In October 2019, the British street artist known as Banksy opened an online store called Gross Domestic Product and issued a challenge: to make a purchase from the shop’s selection of items like a Banksy-branded aerosol paint can, a brick handbag, and a vest worn in concert by the rapper Stormzy. Customers who wished to be considered for the opportunity to make a single purchase first had to answer the question: “Why does art matter?”
That deceptively simple, four-word query confronts a topic that’s occupied some of the world’s greatest creators and philosophers since Plato. How we answer this question can have much bigger consequences than whether you get to buy a piece of artwork from Banksy’s online store. The issue of art’s value becomes far more pressing when policymakers and administrators decide how to allocate time and funding for art education in schools.
Art teachers must be ready to advocate for committing the necessary resources to prioritize the value of creativity in the classroom. You may have to explain the importance of art education in a school’s curriculum and present the research to back up those claims. We can become powerful advocates for the power of art and improved student outcomes by investigating the many benefits that come out of integrating more creativity into the school day andimproving our classroom strategies.
Why Is Art Education Important?
Anyone who’s passionate about the arts recalls formative moments of experiencing a work of art pushing through a creative challenge. When we’re exposed to remarkable artworks or have opportunities to create, we find that art is crucial to individual growth and development and can even impact our health.
A literature review from Frontiers in Psychology outlined several studieslinking aesthetic experiences with broad improvementsin subjects’ emotional states that promote physical and psychological well-being. Giving learners the time, space, and materials for creative expression can lower stress, improve memory, and make them feel more socially connected. Instructors can build their careers onbringing those experiences to studentsin a variety of settings, like galleries, museums, or events organized by nonprofit and community organizations.
Appreciation for art also makes a significant difference in people’s lives on a macro level. Entire societies may stand to gain from an investment in the arts. Drawing on data from the General Social Survey, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Public Administration linked participation as either an audience member or creator tohigher levels of civic engagement and social tolerance. This work suggests that learning how to draw, paint, sing, or just appreciate the works made by others can help us become not just happier and healthier, but also better people.
How Does Art Education Help Students?
When surveyed by the nonprofit organization Americans for the Arts, members of the U.S. public overwhelmingly agreed that thearts are one aspect of a well-rounded K-12 education. Yet, participation in the visual and performing arts is often treated as merely supplemental to other aspects of learning. As a result, there are major differences in access to art and music classes across the country.
2019 findings from the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that eighth graders in the Northeast weremuch more likely to report being enrolled in a visual arts coursethan those in the South. Disparities were also tied to race, ethnicity, family income, and whether a school is located in a city, suburb, town, or rural area.
Meanwhile, the Nation’s Report Card shows that U.S. students continue toscore lower than many of their peers in Europe and Asiaon standardized tests despite years of pressure on educators to close the achievement gap. But seeking to improve student performance in math and reading does not have to come at the expense of art education.
In fact, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, argue that instruction becomes more effective when educatorsintegrate creative activitiesand make them central to academic development. Across disciplines, including STEM, there’s room to reimagine classes with a strong emphasis on drawing, painting, playing music, performing drama, and other creative pursuits. Encouraging students to use their imagination can help them actively engage with new concepts anddiscover connections between ideasas well as provide advantages for their social and emotional well-being.
One example of effectively integrating creative expression with other fields as a pedagogical strategy can be seen in the collaboration between University of Florida faculty members Susan K. Jacobson, who studies wildlife ecology and conservation, and Robert C. Mueller, who teaches printmaking. The UF professors collaborated on aninterdisciplinary project in climate change communicationin which groups of graduate students from both the School of Natural Resources and the Environment and the College of the Arts visited the university’s Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory. The students participated in learning activities like scientific lectures, discussions, and making collages before working in small groups to create environmental communication materials for visitors.
As this example shows, students benefit from learning to embrace insights from multiple disciplines, and this can be valuable when they go on to pursue jobs. A 2019 survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed that employers areinterested in hiring professionals with skillsthat can be strengthened through participation in the arts, such as written communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and taking initiative. Art teachers can help students become more well-rounded and capable individuals by teaching them to develop original ideas through creative projects and practices.
The Importance of Art Education for Children
It’s never too soon to introduce kids to the possibilities of creative expression. As outlined in a literature review from the National Endowment for the Arts, a variety of studies demonstrate the value ofembedding artistic practice into early childhood education. Imaginative activities for young learners can lead to better skills in social interactions and emotional regulation.
Lessons in the arts introduce K-12 students to problem-solving techniques, which help them to see the world in new ways, and provide access to creative ways of knowing. Kids discover how art can communicate their own ideas and may become interested in creating increasingly realistic depictions and mastering new techniques. By high school, young artists can think critically about their own work and that of others, establishing a unique point of view and a sense of community with other creative individuals.
The National Core Arts Standards provide a framework foradvancing students’ artistic understanding. This structure breaks down the developmental stages from Pre K through high school into 10 anchor standards. In each stage, students build creative habits as they learn to:
- Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
- Organize and develop ideas and work
- Refine and complete artistic work
- Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation
- Convey meaning through the presentation
- Perceive and analyze artistic work
- Interpret intent and meaning
- Apply criteria to evaluate work
- Make art by synthesizing and relating knowledge and personal experiences
- Deepen understanding by relating artistic ideas to societal, historical, and cultural contexts
Pediatrician Dr. Perri Klass outlined the benefits of art education in schools in the New York Times, notingimprovements for overall motivation, thinking, and academic achievement. An arts-integrated curriculum that asks students to draw or sing as part of the learning process may enhance their ability to recall material such as scientific principles or vocabulary. Foregrounding creativity can be especially effective for students who struggle to retain information from traditional lectures and reading assignments alone.
Art does matter in the classroom, delivering a wide range of advantages for students. Educators can make the most of that potential by equipping themselves to offer creative practice as a central feature in the curriculum and show decisionmakers how these initiatives can achieve transformative results. The University of Florida’sonline Master of Arts in Art Education(MAAE) program helps teachers make a difference. This program features courses that prepare educators to work in avariety of learning environments, support students of all ages, incorporate digital tools into their pedagogy, and foster critical thinking.
About the Online Master’s in Art Education from the University of Florida
The University of Florida’sonline Master of Arts in Art Education(MAAE) program engages students purposefully in art education theory and practice, contemporary art, and their own studio work. Our dynamic online learning environment fosters meaningful interaction with peers and our world-class faculty as members of a supportive, close-knit community of art educators, artists, cultural workers, and scholars. This flexible program brings you the advanced concepts and immersive, hands-on experiences you need to flourish academically and creatively.
To learn more about University of Florida’s online Master of Arts in Art Educationdownload a brochure, fill out the fields below or call us at (877) 360-1859 to talk with one of our enrollment advisors.
*All Fields are Required.Your Privacy is Protected.
The University of Florida respects your right to privacy. By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails and calls from a representative of the University of Florida, which may include the use of automated technology. Consent is needed to contact you, but is not a requirement to register or enroll.
Are you enrolling from outside the U.S.? Click here.
What Can I Do With a Master’s in Art Education?
Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork.Why is art education important what does it do for us as people what does it do for our society? ›
It can be a gateway to joy, empathy, and empowerment. Arts education teaches students to explore the world and their place in it courageously. Through the arts, students can develop the imagination to envision a better future—and the creativity to put that vision into action.Why is it important to integrate art into the classroom? ›
Arts integration builds greater understanding across disciplines, supporting authentic experiences that engage and motivate learners. This practice provides multiple modes of learning and understanding, while also fostering imagination, creativity and personal interpretation of ideas and topics.What are 4 reasons art education is valuable? ›
Art instruction helps children with the development of motor skills, language skills, social skills, decision-making, risk-taking, and inventiveness. Visual arts teach learners about color, layout, perspective, and balance: all techniques that are necessary in presentations (visual, digital) of academic work.What are the benefits of art classes? ›
Art enhances fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills, lateral thinking, complex analysis and critical thinking skills. And art education increases creativity and open-mindedness. Creativity is cited by business leaders as the top leadership competency for the future.How do you integrate arts in the classroom? ›
The key to arts integration is to teach music, drama, and visual arts along with subject-area concepts across the disciplines. As part of an art lesson, students learn geometry by creating abstract art pieces, while also learning about abstract artists throughout history and how math relates to their work.Why is art education the most important approach to art therapy? ›
Through art education, children learn how to explore themselves, the world, and how they relate to others. This definition may sound similar to the realm of psychotherapy; that is, through therapy, we explore our deepest inner selves, and analyze how those inner workings impact our lives on micro and macro levels.How does art help students mental health? ›
The arts' valuable role in mental health is being recognised
It can help to boost confidence and make us feel more engaged and resilient. Besides these benefits, art engagement also alleviates anxiety, depression and stress.
Art can improve confidence and self-esteem in a multitude of ways. For one, children will gain confidence in expressing themselves through the medium of art. Being able to channel thoughts and feelings into their artwork will, in turn, help them feel more confident in communicating how they are feeling.Why is visual art important? ›
Visual art is a fundamental component of the human experience reflecting the world and the time in which we live. Art can help us understand our history, our culture, our lives, and the experience of others in a manner that cannot be achieved through other means.
Students that take a combination of arts programs demonstrate improved verbal, reading, and math skills, and also show a greater capacity for higher-ordered thinking skills such as analyzing and problem-solving.What is the value of art in school? ›
Arts education also imparts valuable skills that will serve students in their lives and careers: observation, problem-solving, innovation, and critical thinking. 46 Participating in the arts can also improve communication skills, generate self-esteem, teach collaboration, and increase confidence.Why is visual art important in the classroom? ›
It turns out that learning to express themselves in a visual medium can greatly benefit students' emotional well-being and academic progress. Research shows that kids who practice visual arts are more comfortable exploring their imaginations and emotions.What are three reasons art is important? ›
Art can communicate information, shape our everyday lives, make a social statement and be enjoyed for aesthetic beauty.What are the 4 C's of art education? ›
NAEA recognizes that the 4C's – Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity - are fundamental to visual arts education. NAEA believes that it is important that all learners leave school prepared with the skills and knowledge to address the challenges that await them.What is the top 10 reasons why study art appreciation? ›
- It's natural human behavior. ...
- It's a language. ...
- Art tells a story. ...
- Therapeutic. ...
- Evoke emotions from people. ...
- Increases creativity. ...
- It makes people happy when they create. ...
- Vital to human development.
Art Class Helps Children Grow
When children get a chance to express their creativity and dive into art, they develop confidence, increase their empathy and discover how to look at the world from different perspectives. All those skills help prepare students to take on the world with passion and creativity.
Art students develop a greater understanding of their visual culture and how they are affected by it. Art allows students to express themselves and it can boost self esteem. As students gain independence and figure out who they are, being able to express themselves through art provides a wonderful outlet.What are the 5 benefits of art? ›
- #1 Builds Fine Motor Skills and Neural Connections.
- #2 Enhances Creative Abilities and Encourages Imagination.
- #3 Improves Communication.
- #4 Boosts Self-Esteem.
- #5 Builds Connection and Community.
- Long Island Art Lessons for Children.
- Create a classroom that encourages interaction. ...
- Make the best out of your classroom space. ...
- Play with colours. ...
- Have an Awards Section. ...
- Have a Games Corner.
The goal of this unit is to introduce students to the basic elements of art (color, line, shape, form, and texture) and to show students how artists use these elements in different ways in their work.What do teachers need to know to meaningfully integrate the visual arts? ›
Teacher need to understand how are is related to the subject, and how the subject is related to art. Classroom teachers are recommended to understand the purpose, process, people, art media, products, visual art elements, and concepts of each integration in order to meaningfully integrate the visual arts.How does art education help to think differently? ›
It takes time to find, examine, and consider the numerous details that constitute most works of art. This process of observation and study helps teach students to more closely observe and analyze the world around them—skills that make up the bedrock of critical thinking.How does art education help problem solve? ›
Art is a powerful avenue to work through problems that may occur in life. It allows children to imagine possible solutions and test them out on their peers. This is a valuable exercise that will help develop important problem solving skills necessary for success in any career.What are four benefits of art therapy? ›
Improve ability to cope with pain and other distressing symptoms in children with cancer. Reduce stress and anxiety in children with asthma. Stimulate mental function in older adults with dementia. Diminish depression in Parkinson's patients.How does art boost confidence? ›
Students in performing arts learn concentration and focus while sharpening memorization skills. This can lead to higher grades and better overall academic achievement. The performing arts allow students to showcase their talents which leads to increased confidence in themselves.How does art help children's development? ›
Art engages children's senses in open-ended play and supports the development of cognitive, social-emotional and multisensory skills. As children progress into elementary school and beyond, art continues to provide opportunities for brain development, mastery, self-esteem and creativity.How can art improve your quality of life? ›
Art gives us meaning and helps us understand our world. Scientific studies have proven that art appreciation improves our quality of life and makes us feel good. When we create art, we elevate our mood, we improve our ability to problem solve, and open our minds to new ideas.How does art help social development? ›
Participating in art can help young children learn about cooperation, collaboration, empathy, and emotional regulation. Art-related activities are fun for young children and are a good way to encourage creativity and assist with the development of fine motor skills and spatial awareness.How do you think art classes affect children's development? ›
Art can help children learn and practice skills like patterning and cause and effect (i.e., “If I push very hard with a crayon the color is darker.”). They can also practice critical thinking skills by making a mental plan or picture of what they intend to create and following through on their plan.
The power in art isn't about what's there, but about how it makes you think and feel. Observing art improves creativity because it broadens your perspective by introducing these new ways to look at the world. It invites inspiration by helping you think things you wouldn't have thought before.What makes a great art teacher? ›
They Are Inspirational: Artists need inspiration, and great art teachers do not let their students give up. Good teacher guides their students to produce art forms that connect with people. They know art is all about perseverance and going on even when criticized by many.What is the first thing to consider in teaching arts? ›
The first principle in becoming an effective art teacher is to drop the word “talent” from your vocabulary. If your students believe in talent, and have never been labeled as “talented”, then chances are, they will never truly believe that they can create good art.What is the explanation of teaching as an art? ›
The art of teaching, then, is this: the marriage of a teacher's ability to lovingly orchestrate the subtle strings of classroom dynamics and student expectations into learning with the truth that each class session is a unique, unrepeatable incarnation of shared presence.Why is art important in life? ›
Art helps you process your emotions and understand your surroundings. It allows you to see life from a different perspective and it makes you feel alive. Art has always been an important part of human society since the beginning of time. Art has been used as a tool for cultural exchange, education, and expression.What are the 5 purposes of visual art? ›
∎ There are five purposes for visual art: Ceremonial, Artistic Expression, Narrative, Functional and Persuasive.What is the most important aspect of visual art? ›
The main focus of visual arts is creative expression through visual means. This means there is communication without the need for words and without the need for the other human senses.What is the impact of art to the students? ›
Learning through and about the arts enriches the experience of studying while at school as well as preparing students for life after school. Arts subjects encourage self-expression and creativity and can build confidence as well as a sense of individual identity.What is the main value of art? ›
Artistic value is just a term we use to talk about something's goodness or badness as art, and it is something comprised of (a number of) different determinant kinds of value, such as aesthetic, moral, cognitive, and political value. In this way, artistic value is attributive goodness.What is the value of in art? ›
Value in art is essentially how light or dark something is on a scale of white to black (with white being the highest value and black being the lowest value). It is widely considered to be one of the most important variables to the success of a painting, even more so than your selection of color (hue).
Art can communicate information, shape our everyday lives, make a social statement and be enjoyed for aesthetic beauty.Why is art education important in schools quotes? ›
The arts significantly boost student achievement, reduce discipline problems, and increase the odds students will go on to graduate from college. It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.What is the most important purpose of art? ›
It can be used to communicate ideas and thoughts; it can be used as a tool for self-expression, used as a form of therapy, or even as a means to find beauty in life. Art also captures a moment in time, historical events, social ideas and concepts, and political or social commentary.What is the most important thing in art? ›
The most important thing in art is The Frame. For painting: literally; for other arts: figuratively-- because, without this humble appliance, you can't know where The Art stops and The Real World begins.What are 3 benefits of art? ›
Relieving stress, training your brain and providing opportunities to connect and socialise with others are some of the many benefits of art that you may not know. There are many studies shown that creating art can benefit your mental health and improve brain elasticity.Why is art so important for children? ›
Art engages children's senses in open-ended play and supports the development of cognitive, social-emotional and multisensory skills. As children progress into elementary school and beyond, art continues to provide opportunities for brain development, mastery, self-esteem and creativity.What skills does art develop? ›
- CREATIVITY. ...
- CONFIDENCE. ...
- PROBLEM SOLVING.
- PERSEVERANCE. ...
- FOCUS. ...
- COLLABORATION DEVELOPING.
Art provides a way for children to express themselves without using words. It can be a release for feelings that are too intense or difficult to put into words. And it can be a way to process trauma or stress. Art also helps children learn about themselves and the world around them.What is an inspirational quote for art classroom? ›
- I don't paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality. — ...
- Art is never finished. ...
- A true artist is not one who is inspired but one who inspires others. — ...
- The task of the artist is to make the human being uncomfortable. — ...
- Art is nothing but humanized science. —
“An elementary school that treats the arts as the province of a few gifted children, or views them only as recreation and entertainment, is a school that needs an infusion of soul. That arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic.”
Art accesses many of the advanced processes of the human brain, such as intuitive analysis, expressivity, and embodied cognition. Artists are often better observers and have better memory, and this may be due to how art affects the brain's plasticity.