The Importance of Art in Education
Art can appear in many forms and is one of the single most versatile ideas that humanity has managed to produce. Fine art can appear as that painting that you’re awfully attached to hanging in your entryway. It could be your favorite novel from your childhood. It could be the play you saw in your youth that gave you the power to get through a trial you were facing. Art is inspiring, and it’s one of the most succinct and beautiful ways that we can communicate the knowledge we’ve gathered from the larger world to the next generation. So why is it important to include fine arts in the classical education you’re aiming for your child to acquire from Resurrection Christian School? Because it’s an integral part of a classical education.
The History of Art Education
If you’re familiar with the Renaissance men, you’re probably aware of their incredible genius and enjoy appreciating their myriad accomplishments, like the dome of St. Peters or the statue of David. To many scholars, there is some debate on whether the Renaissance men of yesteryear became incredible not because of what they were born with, but for what was nurtured and fostered for them.
If, for example, you look at DaVinci’s upbringing, he was merely the illegitimate child of an Italian nobleman who, luckily, took a liking to the child and paid for his classical education. This education would render DaVinci one of the most memorable men in history.
Michelangelo received a similar education when he was taken in by the Medici family in Florence and raised alongside their parcel of children that all grew up to have a hand in the formation of history itself. However, aside from the obvious results of a classical, art-influenced education on some of the greatest artistic minds ever seen, the wide-spread positive effects of including fine art in classical education provides overwhelming evidence of its importance.
The Benefits of a Classical Education
The folks who have been blessed enough to research the learning process throughout the entirety of human history, beginning the Greek philosophers like Plato, are the chief researchers defending the continued implementation of fine arts in education. Though, they’re careful to define it as anything that’s not considered STEM-focused. For example, it can be everything from music to dance, to visual arts, to literature and theater. Their defense for the methods to be continuously used in the classroom is that, in the same regard to STEM subjects, passive exposure to these things will hardly influence a passion in them or teach students about them as a subject themselves. In fact, it’s been researched time and time again that exposing students to fine arts education actually improves performance across the board as far as other subjects go. Reportedly, it’s provided lower numbers of student dropouts, develops team players, improves student attendance and fosters a love of learning. In fact, active learning is one of the most valued skills to employers in the modern age as it shows that the applicant has an adaptive streak that is crucial during our age of ever-changing technology and skill. In additional studies, there has been evidence presented that, much like sports, a passion fostered at a young age goes a long way toward ensuring that you don’t find yourself utterly disappointed with the last 20 years of your life by the time you hit 45. Childhood passions become adult hobbies that keep the monotony of a work week at bay and keep everyday struggles in perspective as you have a form of release for various pressures.
What Creativity Does to The Brain
The real benefit of fine arts in education comes into play when brain cell development is considered. Brain cells are loosely defined as the neuron connections throughout your brain. There are certain periods of life, surrounding your formative years of course, that include a flood of brain cell development. Thus, the years of your youth are referred to as formative. The neural connections you make during this time will influence your decisions and thought-processing skills, including the ability to understand abstract thought. Fine art in education has been proven to develop neural connections actively to produce a wider spectrum of understanding and to foster skills that are seemingly unrelated, like fine motor skills, emotional balance and intelligence. This is due to the fact that fine art education fosters a process of learning that improves our sensory, cognitive, attentional, and emotional capacities over time that acts as the driving force of learning itself.
A classical education should bring to mind the learning opportunities that DaVinci and other great minds experienced. It should be well rounded and full of amazing literature, precise mathematical applications, diverse scientific research, and an encouraged appreciation for fine art. Building up the right foundation for your child to succeed in their future and reach their potential starts with a well-rounded educational experience. At Resurrection Christian School, we put an emphasis on a well-rounded education that will forge new neural pathways and foster skills that will create productive members of society that regularly set themselves apart. Check out our curriculum for middle school, high school and even elementary school to find out more about our educational beliefs. Be sure to keep up with our active blog that will continue to discuss the power of including fine arts in education, as well as ways that you can encourage those same seeds of appreciation with auxiliary activities around Fort Collins and the Northern Colorado corridor. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.