Monday, August 8, 2011

Arts in Education is it Important?

Arts in Education is it Important?

Parents and the people of the United States of America have been led to believe that an Art program in the school system is not necessary and a waste of funds.

However I beg to differ in having been an artist all my life, I know how important the skills are that I acquired through my arts education, both in school and by my father. They lead me down a path that when I am approached by a problem I have excellent skills for the most part in solving that problem. I am sure you are saying how can she state that, because when you are creating art it is something entirely from the mind and soul of a human. A human brain must be taught how to process information, what is the first thing besides talking and walking is a child taught? How to scribble or finger paint, and through these processes they learn blue and yellow make green, that a tree is a circle on a stick. How do they learn that? Did mom and dad draw that tree first? Visual annuity is a skill that seems to be passed down, all children can be artists, ever seen an empty refrigerator in an elementary student’s house? It is when this skill is muted by devout attention to reading, math and other academic studies, that students falter in problem solving and societal perspectives of how life works.

The educational process is a tricky one even more so today with the influences of Political correctness it’s not ok to draw certain things in school or even bring pictures of them. Originally the arts withdrawal from the school system was attributed to funding discrepancies, however I feel it is due to a dumbing down of the school system in order for our children to be more malleable in societal matters. Many people would say are you crazy, maybe but I have raised three children in the last 25 years and have seen the shocking side-effects of schooling, with and without art programs. My children were fortunate they were born to an artist and raised them around all mediums of art, just as I was. But I have met parents today whose children don’t even own a box of Crayola’s for fear they may heaven forbid doodle on a wall; How boring all their lives must be! “Brain research confirms that Arts education strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement, school success, and preparation for the work world (LoParco 2011).” There have been so many studies done to determine what the results are when Art is or is not allowed in the school system. LoParco passes on two good points of the eight included in this report that I think says it all. “3. Lifelong learners who use all available resources to anticipate, develop strategies for, and respond to the ever changing needs of self and society.4. Creative and imaginative thinkers who solve challenging problems.” These are the people who may grow up to be president one day and understand the important societal needs of the communities and country. They are the people who say hey, why we don’t have a dog crate with an opening on top for easy access to remove a puppy for care when there are a bunch of them in one crate. Sounds silly right but if you have ever raised six puppies you would understand how that concept would make life easier,

Ok so back to where all this is supposed to be leading, why are Arts programs disappearing from school systems. Two main reasons, one is the misguided belief that it is not necessary and serves no purpose other than for kids to have fun. The other reason is funding, and that is based on the first reason, if it is truly recreational and not academic then why fund the programs at all. So they cut art and music programs without proper studies of the detrimental effects on the children and yes society as a whole. “Almost every one of us can point back to a creative pursuit, in or out of school, that enhanced our skills, knowledge, or understanding. Yet the majority of secondary school students in the United States aren't required to enroll in arts courses, many elementary schools nationwide lack art classes or activities, and arts and music instruction is often the first thing to go when schools feel the pressure to improve test scores.”(edutopia par 1) The pressure is applied to our students to be academically astute like the Japanese and European school systems. However, Japan for example is a highly industrial, technology driven country that must maintain a level of worker bees to carry on the process, which is the financial support of their country. When actually the state of Wisconsin, remember them? Found that their test results were affected in academic areas in schools that arts had been defunded. Reductions in arts cost schools money

“Studies show that schools that cut arts programs end up within the next three years spending more money on education, and their test scores in other areas actually go down, said Martin Rayala, art, media and design consultant for the Department of Public Instruction.(Hurley ,par 7).”

Mr. Hurley, a WEAC PR/Comm summer intern; went on to state the following determined from his research, “Within two to three years, every school that cut arts showed a decrease in morale and attendance and an increase in vandalism and disruptions, and within three years most of them had to add extensive disciplinary staff to account for the problems that were created by not providing the full range of experiences that human beings need," Rayala said. These staff additions are costing the school more than keeping the arts programs and are hurting testing scores in the process.”

“The High School visual arts program will build upon prior art knowledge and experience developed through study at the elementary and middle school levels. The six strands - perceiving, producing, knowing, communicating, evaluating, and connecting - provide broad, unifying structures for organizing the knowledge and skills students are expected to acquire. Students will build upon their cumulative knowledge and experience of art in order to grow in their ability to describe, interpret, evaluate, respond, and produce (ncpublicschools 2011).” North Carolina Public Schools understand that this process must be included and how important it is but I seem to find in certain locales it is still not emphasized in the manner it should. I have no basis for this finding other than the few times I was substituting and in some schools the art teachers seem to be much appreciated and well utilized. As I have not experienced all schools I cannot say if this is the norm for Dare county schools or not. I know that in Fairfax County where I was raised, academics carry a much more important aspect than arts.

"Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence," sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has said. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity (Smith, Fran Par 1).” This quote from the artist Magdalena Abakanowicz shows that the research is there to support arts education in the school system and that it is not only needed but required to assist children to grow into healthy well rounded adults.

Art makes people think, I find this so very important, many people back in the 1950’s looked at Calder’s mobiles and many said what is it? But today Calder’s work garners great admiration and monetary value. Who knows what makes one artist more important than another, but there are skills that they acquired in their lives that help them market their work and get people to buy it, establishing a financial means for them to continue to do what they love. And if someone is gainfully employed then they are an important and valuable person of society paying their taxes. Shouldn’t those taxes be used to develop the children in the schools to happy, reliable children with excellent survival skills, from the knowledge and common sense they acquire from the valuable Art Education Programs.

The greatest happiness of a young child on the first day of school is the smell of a brand new box of Crayola crayons, and the opportunity to create magic with them.

Works Cited Page

Smith, Fran “Why Arts Education Is Crucial, and Who's Doing It Best” The George Lucas Education Foundation July 1 2011 Web “Why Arts Education must be Saved” The George Lucas Education Foundation July 1 2011 Web

NCPublicSchool: “ARTS EDUCATION: VISUAL ARTS: VISUAL ARTS 9-12 “ July 1 2011


LoParco, M. (compilation): The Dryden Art Department July 22 2011

Hurley, Ryan: Cuts in Arts Programs Leave Sour Note in Schools; Wisconsin Education Association Council; June 25 2004; July 22, 2011 Web

Monday, January 24, 2011

Just a quick update ...Pow Wow

April the FRISCO NATIVE AMERICAN MUSEUM will be having its 13th Annual Pow Wow and living history weekend  on April 30/May1.  The Pow Wow was started by Joyce and Carl Bornfriend retired educators who founded and own the museum.  One of the most extensive collections of viewable Native American art and history on the east coast of America , if  not anywhere.

The new dance area is wonderful and the pow wow is better than ever.  You really must see all of the beauty and history for yourself.   below is the address for photos taken by Thomas Gartman , Photographer extradordinaire in 2009.


We have many wonderful vendors, plus the Famous Buffalo Burgers and Indian Tacos.

Hope to see you there.

School is going good for someone as old as honestly I can feel the cobwebs dissolving as I replace them with renewed understanding of Algebra and English grammar.

Have a wonderful day and let me know how you all are too.

Why I create (my new name Lorri Lee Glennon)

My photo
Hobbsville, North Carolina, United States
Having been a artist literally all my life, I love color and dimension.I learned to sew at age 10 , by age 13 started a stuffed animal business, which grew into a collectable Teddy Bear Business for 15 + years. I opened my own bead store specializing in Spontaneous Creation classes and love to teach everyone they could be creative and open the door to their imagination.I recently returned to one of my favorite art forms taking photographs my father gave me my first camera when I was a child and I have loved photography ever since. I took professional family portraits and weddings for the first 5 years living in the Outer Banks, I am now shooting Family portraits again and sharing my love of the Outer Banks through my blogs. Be creative, walk in faith and never give up....It all happens in God's time