Monday, January 21, 2013

Arts in Education

While there are many topics that one can stand behind and champion the subject of art in education is definitely one I am behind. As a psychology student I, of course, find it interesting through developmental stages how adaptation to creative elements as color, texture and shape are part of human development in their own creativity. Developmental psychology has suggested that the way children are taught art shapes their artistic growth (Hallam, Lee & Das Gupta, 2011).

If you are a person who is perusing blogs and participates in SL you can certainly enjoy how artistic the SL landscape is today. I find myself in awe of how such a technical virtual world can bring the arts together in such a diverse representation of palate.

If you happened to travel the world map in SL you are bound to hear streaming music, see created items, and look as avatars are articulated in fashion sense. This sense of style and taste is all formed in our developmental years and as we age, our experience and preferences adapt and grow.

Students today face elimination of many studies deemed extra-curricular and in our times often read about this or see it with our own eyes. Sports programs cut, existing programs reduced and at what cost?
Pie and Verde supporting local music scene at The Velvet
When music programs as chorus, band, orchestra, jazz band are cut, or when art programs are reduced and trimmed here is what we realistically are facing:

1. Students who participate in arts programs are at least 3 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, elected to school office, participate in math/science fairs, win awards for writing and essays.

2. Third grade art students who participated in the Guggenheim Learning Through Art Program performed better in six categories of literacy and critical thinking skills including thorough description, hypothesizing and reasoning .

3. Students in arts programs outperform their counterparts on the SAT by 91 points.

4. Students in music programs improve their SAT scores in math, foreign language, and creative writing.

5. In NYC 2009 33% of students take music classes. Out of 160 middle schools in Brooklyn 26% do not even offer the programs.

6. Nine out of ten parents oppose cuts in arts at school yet policy makers ignore this critical part of education.

7. Employment in arts-related jobs are set to rise 16% through 2016, which is faster than the national average.

8. In a report by the National Endowment of the Arts (2008) the amount of people who attended at least one arts event was 34.6% down 5% from six years prior.

9. Nationally, the non-profit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity each year.

10. The not-for-profit arts and culture industry generates 5.7 million jobs every year.

11. About 86% of artists vote in comparison with 60% of all Americans.

Out of the many friends I have that are DJ's at well decorated clubs in SL and musicians that play in real-life and SL They have all learned their appreciation for their artform as they have developed their tastes. I have a very eclectic taste for music and art and know that having that access to culture and understanding art is something I wanted to follow. I believe this seed was planted years ago when I was learning to play music as a young child all the way through high school to my ripe old age of 48 right now.  I even started doing computer art in the past few years and finally put the paint to the canvas late last year for the first time with acrylic paints. My wife Verde Otaared enjoys photography in SL and real life and we both LOVE the music scene that has been created in world. Is this the result of people that had an arts education? I would have to say yes, this is the beauty that the even the smallest planting of the seed will lend its hand to and grow even in the technical landscape where we roam.

Piedmont computer art.
Verde does very inspired SL photography and recently visited Bryn Oh's Gretchen and Teddy display after watching the amazing machina Bryn created. She snapped a few artistic shots that are appealing to the eye and have deep dramatic expression. This demonstrates how art inspires participation and the creation of more art.

Scene from Gretchen and Teddy
Photo by Verde Otaared
Please support your local arts programs and help plant the seed for smarter and a more understanding student base. It wouldn't hurt to support the arts either...when is the last time you supported local theater? When have you gone to see a live performance, or reading? Support art what ever form it comes in and participate with your taste in the landscape.


Hallam, Jenny L., Lee, Helen, & Das Gupta, Mani. (2011). An investigation into the ways in which art is taught in English reception classes. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 5(2), 177-185. doi: 10.1037/a0020275

1 comment:

  1. Excellent first post Pie!
    I'm so glad we met and you're on our team!