The Arts in Education Essay

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Why the Arts are Essential to School Curriculum School arts programs are made up of both visual and performing arts. Visual arts are art forms where something is used to create a piece that can be seen. This may include a pot made in ceramics, or a photograph taken in photography. Other visual arts taught in the school may be, but are not limited to, drawing and painting. Performing arts are the arts the body uses to express an art form. Such examples are the voices in the choir or actors and actresses in a play. The classes in school may include band, choir, theatre, and drama. In the past several years, federal budget cuts have threatened the arts programs in many public schools. This is despite the mounting evidence of its important and vital role in student achievement. A direct connection has been established between education and training in the arts and the social and academic development of an individual. This research suggests that arts education is essential to school curriculum because it helps develop cognitive abilities, allows students to form healthy relationships, and encourages them to stay in school longer. Involvement and training in the arts has been shown to help strengthen and develop several cognitive processes. Abstract reasoning is the ability solve problems and analyze information on a thought based, complex level. A study from Neurological Research (Calder, 1997) concluded that music training was superior to computer tech training in improving a child’s abstract reasoning skills. Music training helps generate neural connections utilized by abstract reasoning. Children then use these reasoning skills to order the notes in their brain to form the melodies. “With the push from NCLB (No Child Left Behind Act) to focus on testing, arts and education are treated as if they’re not compatible,” says Jamie

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