For all those moms and dads and organizers, I'd like to share something that will be so reassuring when your hands are full of paint and glue, and you realize you have bit off much more than you can chew! The funds that you will be raising to enhance your student artist's experience will make a huge difference in their development And the fact that you have made this a priority at a time when the arts are considered frivolous, is really groundbreaking! Despite all the evidence of the significance that art makes in each of our lives, when push comes to shove, the arts are frequently the first to go.
So, when the going gets tough the next couple of weeks and the deadline is looming, take a deep breath and remember what this fuss is all about. I've submitted a list of "Ten Lessons that Arts Teach" by Elliot Eisner, emeritus Professor of Arts and Education at Stanford University to let you know just what this means for your student artist:
Ten Lessons the Arts Teach By Elliot Eisner
The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.
The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.
The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor number exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.
The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.
The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.
The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
The arts’ position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.
SOURCE: Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind, In Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach and How It Shows. (pp. 70-92). Yale University Press. Available from NAEA Publications.