Tuesday, October 16, 2007


10 years of teaching art on art courses and through content-based English as a second language course has convinced me of the importance of art in education. Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. Learning about art is enormous fun. Fun equals motivation; motivation leads to academic success.
  2. The artistic act needs no justification, no blandishment, no bureaucratic back-up like much we do in school requires.
  3. In any society, the state of art education is a direct barometer of the health of that culture. A generous, creative, expanding society accepts and appreciates art in its schools.
  4. Art is not merely decoration. It has a place in any school curriculum as an all-pervasive, multi-skilled discipline. Teaching art improves skills with computers, and wider appreciation of issues in social studies, history, literature and mathmatics.
  5. We live in an electronically-driven visual age and most art has a strong visual element.
  6. Art is profoundly democratic due to its individualistic nature. It is also communitarian - something we can all gather round and revel in.
  7. Art in education expands the way we see, feel, and relate to our world. It nourishes the mind and fortifies the heart. A good art teacher draws out a student's creativity much like a language teacher helps with acquisition of a second language.
  8. Looking at and relating to art educates the 'whole' person. It enriches the mind and broadens one's perspectives by asking you to draw on all your visual, emotional, and conceptual intelligence.
  9. If educators take learning styles seriously, institutions must include instruction that engages the visual and tactile learner.
  10. Asking why we should include art in education is like asking why we need wine with a good dinner.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the use of art in education, especially if you have had success teaching art as a means to teach other subjects, like second languages. Email Oliver at oliverkinghorn@gmail.com or leave a comment at the foot of this page. Have a lovely day. Vive la peinture!


Dariyn said...

Oliver thanks for the Aboriginal Dot painting lessons and the ideas to teach it.
I am an art teacher in a school district just outside of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania district.....I teach middle school students grades 6-8. I like this site...keep up the great work to share with other art teachers......

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