Integrating the Arts in Education

It is rightly said by Gavin Newsom, the current Governor of California that “An arts education helps build academic skills and increase academic performance, while also providing alternative opportunities to reward the skills of children who learn differently.”

Going with the simple definition, art is the expression of human creative skill and imagination in the tangible or intangible form and producing works which are known for their unexceptional beauty or emotional power. One can say that art is nothing but arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. We can agree with the idea Leo Tolstoy has about the concept of art, to joining or union of young men together with similar feelings and progression towards the well-being of individuals and of humanity. And that is what we all strive for at the end of day.

Arts in education is a way of learning which gives the creative and aesthetic experiences through exploring, investigating, experimenting, inventing, designing and having an emotional feel towards it. Some of the traditional arts are drawing, painting and colouring, clay modelling etc. The concept of art in education has faded over time with the emphasis given to grades and markings at educational institutions.

I guess every one of you would have come across the joke “Sharma ji ka beta” the neighbourhood boy scoring higher marks than one’s own child. This comparison of the character of people has taken away the spirit of education limiting to scoring that “99%”. The impact of this is art drifting apart and knowledge-based learning ruling the education system.

The absence of art in education has led to higher mental issues like depression, anxiety and unhealthy competitive nature in the budding youths. The ability to enjoy the whole process of learning is curbed down to results in the marks sheet. There is a lack of artistic creativity through which the whole course of education can be delivered to children. Envisioning life in an artistic manner would be easily approachable.

Thus, the education norms are needed to be revised and focus should fall upon the fading art values. There are incredible contributions by artists all over the world to teach people through their art form. One such contributor is Green Humour, Rohan, a cartoonist and an illustrator from Nagpur India. Green Humour is a series of cartoons, comics and illustrations on wild animals; wildlife and nature conservation, environment, sustainability and all things green. Through this comical expression the information about the endangered species, the species going extinct and the environmental issues are expressed in humorous way. This kind of work can be introduced in the academic syllabus which will make the learning process interesting.

Children generally feel mathematics and science subjects are tough nuts to crack. This perception of difficulty can be taught in a creative and experimental manner. Auditya Venkatesh, a traveller photographer, his photos include works on symmetry, the colourings, the tiny elements of nature. These can be familiarized with children and put best use.

Added advantage of arts in education is the help in personality development. To perceive any art form one must have patience, the acceptance to trials and failures, the strength to bounce back and the subtle nature to rejoice success. These attributes facilitate the qualities for community building, societies and communal harmony.

The role of professionals includes to understand primarily that each individual is different from one another and each individual’s interests are equally different. The trainees have the responsibility to see through that there are different forms of art and culture inculcated every now and then into the academics to break the monotonous traditional way of teaching.

In the digital world era and recent pandemic, education has taken a step back. Much effort is necessary from the professionals to grab attention towards education in new forms for attraction. The best technique of this is a combination of both arts and education. The integration of both would promise a higher yield with a wide experimental platform for innovations which enhances individual growth as well as the growth of the economy in a respectable manner.

This article was first published on Education Today

URL: https://educationtoday.org.in/integrating-the-arts-in-education/

 

Author: Sneha Kopparad

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