Art is Not an Elective
Dexterity is one of the most important physical skills children will ever learn. According to L. E. Berk, "When motor skills work as a system, separate abilities blend, each cooperating with others to produce more effective ways of exploring and controlling the environment." (Berk, 2013, p. 148). Why does our culture stop valuing this skill of creative movement or investing in all cognitive learning types once children are midway through elementary school? Why is art considered an elective when it is so vital, so elemental, to our job sector? Why do we say as a nation that we value and appreciate the aesthetics of American made homegrown products? Yet, art is treated as an elective instead of a right of every child's educational experience. How are we to create the next generation of innovators if they're not given the tools, they need to lead our country into the four-front of the newest industrial revolution?
Art is such a powerful tool. And If I am going to get on my soapbox and preach, It's best that I put my money where my mouth is opening. At my Cavalli Corner exhibit, I will be starting an art fund for my neighbours and all residents in Cassio Metro. The show will be up from the 2nd of July (opening night begins at 6 pm if you wish to see me.) and will continue for the rest of the month of July.
We must change our minds as a nation. Educate the general public about the art industry and its lucrative jobs. Finally, we have a duty place a larger emphasis on creative works in order to advance our nation into a DaVinci educational state in which subjects are treated as integral parts of the educational body instead of placing a higher value on parts (Example of general stigmatism- Math and reading are more valuable than drawing or performance arts).
In PreK and kindergarten, elementary school children focus on handwriting, sharing, and learning their ABCs and 123s. "Many preschool programmes emphasize the use of scissors because it develops the dexterity children will need for writing." (Khan) As children progress into the early grade school years, schools focus more on reading and math. However, in late elementary to middle school, their knowledge of the arts starts to dwindle, or may even become nonexistent by the second grade.
"Schools are cutting back on teaching science, social studies, and art to become proficient in math and reading tests." (Kumeh).
"Findings indicated that elementary art teachers are provided very modest budgets for achieving goals; have little planning time; perceive themselves to be undervalued in the school curriculum, and are losing contact hours with students." (Mims, Lankford).
These attitudes and problems provide little incentive for those in the art industry to become teachers; sometimes, individuals burn out due to a lack of support from their communities. Many in the field become disenchanted because their professional subject is designated as a frivolous afterthought elective, unworthy of funding. How, I ask, is our system to improve if our educators are not incentivized to educate their pupils and the general public about the art sector, with its available lucrative jobs or valuable innovations on which our economy depends?
Art education started to be implemented in the American education system in 1884 with the Instruction in Drawing Applied to Industrial and Fine Arts Ac