess but rather they have learned how different colors blend to make this end result, they have learned that there might be a point when we have enough on the paper. They might be working those fine motor skills as they use a variety of tools including their own hands. There is decision making and often social skills come into play as others observe and comment on what they see.

    When do we decide we are not creative? Who told us this and why did we believe it? How could be better support children’s curiosity around learning. As the little girl shared earlier. Science and art are indeed the same things. There are many other areas of learning that are explored through the arts as well and we must be cognizant of the many learning styles that would benefit from arts in the classroom.

  9. Rae Pica says:

    You make so many good points here, Kim! Yes…definitely more art than craft going on in early childhood settings. And more imitation than creation.

    When do we decide we’re not creative? I think creativity gets sucked out of us as we come to realize the importance of “one right answer” and conformity throughout our school years.

  10. Kim Woehl says:

    Rae – I ponder this question all of the time. In infancy children learn that if they have a poor caregiver, it will make no difference if they cry or not as no one will come. So they stop asking to be nurtured and cared for. Just how young are children before we realize that creativity doesn’t matter. I am reminded of a song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cVpkzZpDBA

  11. Rae Pica says:

    And things have only gotten worse since Harry wrote that song!

  12. Heather Q says:

    http://hqtoddlers.blogspot.com/2016/06/art-is-scienceand-math-and-physical.html

    This chapter and the following commentary bring to mind two stories. One was an art teacher I had telling me that I was unskilled as an artist and should give up trying, and one of my dads cousin who was struggling in math until she put her math book on the piano and discovered that trigonometry was all music.

  13. Cindy Kish says:

    I also believe we have to start the child’s interest in the arts. To many people and school boards are cutting or forgetting about the arts. I can’t even count how many times when my children took a project home the parent looked at it and said I forgot about doing this, I haven’t seen something like this since I was in grade school or I didn’t think any one did this type of art any more. One of the projects I let my 4 to 6 year olds do is stamp leather key rings, I have so many parents impressed by this and children happy because mom or dad are using the project the child made for them. I try to make the projects fun and new for the children but also something a parent will want to show off.

  14. Diana M says:

    Growing up, my parents made sure I was involved in some sort of fine arts activity. (Ended up being mostly band and choir) I remember as a kid not really wanting to practice my instruments and thinking it was useless. But as an adult, I am so thankful that I have abilities in those areas because as I got older, I was able to use those skills to be a part of some amazing experiences that I otherwise would not have been able to participate in! And as others have pointed out, more and more employers are looking for people with creativity because it’s only through new ideas that businesses, companies, etc can grow and progress. The arts are so vital because they allow children to self express in so many unique ways that aren’t available in other areas of study. I agree that as teachers we should continue to advocate and generate interest in the arts.

  15. Rachel D says:

    It is so sad to see the arts being put on the back burner or even being pushed aside completely. I wish more funding could go to keeping the arts in schools. I agree with the statement that the arts can be found and incorporated in many aspects of school. It is also surprising that the teachers who decided to cancel the kindergarten show did not see the benefits of putting on a show. When so many companies want individuals that can work as a team, are creative, have persistence, focus and are reliable. All experiences that they could have gained experience in by having the show. Hopefully more schools are realizing how important the arts are and won’t cancel anymore productions that they feel get in the way of children becoming “college and career ready.”

  16. Samantha Miller says:

    I find it so sad that today’s children are deprived of the arts. Art class was one of my favorite subjects in school. It’s a hands on approach which children need to grow and develop. We are encouraging our children that they can grow up and do anything they want which includes artist. Some children’s only avenue and true passion is arts. If we deprive them of this they will have no passion to strive to achieve. This can only mean setting some children up for failure. Not every student learns the same way if we don’t give multiple ways to teach some children will fail. Every child should have the opportunity to try classes that will help them succeed as an adult. Many subjects that I took I don’t use the knowledge that I was taught. Let’s give all children what they as individuals need to succeed!

  17. Freda says:

    If only people would relax, take a step back and just allow children learn to co exist instead of compete with one another in every possible way, life would be much better in society today. There is a big difference in solving a problem by oneself and solving same problem with a team. Team work is always better but most times, because of what adults have instilled in the children (to be better than their peers) there is always an issue to work together.

  18. Nikki Shapiro says:

    Supporting the arts is a passion of mine. Three of my children have been involved in the choir programs in their schools and two have gone on to college to continue singing (not as majors but for social and fun.) We learn so much through the arts – problem solving, science, math, creative thinking, teamwork, fine motor skills, etc. Young children are learning science skills when they are mixing paint colors together on their paper. They are learning fine motor skills by holding the paint brush, stick, feather or item of their choosing for painting. They learn math by learning the rhythms and patterns in a song. And music is a great way to teach concepts to children. Singing something can often help them remember a story or set of skills that you would like them to remember. Cooperation and social emotional skills are developed when children are using puppets to “put on a play for their friends.” We need the arts!

  19. Marcy Dragseth says:

    I feel the arts are very important for children to express themselves. It’s fun just to watch what children come up with when you give them supplies and let their mind and hands do the work.

    I don’t see the difference in any other skill set. It is the same with these overseers. Do we use our hands and minds with these. Scientist, architects, chefs etc… Arts are just as important. It is all what you are passionate about. In having arts in school it makes kids think out of the box. Not following just one path. But making your own. What a terrific lifelong skill to have.

  20. Kelly North says:

    I agree with the majority of people whom expressed that we need the arts, how else do you become creative, have focus and learn how to work as a team. We want all kids and adults to succeed in school and life and having the arts is a step in the right direction.!

  21. Yi Ling (Ivy) Flanders says:

    I love to teach art, get them creative on learning different subjects, to see things in different side of view. To guide them to the idea and get them ask interesting questions. I like to teach an lesson that idea including all subjects so kids can connect the concepts easily throughout their learning in daily life.

  22. Kirsten Barie says:

    I agree with Laurie Greeninger when she points out that the arts are beneficial for all ages. I was struggling with this a little bit over this past year when my 8th grader approached me about attending the local performing arts high school (free) for her high school years and to focus on dance. My concerns were that the curriculum and expectations were not as high as our current school district nearby and that she “would not be as well prepared to get into college”. Over the course of this past school year I think I have become open to the fact that children learn in different ways and through different experiences. I am excited to see what the next four years will bring for her. On a side note, about how the arts are good for all ages, I, too, started dance classes at the young age of 42! I love every minute of it and boy does it exercise your brain as well as your body! Hooray for the arts!

  23. Steph Kallinen says:

    Just like taking recess and PE out of the schools I think that the lack of the arts also contributes to behavior problems and lack of concentration in kids. If they are not allowed to use their hand and create of course they will have problems sitting for “formal lessons”. The arts are an important part of active learning.

  24. Kathryn says:

    It is a shame that we are teaching our children as young as Kindergarten, that only certain skills are worth learning and having in order to succeed both in school and in the outside community and world. That only will lead us down a path where they will only think “inside the box” so to speak. They will not have the resiliency to try and use creative methods to solve the problems that they will encounter socially, emotionally, mentally, and physically. My thoughts are that children need to be exposed to everything possible to learn their strengths, weaknesses and hopes and dreams. They can’t do the work with only half of the tools they need in their toolboxes.

  25. Samantha says:

    When I was in school 12-15 years ago we were limited to what classes were offered. When I worked in a school couple years ago, I notice many more choices for kids. Including welding art or wood work. Watching the kids build their own work off what they have learned was fun. I love doing art now but never really did in high school. With my high school knowledge I have known what to do or how to paint. Math and reading are wonderful but how does one learn or continue the creativity they started as a little kid! How much fun is that?

  26. Shari Ernst says:

    I think like all things in life these kids need a good balance. They should be exposed to a wide variety of things. Including reading, writing, pottery, music, drawing, etc. Each child needs to learn their individual likes and dislikes. How will they know is we don’t expose them to all things? I think school is a great place to explore all these topics.

  27. Melissa D says:

    The arts are such a great avenue for self expression and learning. Being able to cooperate isn’t something you are going to be able to learn sitting at a desk…it is going to be learned by trying navigate situations with other people. The benefits of a creative outlet shouldn’t be overlooked, there is a place for creative arts within the larger umbrella of education; it shouldn’t be an all or nothing situation.

  28. Karlee O says:

    What I found stunning about this chapter is that the letter to the parents was from the principal and the kindergarten teachers. Throughout this study we’ve blamed politicians and policymakers with no understanding of child development for the shortcomings of the current school system. But in this instance the actual teachers and principal who are supposed to be advocates for childhood development are the ones wronging the students. It’s remarkable because this whole time I’ve been thinking, surely all teachers know these things, if only everyone knew (as the title suggests). But there are educators out there who are forsaking common sense in favor of the agenda of the ignorant policymakers.

  29. Jill B says:

    I love the idea of allowing children to demonstrate their comprehension of a subject the the medium of their choice. Not only is art not valued and being removed, it frequently is dictated and graded based on what the instructor wants it to be or thinks it should be. Art can be self-expression, stress relief, a brain break as discussed in earlier chapters and a way to communicate that kids may be otherwise unable to do so. If there was a way to test art in a standardized test, I wonder what value would be placed on it. There are so many ways to engage different regions of the brain and art and creativity are essential to that. If there is no freedom to explore art, what will happen in and after college when all kids can do is regurgitate text book infoemation? What new inventions, cures, ideas will come about?

  30. Amy Carter says:

    I’m so happy my kids have art and music in their schools. My kids absolutely love both. And their music concerts are a big deal. They feel so excited and proud of themselves. I think if my kids school canceled a kindergarten program to “study” I would probably be looking into a different school for them to attend… What a narrow way to thing. Their idea was to further their education when in fact, in my opinion, they are greatly stunting it.

  31. MARY MARTIN says:

    I truly believe that having all the different arts available to all ages makes a great impact on their lives. Having a multitude of choices available is exactly what they need. If they don’t have those options how do they figure out their interests. All the arts available to them help them in making decision, problem solving, motor skills, imagination. Seriously stop taking away the things that help them want to try new things. Trying new things is part of trial and error. I also agree with the statement that parents strive to teach the children that it is so important to be better than others keeps children from wanting to brainstorm with each. Which in turn helps them to work together to accomplish the activity at hand. We as adults use the brainstorming in many of our daily decisions, how can that not be an awesome skill for children to learn as they grow. If we keep taking the child level of learning away I feel we will just continue to loose more children to the “who cares” attitude and then what happens to the future.

  32. Tasha Martin says:

    Art is a huge factor of life in my house hold. My children have access to every kind of hard and I encourage that over anything else. I think it works their brain to think outside the box and help them learn maybe some amazing qualities they hold. I encourage music of all types but art is really where I focus, We do play doh, painting, coloring we have scalping kids, different fun boxes of all kinds of goodies they can use and create there own stuff. We have even tried different things such as sewing and making objects, they help cook as well. Creativity is one thing I love to see in all children it shows me into their mind and how they see things.

  33. Arissa Kordell says:

    While growing up my mom had one rule when deciding my high school classes and that was that we needed to be in either band or choir. I was in band until I graduated high school. We need to allow for our children to create and have creative minds. If we provide them with the necessary tools they will be able to have open ended creativity. This allows our kids to explore the creative environment with no limitations. My daycare kids absolutely love arts and crafts and music. We spend a big portion of our day creating and learning through that creativity. I love being able to teach the kids through our crafts and music. We listen to preschool songs and dance to the ABC’S, we use stamps and ink to spell words, we use sponges to paint shapes. All these tools I have provided for the kids allows them to learn through the arts. When I have interviews this is my biggest focus when I discuss our preschool program to parents. Last week we focused on the color yellow. Most of our crafts included the color yellow in some shape. We used yellow paint and markers, yellow paper, yellow pipe cleaners, and yellow pompoms. By the end of the week the one child who was struggling with remembering what the color yellow was had it down. And he learned it all by having fun throughout the week.

  34. Laura says:

    I believe in art and I admit within my childcare I don’t think that I do enough art… I make sure that I have the children participate in an art project a couple times a week. The look on a child’s face when mom and dad come to pick them up and the child is so incredibly proud to show them the project that they completed. This chapter has made me come to realize that I need to spend more time working and playing with art and making masterpieces. We love dance parties and listening to all different kinds of music.

  35. Kora says:

    You can tell that Rae was 100% against taking out any Arts the children could be involved with. My daughter is in 3rd grade and just to be able to sing in music, she has to go to an after school program. She wouldn’t even have Christmas concerts or anything if she wasn’t in music after school. I think it is sad. She loves anything to do with liberal arts. I’m hoping to get her into a play this summer, but it is just sad that it isn’t even offered through the school.

  36. Bobbie S says:

    So I love art and craft time. Just to stand and watch as children from 2-12 make hearts and cards for holiday for mom. I don’t need anything just to watch kids together making something for their mom and to see all the creative cookie decorations or they cute sayings for I love my mom it is amazing!

  37. Susan J Allery says:

    No more free thinkers, artists or dancers? How sad would that world be.

  38. Joni Helmeke says:

    As a preschool teacher, it comes naturally to incorporate academic concepts into the arts and the idea that they be separated or exclusive doesn’t sit well. I won’t send my children to an elementary school that doesn’t understand the need for creativity or be the least bit creative themselves in their approach to teaching, since that is the way children are naturally wired.

  39. Terri VanHoudt says:

    I am a child who hated Art class in school, i grew up in the 70’s. I thought of myself as totally clueless when it came to art. I couldn’t draw a person that looked like a real person, they looked like someone that maybe just stepped out of Area 51! It did seem when i maybe had done something i was proud of, i got a average grade on it. It was also the time when parents weren’t really into school, at least my parents. All they cared about were the grades on the report card. Some kids thought of Art as one of those slide through classes, but not me, i worked for every C i got.
    Now that i am older i really see the injustice that was done to me and others. I am 58 and i dabble in crafts of all sorts. Am i great at them…don’t care. LOL
    I see a lot of daycare providers who post the projects on facebook sites and the crafts are all so perfect. I have to laugh when i see them, who much of this is the child or the provider. I once took a class where it says you should ask the child to sign the picture(preschooler) or whatever they are making. But not for you to write a legible name even on the back in front of them. They were talking about how it devalues their signature. Which i understand. They said to ask before you write anything on it.
    The main extracurricular activity the schools supports are sports. Which is only a selected few who step out of their comfort zone and try out. Then it is only the Very few who Actually get picked and of those fewer who actually get to play. Art is such a all inclusive program. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, or how good you are or are not at math. I think it puts everyone on a more even playing field if you will. It brings out the creativity in a child and uses a lot of skills, mind to paper and then problem solving skills. It is terrible that so many teachers buy art supplies out of their own pockets. The people up behind the big desks at the capital have no clue what is going on!

  40. Jessica Kabogoza says:

    It’s funny to me that when are kids are babies we are so intent that they know their colors and shapes. We get so excited when they can draw us something and tell us about it. We praise them when they make us something out of random art supplies and present it to us proudly. Why then is it something some want to take away so quickly when they hit the age of 5? There are so, so many concepts that can be taught through art. Dance can teach physics, mixing paint colors can teach chemistry, building and clay model of a human or animal can teach biology. One of the best things about it is that it’s such a hands on learning experience which has been proven to help children retain information a lot more than just reading it out of a book.

  41. Liz says:

    My preschoolers love art. They spend hours creating, and what they are creating is an original. It fun to see them so happy with their creations. At times I ponder the use of all the paper, glue, glitter etc as being wasteful, but then I see their smiles and know that they are learning.

  42. Nallely says:

    Art supposes creation and tends to develop skills, virtuosity, and abilities to act, interpret or do something. Art here will be understood as a human activity in which a personal vision is expressed that represents the lived or imagined reality. This expression and representation can be through a variety of plastic, dance, syntactic forms that presuppose denoted and connoted, written or spoken, musical levels of meaning – whether sung or instrumental. The art is not only the practical realization that tends to be perfected, it is also reasoning and intellectual interpretation oriented to understand those practices and to endow them with an explicit and communicable sense through the logos. When children are young and interested in art, they must be allowed to express their creativity because it is very important for their integral development. When a child wants to paint with markers, with wax, with his fingers, when he molds with play dough … everything is art for the little ones. Art is a language that will make the child express itself through different elements and it will be creativity and imagination that have a more important role in this whole process. Art for children is a way of life and has many benefits.
    There are artistic forms, such as music or dance that do not suppose a logical structure. However, I believe, in the field of education, it will often be convenient to encourage them to be analyzed as part of the lived experience, to be interpreted through logical reasoning, especially when this helps us to better understand the implicit relationships that define or inaugurate a valuable action. When the child draws paints or performs other activities of plastic expression, without realizing it, he will be expressing emotions and sensations, even those that are deeper inside his being, because emotions are present in us since we are born.
    Art is a way of feeling life and by becoming aware of the world children become, almost without realizing better human beings, by the fact that it is so easy to express their inner world in a way that also encourages them to create, learn and innovate. As if it were not enough, children’s art enhances their intellectual capacities, but also with the communication between parents and children at a very early age because through drawings, play-doh, painting and even dancing … parents will know a little more about their children. Why does this happen? Because it helps to have more fun and therefore the effective bond will be increased.

  43. Laura Borchardt says:

    In chapter 25 of the book Rae shows the importance of the arts in the classroom. She points out that policy makers have been taking the arts out of schools to try and improve test scores when in fact the opposite seems to be true. At the preschool level it is very easy to add in songs and dance for learning and art expression with different materials. I find that it relieves stress in children when they are able to express themselves in such a way. They can also have projects and pictures to show their teachers and parents. You can see the amount of pride they have in their work when they show you. This builds their confidence helping them in their overall daily experience. It is an area of their day that they have complete control of in a day filled with routine.

  44. Anna Patnode says:

    Week 13 – 8/20/18
    Reading – chapter 25
    The arts are so important and teach so many valuable lessons that are well beyond art. I think this is something everyone knows but somehow gets trumped by a deeper need for what some rank as more important academics. Having four of my own children in public school I’m thankful for the way arts is still very much a part of their school day, we also try to encourage them at home as much as possible, having craft supplies, outdoor creative time, and music lessons. I feel this combination is allowing my children to flourish. I hope with continued advocating acts can make a great comeback instead of the steady decline.

  45. DeAnna Stowe says:

    According to Cambridge Dictionary, Art is defined as, the making or doing of something whose purpose is to bring pleasure to people through their enjoyment of what is beautiful and interesting, or things often made for this purpose, such as paintings, drawings, or sculptures:
    In education, authentic learning is an instructional approach that allows students to explore, discuss, and meaningfully construct concepts and relationships in contexts that involve real-world problems and projects that are relevant to the learner.
    Watching a child create an art piece and explaining what it is and how each piece works is amazing. Sometimes their little creations that they created on their own have many astronomical meanings. I again am baffled at how some school boards would even consider eliminating art; when clearly the two meanings of each definition correspond.

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