Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Importance of Art in the Classroom!

Integrating art into the classroom is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. In fact, I spent over a year writing about the topic when I was completing my Master's thesis titled, The Integration of Visual Arts and Literacy in the Elementary School Classroom.

I love this PBS article shedding light on the benefits of art in child development. According to the article, art can benefit children's motor skills, language development, decision making, visual learning, inventiveness, cultural awareness, and improved academic performance. I couldn't agree with this article more!

In the era of the No Child Left Behind Act, art was in some many cases, eliminated from schools to make room for "drill and kill" teaching of the heavily tested subjects. Now that NCLB is behind us (whew!), there is a push for students to be creative problem solvers in this new era of Common Core and STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).

My question is, how can students become engineers when they are not given the opportunity to practice fine motor skills and creativity? Art is such a great way to practice the early skills that can assist students with becoming inventors, engineers, and successful scientists and mathematicians. Don't forget to implement art in the classroom! Integrate art wherever and whenever you can, it has a place in every content area! From math drawings, to science diagrams, portraits of characters, and 3-demensional models, art fits all curricula. Not only will your students be more engaged in the content, they will be able to explain their thinking in multiple ways and build lifelong skills.

Art belongs in the elementary classroom and beyond…

Happy teaching!

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