Day 71 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Value of ‘The Arts’ in Education
Do The Arts in Education matter?
Personally I believe they are invaluable. Luckily I am not alone in that belief. Educators and brain researchers agree; the arts play an important part in the total education of individuals. Here are a few facts and my personal notes:
1. The arts improve motivation, concentration, confidence and teamwork.
2. The arts develop the sense of community, personal their values and human connections.
3. The arts are associated with educational gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking and verbal skills.
4. The arts aid students on achievement tests by developing their creativity and their ability to move outside the box, a skill needed for today’s higher level thinking exams.
5. The arts encourage students with an arts interest to value work through their creativity and self-expression and through verbal communication about those skills.
For myself, I’ve found that my years of dancing gave me confidence to explore my creativity, develop my ability to present myself before a group and increased my connectedness to those who performed the choreography before me. All the arts provide a connectedness across cultures and time as we learn from those who have gone before us and keep their creative ideas alive by performing or honoring their works in what we share or create. In 84 Ribbons I tried to show the importance of tenacity in Marta’s career and her daily life. True, she backslid like we all do, but she also persevered and found her way through her inner strength and determination.
For myself, dancing provided exercises in concentration, built my confidence and required me to be an integral part of a group. I learned to focus my semi-dyslexic brain and calmed my anxiety over whatever type of performance I faced: dancing, leading groups, taking tests, meeting new people. I once received a strange compliment that I’ve hung onto for decades: ‘My, you fell gracefully!’ Not many people can say they heard that one.