Is there a place of art in our lives now? Watching duplicated TV shows on television, listening to some local contemporary music and observing boring walls of surrounding buildings, my answer would be, “Not very much”. Have we stopped being creative? Addressing the question to education, I would ask, “What subjects first comes into your mind when you think of education?” – Probably, Mathematics and Languages. No one doubts that for a new globalized economy, with international distributions of goods, mathematics and languages are needed. Yet, they are not enough to raise morally and esthetically developed personalities for a society, because life is not just facts and numbers. It is filled with visual and emotional experiences that everyone endures throughout one’s life. Understanding and, more importantly, coping with them comes through moral exercises, which should be provided in school settings. Besides, the policy makers of our country want citizens to be innovative, i.e. creative. In other words, creating new methods or develop new strategies in learning and searching to generate innovative ideas for country’s further development.
How can we expect students to think creatively, if we do not provide opportunities to become creative? Not many students have been given opportunities to observe The Guarnica, for example, which does not only depicts the act of the attack, but illustrates the emotions caused by it. Any piece of music produced by harmonious collaboration of musicians can be an unforgettable emotional experience for students. It may also provoke a thoughtful discussion on how much scrutinized work it requires, provided they practice producing music together, let’s say, in a school band, instead of roaming around in gangs.
I believe any forms of art (visual art, music, drama) should be embedded in school curricular if we want to raise creative thinkers. Art education should share equal amount of hours alongside other academic subjects. Many studies have proved the role of art education in improving student achievements, moreover, they have showed the increase in the student engagement, as it allows the involvement of students who have naturally diverse intelligences and different socioeconomic background (Snyder, Klos, & Grey-Hawkins, 2014). Why, then, there is such ignorance in education towards arts and humanities, whereas the matter is of paramount importance and should be considered today, if we want more creative thinkers tomorrow!
Snyder, L., Klos, P. & Grey-Hawkins, L. (2014). Transforming teaching through arts integration. Journal for Learning through the Arts, 10 (1). Available at https://eric.ed.gov/?q=Transforming+Teaching+through+Arts+Integration&pr=on&ft=on