Most parents know that giving a child crayons and a coloring book is great way to occupy a kid for a few hours. What many do not know is what an important role art plays in a child’s development. In recent years a multitude of studies have been made available that link art education to a variety of important aspects of childhood learning. Art education has been linked to increased creativity, development of problem solving skills and better communication skills just to start. The skills that can be developed through art education are skills that last a lifetime and can benefit a child into adulthood regardless of what career path that child may choose. Understanding the importance of art education will allow this often undervalued development tool gain momentum in main stream education programs.
The first thing that comes to mind for most people when thinking about the relevance of art is the development of creativity. Creativity is an important skill that can be nurtured though art education for children of all ages. Despite popular belief, creativity is relevant to more than just a child’s artistic ability. A creative child will use that skill in all areas of life from problem solving to communication. All of which is needed in everyday learning situations from math and science to reading. The goal of education is to prepare children for their adult life, creativity and problem solving skills are a valuable asset at all points in a person’s life. Many people tend to think that only artists need to be creative but what about the child who is able to come up with a creative solution to resolve a math or science question. It is the child who can resolve problems through reasoning as oppose to memorization that excels in the school setting. These same skills come in handy later on in life when that child finally enters the workforce.
Communication skills are also a valuable asset when it comes to success in school and then later success in the workforce. Art can be used as a method to help children develop better communication skills. Everyone has seen young children draw pictures of their house and family members. These types of drawings allow a child to express certain ideas that may be difficult to express through language. Having a child talk about the pictures they draw then serves as a tool to help develop those necessary language skills. As a child gets older art can be used to express the complex emotions that develop throughout childhood. Communication skills are vital to success in a school setting and increasing a child’s ability to communicate will enrich a child’s life well into the future.
An increase in ability in the areas of problem solving skills, creativity and communication directly translates to better learning in all areas of education. As more people begin to understand the relationship between art and learning hopefully the number of art related programs in schools will increase. There tends to be more focus on learning the skills associated with reading, writing, math and science. Increasing awareness about the role art education plays in developing these skills is a step in the right direction. This will help society create an education program that provides the best learning environment for our children and will in turn create more productive individuals later in life.