Sunday, August 23, 2009

Art Encourages an Enthusiam for Learning

I don't often quote people without adding something original. But a two-year-old article from the newsletter of the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island has stayed with me which I'd like to reproduce - if only for my own use. The original is here on page 9:

The author, Carolyn Corbo of Public School 50 directs this (apparently) towards parents of young children. But I feel there's much to be learned even for adults in these 10 maxims. For librarians - or advertisers, or anyone for that matter - the key is getting the individual engaged. This is more possible in a non-judgmental environment where art is exercised ("arts" is not restricted to graphic arts).

It also challenges what I feel is a very American notion (and erroneous one): that "arts" or "entertainment" are an add-on that can easily be jettisoned or placed on a very low priority in times of economic or other difficulties. If arts lead to all the things Corbo suggests, then they are as important as any other subject or occupation for psychological health and communication.

Here is Carolyn Corbo's:

Art Encourages an Enthusiasm for Learning
The Importance of Art Education for Every Child

  1. Art develops fine motor skills when we use a scissor or thread a needle.
  2. Art develops organizational skills, the 'how to', step-by-step in making a weaving, building an armature or painting.
  3. Art making promotes critical thinking--your children look closely at great works of art, analyze and make inference about what they see. We learn about people from distant lands, different cultures and traditions.
  4. Art making promotes independent thinking. Your children make decisions about what colors to make, shapes to cut, how to change their work.
  5. Art reaches children of all learning styles--it levels the playing field.
  6. Art making promotes focus and attention to detail. Even the most active children are engaged when painting a picture or making a sculpture.
  7. Art nutures the spirit and stimulates the imagination.
  8. Art builds self-esteem.
  9. Art making provides our children an opportunity to express their feelings and ideas about their world.
  10. Art making is process oriented where children explore different art mediums. Children are encourages to take risks, think for themselves and become problem solvers.

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