Education Arts Article – Article Example

Art For Our Sake Ellen Winner and Lois Hetland discuss the importance of keeping art education in school systems throughout the United s. Winner and Hetland toss aside the unfounded belief that arts can help improve science and math skills; similarly, while students who are involved in art tend to do better in school, there is no direct correlation between art and success in other subjects. However, as advocates for art education, Winner and Hetland point out that art is vital in teaching students thinking skills and other areas of intelligence that are seldom addressed in other parts of the curriculum.
Winner and Hetland state that standardized tests favor students who are skilled in language and math and have the ability to memorize and recite information. The tests succeed in these aspects, but fail to show the true depth of a student’s intelligence and aspiration to learn. Furthermore, some of the most important life skills that are unable to be measured by tests never get taught. As such, there is little study available to reveal the skills and modes of thinking the arts are capable of teaching. These skills, which Winner and Hetland discovered through observation, include reflection, self-criticism, the willingness to learn from mistakes, persistence, expression, observing, envisioning, innovation, and reflective self-evaluation. Students of art are also taught to look past preconceived notions and think in a way that is nonverbal.
The authors come to the conclusion that the arts may not be directly connected to success in other subjects, but they are just as important to learn. Winner and Hetland feel that the arts teach other modes of thinking that we greatly value. Not only do the arts allow students to be creatively and emotively expressive, they also help students learn about decisions, choices and understanding. Winner and Hetland conclude their article by stating that “those who have learned the lessons of the arts [...] are the ones likely to come up with the novel answers needed most for the future (Winner & Wetland 1).”
While I never believed that arts could help students excel in other subjects, I have always felt that arts allow students to better appreciate their other studies. The objectives learned in other classes, such as math and science, are taught numerous times throughout the day, and endlessly during a person’s life. The skills gained through arts, however, are a breath of fresh air from the typical strict curriculum. Students are still able to learn through arts, especially skills unable to be obtained elsewhere, and in a way that allows them to fully use their minds, imaginations, and senses that are often ignored in schools. As such, I agree entirely with Winner and Hetland that arts should remain in the schools lest students become unprepared automatons of society.
Works Cited
Winner, Ellen, and Lois Hetland. "Art For Our Sake." Boston.com News. N.p., 2 Sept. 2007. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. .