NPR’s “All Things Considered” ran the story “Creative Classes: An Artful Approach to Improving Performance” yesterday about the value of the arts in educating children. To listen, click here. Despite the constant insistences by some politicians that we must cut all “non-necessity programs” in schools, anyone who understands arts education knows the benefits to learning (test scores) and student morale.
As a teacher in an arts high school, I am inundated with the successes of arts education every day. Educating young people with the arts – as this NPR report points out – involves real learning, not rote memorization or any other teaching-to-the-test drilling methods. Arts education programs produce competent, creative thinkers who view the world not with passive acceptance and blind rule-following, but with heart and soul and vigor. I’m not saying that other programs or teaching styles don’t do that; I’m just saying that arts programs do.