"While students in art classes learn techniques specific to art, such as how to draw, how to mix paint or how to center a pot, they’re also taught a remarkable array of mental habits not emphasized elsewhere in schools."
—Lois Hetland and Ellen Winner of Harvard’s Project Zero
Art teaches children...
- to see multiple perspectives and many ways to interpret the world
- to surrender to unanticipated possibilities as work unfolds
- to think through and within a medium
- to communicate through visual language
- to discover a range and variety of what we are capable of feeling
- to interpret visual messages
- that problems can have more than one solution
- that the limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognitions
- that small differences can have large effects
Art is essential to education in the 21st century. Art class nurtures engaged learners by promoting active and complex learning. In elementary art classes, students explore a large variety of mediums. Each material provides students with unique challenges, which allows students to discover new solutions. With each creative solution, students learn a new form of expression and communication. Students learn to be flexible when challenges arrive and to not fear mistakes—mistakes create opportunities to find better solutions.
Not only do art students learn concepts and techniques, they learn about themselves. Art class is a safe place for students to explore their own thoughts and personalities. In art class, there is not always one right answer, which teaches students to deal with ambiguity and to form their own opinions and ideas. The arts marry technical skills, emotional intelligence and aesthetic purpose.