I’m continuing my research on the effects of incorporating art classes in public schools. I have always enjoyed taking art classes– art, theatre, music– you name it, and I’ve always supported the belief that they should be used in all schools. Now that I’m officially researching this topic, however, it’s nice to find actual facts on the effects art classes have and how they stimulate student’s minds. Finding articles for the annotated bibliography was extremely critical in helping me learn more about my topic and find new sources of information.

While most articles I found were in favor of the arts, it was equally as important for me to find articles that were not in favor of art classes. I found that most not in favor of the arts were teachers who were fed up with the No Child Left Behind Act, which in part was intended to increase the use of the arts in schools. Most seemed to feel that the NCLB really didn’t perform the job it was intended to, and it left art teachers feeling even less important than before. Teachers felt that by being forced to use art in their classes, it distracted students from core subjects. While I still do not know everything about the NCLB, I have been able to gather that many were not in favor of it. If one measure taken by the government failed, then another needs to be enacted instead.

Despite people’s frustrations with it, I still have found an overwhelming amount of reasons why the arts should be used. One of my favorite articles I found was titled “State of the Arts,” written by Sabrina Holcomb. In it, she expresses an experiment performed by an elementary teacher in Texas, Ms. Coleman. Instead of her normal teaching approaches, Ms. Coleman instead used theatre in her classes and would dress up and perform while teaching her lessons. She found that students in her classes were experiencing rapid rates of learning. She also found that her student’s reading levels were jumping multiple grades by the end of the year- far more rapidly than in the past. I especially enjoyed this article because it is easy to find many sources that just mindlessly list a variety of facts, however, this one took observations directly from a teacher who used the argument that I am trying to make. This will make a huge difference when I write my paper about using the arts in schools. What do you think? Are art classes required in your school, and do you feel like they make a difference?

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October 19, 2017 11:59 pm

Hi! I’m Whitlee, a student with interests in the influence of the arts in schools. I’m fairly disappointed right now, though. In my state they just passed something that made the arts, and P.E. so they aren’t requirements in our public schools. I saw videos of a meeting that went on and I was proud of all the students that showed up. A girl with a violin. A boy with an easel. I am proud that there are kids who are trying to fight it.
I do think it would be great to see links to the information you found, so I could read up on some of your sources. Did you know that the arts benefit not only one, but both sides of the brain, promotes self esteem, helps kids be more aware of their surroundings and culture, and helps generate memories? (http://www.ibaboston.org/blog/arts-impact-development-children/)
“During the brain’s early years, neural connections are being made at a rapid rate. Much of what young children do as play — singing, drawing, dancing — are natural forms of art. These activities engage all the senses and wire the brain for successful learning. When children enter school, these art activities need to be continued and enhanced. Brain areas are developed as the child learns songs and rhymes and creates drawings and finger paintings. The dancing and movements during play develop gross motor skills, and the sum of these activities enhances emotional well-being. And sharing their artwork enhances social skills. ” (http://www.aasa.org/SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id=7378)
“Even short, moderate physical exercise improves brain performance. Studies indicate that regular physical activity increases the number of capillaries in the brain, thus facilitating blood transport. It also increases the amount of oxygen in the blood, which significantly enhances cognitive performance. Despite the realization that physical activity enhances brain function and learning, secondary students spend most of their classroom time sitting. Although enrollment in high school daily physical education classes has risen slightly in recent years, it represents only about 25 percent of the student body.” (same source as last)

September 29, 2017 4:20 pm

Cami, I do believe that most sources are going to be in support of the arts. By now, there is obvious proof that arts require a lot of brain function whether that be music, theater, visual arts, or anything else. However, there still seem to be a lot of schools that don’t include the arts in their curriculum. However, I could see the reason being that school boards don’t see colleges and work forces demanding much in terms of art. It might be interesting to look into how many people pursue art schools for college to see what school boards are seeing. Perhaps they see that the money spent on arts is benefiting so few that opportunity costs show a more positive correlation with maths, sciences, and social studies. As for positive correlations, It seems that you have found really reliable and strong sources in favor of art programs. I recently did similar research on American schools systems and found http://www.theedadvocate.org/3-issues-that-are-hurting-the-american-educational-system/ The third point talks about Michelle Obama’s analysis of the arts education system a bit and may lead you to some new information. Good luck on your research and hopefully I helped some!

September 29, 2017 4:16 pm

Cami, I completely agree that art classes can be beneficial to students, especially those in the public education system, but the plain fact is that the budget for such classes isn’t available right now. In this article I found https://lawstreetmedia.com/issues/education/cutting-art-programs-schools-solution-part-problem/ the reason as to why art classes are being cut is because the government wants kids to focus more on core subjects, a point you made very clear when you mentioned the No Child Left Behind Act. Though I don’t know any immediate solutions to this problem, I believe with more research you can present more ways to help save the arts in the school system. Thanks for writing and I look forward to future updates in your continuing investigation.

September 29, 2017 3:38 pm

Cami, I enjoyed reading this continuation of research on the topic of Arts in schools. I do think that having the arts is important in school because it helps kids to have a creative outlet. Kids need to be creative, and use creativity in order to grow and thrive. It has been proven that kids learn better in their core classes when being creative and being artistic to the best of their ability. I like that you brought up the arguing side of the topic as well. I would suggest doing a survey around school, at your high school, or at your old elementary school as well; maybe even talking to some of your teachers, to get firsthand experience.

September 28, 2017 4:25 pm

Hi Cami! I agree with your idea that art classes are beneficial to students. I went to a public middle school and many of our art classes were cut after my 7th grade year. Fortunately, my high school offers many art classes. I found this article http://www.onlinecolleges.net/10-salient-studies-on-the-arts-in-education/ interesting because it gives both positive and negative effects of art classes in school. I think art classes offer students time to relax and use their minds creatively, which in turn decreases stress levels and expand their learning capabilities. Thanks for writing I hope the article I linked is helpful for your research project.

April 27, 2017 11:34 pm

Cami, Though I am not a fan of art projects in my academics, and find them to be stressful, yet I agree that art should be incorporated in schools. I do not have the artistic ability that most people think of when they hear the word art. I can not draw. I do, however, play the cello and I am involved with the orchestra at my school. Playing musical instruments has many beneficial effects on the brain. Musicians have to use their entire brains while playing their instruments, and, for kids, it significantly helps brain development. Art in schools is important for the development of creativity too. Einstein once said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” He would imagine all of his genius ideas before he wrote them down or tried to figure them out with math. He also happened to be a violin player.

December 15, 2016 9:31 pm

Hi Cami,
I definitely agree that the arts should be incorporated into our schools. Throughout middle and high school, we’re given so-called “fun” projects that involve some drawing or coloring. These projects are never graded for artistic ability, because it is something that so many people lack (or, at least, they think they do). But drawing and painting are skills that can be learned. I find that it’s similar to math. So many people say that they’re not math people, but this is just completely misguided. Our brains are designed to see things quantitatively. I think that most artistic skills, particularly drawing could be easily learned, and then applied to other aspects of our schoolwork, just like math.

December 9, 2016 6:00 pm

I completely agree with you. I think art classes are a necessity and tech you things that the other classes can’t. They encourage individuality and creativity and I believe they are key to a school. I think art allows students to explore many different aspects that you often can’t experience in a regular core class.

December 6, 2016 4:23 pm

I think this is a great article. I like the way you introduce what you are doing and point out that you were trying to find articles both for and against art classes.

December 6, 2016 2:54 pm

This is very well written and I admire your dedication to this subject. I think that having art in school, or at least offering it, is very important to students. I think that it is a great creative outlet and can be very beneficial to students as art can be incorporated in many careers.

December 6, 2016 6:02 am

I really enjoyed your article. I personally greatly enjoy the arts and wish that they were more included into the school systems. I have always been greatly invested in my music and photography and wish it was more prevalent. I think this topic needs to be talked about more and can be useful for many students lives.

December 6, 2016 6:01 am

I think you are completely right about incorporating the arts with core classes! I think the arts can teach us things that our core classes cannot such as creativity and free thinking. Its a way to explore all aspects life can offer and can help one further figure out their path of the future.

December 6, 2016 5:47 am

Hi Cami,
I like this article, it brings up something that is not usually discussed among high schoolers. I personally favor art classes as part of public school curriculum because I have grown up with music. My elementary school was a choir school, and not only do I think incorporating the arts stimulates students’ minds, but it also taught me loads about discipline and resilience, which are both skills that I’ve used through high school.
I think another facet about arts education you might be interested in was how art affects health (as well as development). Here is an article I think you might find useful 🙂 http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/09654280510617169
Can’t wait to learn more about what you find!

December 6, 2016 5:00 am

I think arts are super important especially in a high school setting where many kids struggle with feeling like they belong. Arts provide that belonging for many and as you suggested also provide many educational benefits

December 6, 2016 4:02 am

Great writing Cami. I agree with you that art is really important. I think this is a great thing to put work into and pursue. I look forward to hearing more from you.

December 6, 2016 2:27 am

Hi Cami! I really enjoyed reading this article. I agree with you when you say that the arts should be incorporated in the school system. I think it is something that keeps the students engaged and make them enjoy school more than they usually do. I know from being a student that I have always loved my art classes not only because it gives me a break from the regular core classes, but it makes school much more fun. Your piece was very well written and I enjoyed your topic!

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