Posted by: meredithbuchanan | April 25, 2010

Advocating for the Arts

To give you a context for my teaching style, I graduated from York Universities Fine Arts Education program. It was during my time at York that I began to recognize the importance for the use of arts in our schools to help facilitate deep learning. Let me begin by saying, the arts not only engage and inspire us, they actually develop the brain.

Painting in the Park. Myself, Age 6.

Painting in the Park. Myself, Age 6.

There is a short window in ones life where the doors to development remain open. Research on the emotional system shows frontal brain lobes that are responsible for cognitive understanding stop developing at the young age of sixteen. People who do not receive adequate arts experiences early on in life risk life long handicaps that limit their access to the comfort and happiness that the arts can provide.

There has always been a strong connection between the arts and academic success. A study of SAT scores showed that students who studied the arts were 59 points higher on the verbal and 44 points higher on the math portion than students with no experience in the arts. (The College Board, Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, 1995). Whether its using music to cultivate math reasoning, or using the dramatic arts to mature a love and command of words, the arts let us do so in a stimulating and engaging manner. I desire to infuse core classroom lessons with rich arts activities and experiences that move students from taking a passive role to an active role in their learning and use the arts as a pathway to profound scholarship.

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