Why the Arts Matter
While we are actively promoting STEM programs to encourage girls to enter studies and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (and so we should!), we are facing drastic budget cuts in education for arts and music education. At the state level in California, increasing emphasis is being placed on STEM courses and careers.
I just came across a compelling key note speech that reminded me why the arts are important. It is by Dr. J. Kagan, Harvard, who spoke to the Dana Foundation in New York City. The Dana Foundation supports brain research. Dr. Kagan’s speech is: Why the Arts Matter, Six Good Reasons for Advocating the Importance of Arts in School. To summarize the reasons:
- Boosts the self confidence
- Freedom for self-expression
- The mind uses three distinct forms, or tools, to acquire, store, and communicate knowledge. Art and music require:
- Procedural knowledge.
- Perceptual representations
- Schematic understandings
- Provides all American youth with some values they feel warrant consistent loyalty
- Cooperative unit when they compose a mural or play in the school band
- Provides opportunities for all children to experience and to express feelings and conflicts that are not yet fully conscious and cannot be expressed coherently in words
Ponder this: Just remember that Adolf Hitler applied to art school twice and failed to get in. What if he had been accepted? We might have averted WWII.
If you wish to read the key note address: http://www.dana.org/news/features/detail.aspx?id=21740
What do you think about funding for arts education?