The Importance Of Art Education In Young Children

2208 words - 9 pages

In today’s society, much of our evaluation of academic achievement is based on a very narrow perspective of what sort of capabilities determine a child’s intelligence. The typical mindset of today’s educational systems views students who receive high scores on standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT as high ability students; such a statement, although true, limits the opportunities of students who are, in fact, intelligent, but in different academic areas. Because of the recent focus on math and reading scores, schools are doing away with art-related programs at an aggressive and alarming rate. What many do not realize, or rather, realize, but fail to acknowledge, is that involvement in ...view middle of the document...

This sort of self-expression often leads to a discovery of oneself. Through participation in visual arts, the artist, as well as the audience, can discover more about the creator of the piece by examining and evaluating the content and the tone of the piece. For instance, by observing a piece where the subject, colors, and shapes all flow together, one might infer that the artist is very laid-back and easygoing. An artist that creates something by using an abundance of geometrical shapes might be a more structured and by-the-book sort of individual. Subject content of a piece can also tell the viewer about the interests of a child. A child who likes animals may draw pictures of all sorts of different animals, or a little girl may draw pictures of princesses. Such analysis of a piece of art can not only help children become more familiar with themselves and their interests, but can allow those around them to notice new details about the child’s personality and interests.

As well as encouraging expression, involvement in visual arts also has been proven to improve academics. Studies have shown that children who are involved in the arts receive much higher scores on standardized tests, such as the SAT and the ACT. This happens so because involvement in visual arts causes the brain to think in ways that differ from the standard academic classes. Art encourages critical thinking and evaluation or analysis. By attempting to interpret the content of a work of art, children are exercising these skills without even realizing it. Creating a piece of art exercises these skills as well. When a child draws an object, for instance, he or she would have to recollect what the object looks like, and then project the image of that memory onto the page. Thoughts and processes such as these also encourage self-criticism as a form of critical thinking. The child may create something and then later decide that it must be fixed, which shows that he or she is evaluating and analyzing the overall effectiveness of the piece.

Visual art also improves academics by increasing a child’s attention span and ability to focus. As a child begins to create, he or she will develop a new level of patience for the trial and error process of creating a piece of artwork. The child’s attention span will increase drastically as they continue to be involved in art. Because it takes time to finish most pieces, children develop focus and a new appreciation for patience that other children may not understand. These skills will help the child in a multitude of ways throughout his or her life, at home, at school, and eventually in the working world.

As well as academics, art also allows children to improve and develop fine motor skills and has positive neurological effects. Through participation in art, children can develop fine motor skills much easier than they may have before. Participation in art has proven to improve brain function in young children. Creating and viewing...

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