It supports children to explore their social and emotional identities.
Arts education provides unique ways for children to explore their social and emotional identities. More than any other learning area, the Arts value and encourage the sharing of feelings, ideas and emotions through non-verbal modes (McDonald, Mills, & Aprill, 2017). Often, children find it difficult to label and verbalise emotions that they are feeling (McDonald, Mills, & Aprill, 2017). This can lead to frustration and feelings of isolation. Recent research has found that the process of art making can improve the well-being of children (Sinclair, Jeanneret, & O’Toole, 2012). Communicating emotions through imagery, colour and texture allows children to work through feelings that they struggle to express verbally and supports children to communicate through means other than language.
It broadens children’s understanding of the world.
The Arts provides valuable opportunities for students to understand and make sense of the world around them and has the potential to broaden their comfort zones (Gonçalves & Majhanovich, 2016). Works of art breaks through language barriers and provides us with preserved memories, diverse worldviews, historical events, ideas that mirror are own, and many more (Gonçalves & Majhanovich, 2016). Similarly to travel, I believe Arts Education provides opportunities for cultures to meet, reduces prejudice, and broadens the student’s mind. Sometimes analysing artworks can promote intercultural dialogues where artists’ viewpoints or beliefs may not align with our own such as; religious beliefs, political stance or sexual orientation (Gonçalves & Majhanovich, 2016). I believe that these topics can promote open and respectful exchanges amongst students which can develop the skills required for peaceful relations and conflict resolution which can benefit society (Corcoran, 2009).
Arts Education encourages voluntary learning.
Several studies have found that Arts Education teachers who encourage student led projects often generate students who have high levels of motivation and will voluntarily conduct their own research in the classroom and in their free time (Andrews, 2005). I believe the creative arts instil a curiosity for learning and acquiring knowledge that can spill over into other learning areas such as Science, History and Mathematics. When I was in grade four I was fascinated with drawing planets. This artistic pursuit led me to researching planets and moon cycles so I could write and illustrate my own book. I believe that Arts Education can subsequently teach students valuable research skills such as focus, persistence and discipline (Sinclair, Jeanneret, & O’Toole, 2012). These skills can help students to be more self-efficient and responsible learners.
Andrews, B. H. (2005). Art, Reflection, and Creativity in the Classroom the Student-Driven Art Course. Art Education, 58(4), 35-40.
Corcoran, K. (2009). Pedagogical reasoning, creativity and cooperative learning in the visual art classroom. International journal of education through art, 5(1), 51-61.
Gonçalves, S., & Majhanovich, S. (2016). Art and Intercultural Dialogue. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
McDonald, J., Mills, D., & Aprill, A. (2017). Wellbeing and arts education: Opportunities for increasing advocacy. Australian Art Education, 38(1), 93-107.
Sinclair, C., Jeanneret, N., & O’Toole, J. (2012). Education in the Arts: Teaching and learning in the contemporary curriculum (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.