Exploring the Importance of Art Education
By Cady Schulman
At a time when some educators are obsessed with rankings on standardized tests and many school systems face spending cuts, arts education can be seen as a luxury. But studies have shown that instruction in visual arts, music, theater and other disciplines can promote cognitive abilities, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
According to the advocacy group Americans for the Arts, arts education stimulates critical thinking, refines cognitive and creative skills and strengthens problem-solving. Participation in arts programs has also been linked with gains in math, reading and other areas, according to the research compendium Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development.
“Research in education is showing us that the creative thought process … [and] the high order of thinking skills we need to be instilling in kids are a fundamental component of their intelligence,” says Kevin Glass, headmaster of Atlanta International School (AIS).