Life & career skills kids develop through Visual Arts:
How is a Visual Arts course going to help my child?
The Visual Arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer. They are taught to think "outside the box" and invent new solutions to creative problems. Learning how to make choices and decisions will certainly carry over into their education and other parts of life—as this is certainly a valuable skill in adulthood.
The Visual 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. Kids begin to develop the ability to make judgments in the absence of pre-established rules - just like in real life!
The Visual Arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solvingpurposes 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. Students are challenged to persevere and persist through challenges, difficulties and road-blocks. This mindset will certainly matter as they grow—especially during their career where they will likely be asked to continually develop new skills and work through difficult projects.
The Visual Arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world. Kids begin to see beyond themselves - into their larger community, country, and world.
The Visual 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.
The Visual Arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties and details.
The Visual Arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which the imagination becomes real. Kids become creators - manifesting their thoughts and dreams into reality.
The Visual Arts help kids learn to say what cannot be said. When kids 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.
The Visual Arts enable us to have experiences we can have from no other source. Through such experiences we discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
The Visual Arts develops the capacity for expression. Students develop personally meaningful responses in their work, and make work that matters.
The Visual Arts art allows kids to develop their motor skills and dexterity, visual-spacial skills, and hand-eye coordination.
The Visual Arts allow us to reach "the flow state" - reaching high levels of focus. External distractions fade and your mind focuses. Time passes quickly and is lost. Before you know it, you’ve been using water colors on a blank page for three hours but the page is now bursting with character. The moments spent making nothing into something were enjoyed. As you persevere through painting or sculpting or drawing, focus is imperative. And certainly focus is vital for studying and learning in class as well as doing a job later in life.
The Visual Arts improve children's academic performance in other subjects. They don’t just develop a child’s creativity—the skills they learn because of them spill over into academic achievement. PBS says, “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.”
SOURCES: Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind, In Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach and How It Shows. (pp. 70-92). Yale University Press. Available from NAEA Publications. NAEA grants reprint permission for this excerpt from Ten Lessons with proper acknowledgment of its source and NAEA.
WHAT ABOUT CAREERS?
How could my child make money as an artist?
Skills in the arts can lead to various exciting, creative and fulfilling careers. Make a career out of doing what you love! Explore a variety of arts-based careers at The Art Career Project.
Advertising art director
Art gallery curator
Community arts worker
Fashion design assistant
Video game designer
My child is interested in science. Why "waste time" in art classes?