Make ART a vital part of education…..

Our current trend in education is geared toward STEM thinking; science, technology, engineering, and math.  The United States recognizes the need for higher level thinking skills in order to stay competitive among its allies, which is a positive step in the right direction. But, do they recognize the correlation between these skills and the arts? Politicians and government agencies that support education need to understand the value of right brain thinking and make financial commitments as well as mandates for their support of the arts.  Right brain thought processes need to be honed in order for this type of thinking to have a permanent impact upon our society as a whole.   Visit these sites to find out more about STEAM education, make ART a vital part of your schools’ curriculum.

Do you need to go to college to teach art?

A few years ago while I was speaking to a group of parents during open house a father raised his hand and asked me, “Do you need to go to college to teach art?”  To this day, I am still baffled by his question.   His daughter was a very talented young lady and really enjoyed my class.  Her father, a professional, was more interested in how she was performing in her academic areas but came to visit me at her urging.  He told me, “She likes to draw” neither realizing nor understanding the role of art or the art teacher in his daughter’s education.

Sometimes I am confronted with the realization that some people, colleagues included, do not value the art education.  Art is looked upon as an enjoyable outlet for students, coloring and drawing for fun.  This is difficult for someone like me to grasp since art and art teaching are my passion.  In my classroom students develop critical thinking skills, innovative thought processes and growth through problem solving.  Along with enjoying art and art-making they use their imaginations and develop creativity.   Isn’t that what a good education is all about?

In this particular instance the father didn’t place any educational value on art or art education. Therefore, he equated that same value to my education.

Entering the world of blogging……

As I enter this new journey as a blogger, I hope to share my passion and conviction that art education is essential in developing 21st century learning skills of innovative thought processes and creativity.  I will share excerpts from current research, inspirations, as well as lesson plans and student work that support and develop critical thinking skills through the creative processes.

I am a novice at this role of a “blogger”  so bear with the pains and groans of growth as well as change.   I am learning as I type.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and lead a trail.”