Child-centered learning isn’t complete without exposure to arts

A child’s education should involve exposure to art and art-making early on, because these experiences and skills lead to success in other academic areas like math, science, arts, and humanities.

Art, and art making, establish a foundation for academic achievement. It provides opportunities to practice self-permission and patience. This means children give themselves permission to take chances in a controlled environment – the simple act of making a mark on a blank page. They also develop the patience to recognize, accept, and transform that into a positive, well-meant statement — by turning that mark into a picture.

The permission and patience learned through art and art making build confident visual literacy skills and a strong personal voice. They develop and sustain critical, creative thinking and expression. Critically and creatively thinking students recognize, understand, and solve problems efficiently and with good-humor. Unfamiliar materials do not intimidate them, and they thrive in studio-based, highly social learning environments.

The importance of art and art making doesn’t, of course, end with childhood. All these principles apply to adults as well. Exposure to and experience with art is vital to continuing personal intellectual and practical development throughout life.