Why Arts in Education?
GRFA's mission is about successfully motivating and engaging every student through an arts-infused and arts-integrated curriculum. Arts integration means teaching and connecting all subjects by using the visual and performing arts to enhance the learning process. This teaching method caters to the way ALL students learn, engaging each child and giving them a path to success.
When the arts are taught in school, studies* show that:
1. Academics improve
2. Discipline problems are reduced
3. Attendance increases
4. Graduation rates soar
5. Increased Motivation and Engagement
In addition, consider these ten powerful lessons that students can learn only through the arts and imagine the type of people you would like to see leading us into the future!
Ten Lessons the Arts Teach**
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. The arts traffic in subtleties.
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.
Lastly, for a great look into the benefits of creativity in schools and our role as a Education Support Organization, please take the time to read this article by Roslyn Tam entitled:*President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools, Washington, DC, May 2011 Available FREE at www.PCAH.gov
**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.
"The GRFA has immensely impacted my art along with my life. People seem to react and appreciate my submission for the foundation. I have offers of people wanting prints of my artwork and, not to sound cheesy and cliche, but opportunity just keeps on knocking. I'm really really appreciative that my art teacher introduced this contest to me and that I decided to be bold by creating something beautiful for this foundation, and to be honored for my creativity! I can't thank to GRFA office and George and Wendy Rodrigue enough for this amazing opportunity that I will always remember and carry proudly with me throughout my creative career."
- Jacob Broussard