We live in a time of innovation, creativity and culture. We have artistic innovators, knowledge creators, e-communicators, writers, music makers, etc. The arts open the doors to creativity. It is a fact that many of us thrive on the study of the arts; the arts nourish critical thinking and innovation. The positive effects of the arts are numerous. As more studies are conducted on the relationship between arts education and success in other academic areas, the clearer it becomes that the arts are an important part of a well-rounded education. In particular in schools, learning the arts is not the goal; rather, learning through the arts should be the stated focus. There must be meaningful learning in all subjects in the classroom. As Hanley (2003) put it:
We train rats, program machines, and educate people. We too often forget that the arts are vital components in the education of our children and worry unduly about only training and programming. It is time for a reality check. We neglect the arts in the education of our children to the peril of our collective future (p. 37).
In our holistic world, everything matters. Arts promote unity. The arts give the opportunity of uncovering new understanding of the world. Violence and misunderstandings keep spreading in the world. The arts can be a way to reconsider sensitive issues and values.
Society needs to engender creative thinkers. Smilan and Marzilli (2009) sum up:
Without creative thinkers, society and culture may suffer, leaving a dangerous gap in society between those who lead and are capable of identifying and addressing challenges, and those who blindly follow the status quo (p. 40).
The constant repetition of voices in the literature citing the need for the arts and creative thinking is common sense. Richard Florida repeatedly states: “Every Single Human Being is Creative!”
What it comes down to is to be able to provide an outlet for creative expression, transforming ideologies and methodologies. Creativity thru the arts matter to all, and we all know this. If we truly believe that every person has the right to unleash their full potential, then skills in the arts should be considered as important as math and language skills. Why are we neglecting it when arts were the first signature of human kind?
Hanley, B. (2003). Policy issues in arts assessment in Canada: “Let’s Get Real.” Arts Education Policy Review, 105(1), 33-38.
Smilan, C., & Marzilli, M. (2009). Art Teachers as leaders of authentic art integration. The Journal of the National Arts Education Association, 62(6), 39-45.