The importance of Art Education

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I caught this post on twitter and it reminded me of the influence art has on the world. In UK education art is a subject under threat and we must show it’s relevance if we are to survive.
What better way of doing that than to remind senior leaders that everything man – made in the world has been created as a product of art.
When they are obsessing about maths grades and English scores it’s worth pointing out that if they want to produce the best, most outstanding pupils then they need to be creative. Just ask Einstein!
Creativity is the pinnacle of learning in the revised Blooms Taxonomy. Look it up if u don’t believe me! Art teachers are teaching the most important skills in the school.
Creative Industries bring 8 million pounds an hour to the UK economy. That’s the second biggest economic area behind manufacturing.
So what’s all this fuss about league tables and needing to catch up with Asia in numeracy and literacy? Well there’s some truth in that.
Major research by Pearsons and the Economist on global education tables says:   “the top four countries overall – South Korea (No. 1), Japan (No. 2), Singapore (No. 3) and Hong Kong (No. 4) – all put an emphasis on their students developing basic skills, such as numeracy and literacy. It is a fact that other countries cannot ignore.”

So how do we fight our corner against this when leaders are pulling students out of art lessons to do catch up maths lessons?
Lessons in Asia are usually very rote based. They cram knowledge and retain it. There isn’t an emphasis on applying that knowledge to products or problems. In a nutshell, creativity is missing.
A headmaster of a leading school in Shanghai complained that the Gaokao exam – China’s equivalent of A-levels – was too restrictive.
“He told me he felt his school system was heading for the edge of the cliff and did not know how to change direction,”
“He was concerned that his students did not have the contextual skills to compete in a globalised economy – the ability to develop, amend and present an idea, the capacity to think laterally.
And where did he look for inspiration? To Britain!  And which lesson teaches the ability to construct, develop and present ideas? 


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