Why Are the Arts Important
by Dee Dickinson
- They are languages that all people speak that cut across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers and enhance cultural appreciation and awareness.
- They are symbol systems as important as letters and numbers.
- They integrate mind, body, and spirit.
- They provide opportunities for self-expression, bringing the inner world into the outer world of concrete reality.
- They offer the avenue to "flow states" and peak experiences.
- They create a seamless connection between motivation, instruction, assessment, and practical application--leading to deep understanding.
- They are an opportunity to experience processes from beginning to end.
- They develop both independence and collaboration.
- They provide immediate feedback and opportunities for reflection.
- They make it possible to use personal strengths in meaningful ways and to bridge into understanding sometimes difficult abstractions through these strengths.
- They merge the learning of process and content.
- They improve academic achievement -- enhancing test scores, attitudes, social skills, critical and creative thinking.
- They exercise and develop higher order thinking skills including analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and "problem-finding."
- They are essential components of any alternative assessment program.
- They provide the means for every student to learn.
Copyright © 1993