My childhood experience in art inspired todays lecture. I could remember spending more time on art assignments in my secondary school days. I preferred not to go for math,language, social studies then because I would rather spend my time drawing on the school wall and desks, and creating something new.
My Elementary school experience was out of it: we had no art teacher! but thank God for older siblings who sent colours and drawing materials when I needed them.
Being exposed to art education and teaching at the same time often throughout my COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND UNIVERSITY days has really made me come to understand that there are many positive outcomes possible when a child can learn from art.
My experience made me see art in everything, reason why I teach young people to think critically about things, ask questions and learn with all their senses today.
Almost anytime I meet leaders in education I try my best to convince them that I’M NOT TEACHING THE CHILD ART FOR HIM TO BECOME AN ARTIST IN FUTURE BUT TO ENABLE THE CHILD PASS THROUGH THE CREATIVE PROCESS.
Art to me is not all about creating artists but about something broader. arts education can imbibe in young people a sense of the satisfaction that comes from working to create something, the ability to use and understand language effectively, and a profound sense of the values that permit civilised life to go on. (to make it more interesting),it can enhance students employability.
But I worry that art is disappearing from too many classrooms in Nigeria, particularly secondary schools.
Children are typically more apt to enjoy drawing and coloring at early years (BUT THE SCRIBBLING AND NAMED SCRIBBLING) and are usually not to being exposed to art when admitted to schools. The use of art helps them to become more aware and comfortable with their surroundings, both physically and mentally.
I remember as a child nobody taught us how to make a boat and paper airplane. We learnt them at school from each other. To convert paper into a recognizable shape is now a challenge to many 21st century Nigerian child!
This challenge can easily be traced to inadequate engagement of learners in art activities. E.g. origami still life drawing, imaginative art and more.
The arts are considered nice but not necessary.
My new observation is now that few like art as subjects in SENIOR SECONDARY LEVEL this can be traced back to lack of exposure to art in early childhood. Now the problem is now big that almost every student wants to study MEDICINE,LAW ACCOUNTING,MASS COMMUNICATION AND MORE.
I remember painting in my school one day and a boy told me I love to draw but my dad said, You can’t study art in this house!.
My question then if we encourage the children to study all those course.
WHO WILL NOW DO THIS ART IN FUTURE?
WHO WILL EDUCATE THE CHILDREN ABOUT THE ARTS IN SCHOOLS ?
WHO WILL BE OUR NEXT MICHEALANGELO OR LEONARDO DA VINCI ?
Art is not a component of the standardized tests that are given every year and so it is vanishing from the classroom environment especially in some parts of Africa. The people who really know more about this art will not tell you the benefits.
Research showed that instructions in music, dance and painting actually boosted test scores in math and science
Art in the early childhood and elementary classroom has great beneficial effects on student learning by stimulating the multiple intelligences present in a typical group of students. Art activities can serve as a bridge to understanding for students; in addition, art has the potential to act as therapy for students with emotional issues.
Remember the last lecture by MRS Sahar Farouk Eldeeb from california USA where she said,
“My child was abandoned by his biological parents and neglected at an orphanage. He got very sick and got brain injury due to his illness. When I decided to adopt him he was 10 months old. All doctors said he will stay paralyzed, will not be able to see again as he lost his eye sight, and he will not talk! I decided to take him because I knew that he really needed me the most. I took him to my home. Set for him a loving and caring environment full of learning opportunities. My method was to focus on arts and craft plus lots of verbal communication. Now he speaks two languages. Walks runs, communicates very well. Other cells in his brain took place and he can see again This made me believe that a loving and caring environment can make miracles”
We need to understand as teachers that during early development, students who have difficulty verbalizing ideas can use art as an alternative way to express themselves. But with the current emphasis on standardization and high stakes testing by schools leaders and teachers and parents, art has lost a place in the curriculum, to the disservice of the students emotionally and cognitively.
Unfortunately, a typical classroom teaches primarily to visual and auditory learners while leaving others by the wayside. Effective use of art in the classroom can bridge learning across all of the multiple intelligences and benefit all types of learners.
The multiple intelligences tend to be neglected our classroom environment. Linguistic and visual learners tend to be the students that thrive best in a traditional classroom environment which made us produce more white collar jobs than creative products for problem solving.
If our curricula only address those two intelligences a great percentage of students are placed at a disadvantage. Art in the classroom can be used to bridge instruction to many of the less frequently addressed intelligences. The bodily/kinesthetic learner can be reached through performance. Most of all, though, art in the classroom is all about fun and therefore we think it is not meaningful to our students.
Students need art as they need maths, language and science.
This lecture originated from my observations from University students and unemployment in Nigeria. I noticed that in higher SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS art tends to be less utilized just because we are preparing them for the university.
From my observations, I have found a considerable amount of evidence to suggest that art has a positive influence on children and helps them to better succeed academically. There is definitely a correlation between students involvement with art and their overall academic success. There are many important elements of a childs cognitive development that are enhanced by art.
the arts are critically important to the development of thinking skills in children and that the arts might offer teachers both a powerful guide and critical tool in their practice.
The arts are central to the idea of education being about inculcating a love of learning, of acquiring knowledge. It is no accident that the arts are traditionally connected with the idea of being educated. Hence an educated person is assumed to be interested in the arts.
To finish this class
Lessons From The Arts Taught by Elliot Eisner
Elliot Eisner is a champion of arts education, art teacher turned Professor of Art Education at Stanford University, developed this wonderful list of lessons that, for me, capture so much of why I chose to teach arts infusion, art and design and instruction and art and crafts In schools today
He died at 80. Eisner argued that a curriculum that includes music, dance and art is essential in developing critical thinking skills in children.
1. The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships.
Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.
2. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution
and that questions can have more than one answer.
3. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives.
One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
4. The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving
purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.
5. The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.
6. The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects.
7. The arts teach students to think through and within a material.
All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
8. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said.
When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.
9. The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source
and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
10. The arts’ position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young
what adults believe is important
A philosopher once said Science gives us order in thoughts, morality gives us order in actions; art gives us order in the apprehension of visible, tangible and audible appearances. A good education includes a good arts education, introducing children and young people to great literature (novels, poetry and short stories, plays), dance, visual arts, music and film.
Studies show that there is a correlation between art and other achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.