Art has no enemy except ignorance. (Latin proverb)

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!

References

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

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6 thoughts on “Art has no enemy except ignorance. (Latin proverb)

  1. Dear Aigul,

    You raise a great point of importance for our system of education. I completely agree with you that creativity is cornerstone for the development of any well-rounded individual.
    However in our capitalised society, this will raise the question of whether the children will be able to apply the skills acquired in Arts of Music classes in their future jobs. While “spirit over matter” is a nice approach to consider, we may all agree on the fact that our society is ruled by the power of money. I do not believe that this is a good development, but that is just how the things are.
    Another point I want to make is that the curriculum is cluttered and overloaded as it, and squeezing in even more subjects may have a harmful impact on the quality of the other subjects or education in general, so maybe that is one of the reasons guiding the thoughts of policy makers.
    How do you think, would providing Arts, Music and other creative subjects as extracurricular activities on a good level maybe be able to foster creative thinking, or would it not be beneficial?

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  2. Great point, Aigul! I absolutely agree that the space for creativity in the school curriculum should be expanded, but allocating equal amounts of time to arts and academic subjects is a bit extreme. As Soothsayer duly noted, there are too many subjects in the curriculum as it is and adding more would only make matters worse. Besides, music and drama are not really for everyone. I, for instance, would feel completely out of place in a drama class if it were made a stand-alone obligatory class.

    Instead, we could make teaching of other subjects more creative. How about introducing creative writing, drawing, painting, or even some drama and music in the Literature or Foreign Language classes? In fact, there are ways to make Maths and Sciences creative too! With some minor tweaks to the existing curriculum and the right attitude on the part of teachers, it’s possible to turn the secondary school experience into one big creative art project.

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    1. Your comments, Soothsayer and Chsherbakov, so predictably, reflect the stance of many: “Yes, Art is important, but there is not enough space”. Overloaded curriculum, creative teaching and the lack of talent are just policies’ hackneyed excuses for avoiding big changes in the educational mechanism, producing work force, not individuals appreciating the world with its beauty and diversity. The whole system of our education is built around job opportunities, not conditions to find the ways to live in harmony with who you are and what you do. I realize these ideological contemplations sound unrealistic and difficult to bring to life at this stage. For now, I am happy to plant a seed, at least, to break up ignorance towards art.

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  3. Super post, Aigul! (5/5) Clearly well-developed and insightful, your post touches on a complex yet important issue. I appreciate your use of outside sources to strengthen your argument. Consider adding links too, like to Guernica (for people who don’t know this great Picasso painting), or even some images of the “boring walls” you describe in the intro.

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