Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Learning Through Art

"Poor people live in a world where beauty seems impossible. 
We make it possible. Then the world and eventually the future look 
very different to them" -Strickland

I have always been a very strong advocate of education through the arts. As a student, I was homeschooled until sixth grade. This meant that my mom did not need to meet state requirements and I did not need to take any standardized tests. We spent the day crafting. We made maracas for music class, made pottery all day, created snow creatures, and knit oven mitts. My mom has been criticized for not being strict in our academic studies, but I think Bill Strickland would agree that an education through the arts is important. 

Not only do the arts encourage creativity, they encourage passion. Strickland mentions that we will all attain purpose and success, not matter our background. I believe that the arts give people the confidence and acceptance they need, which can be carried over to many different aspects of life. Unlike a math question, you can't get a painting wrong. It is impossible to tell a child that their ceramic bowl is too lumpy, because maybe that is how they wanted it. I think the success at Manchester Bidwell comes from not only the academic programs they offer, but the arts education that it incorporated into the curriculum. 

My sister and I tested terribly, but we were not punished. We had the confidence to work harder and try to perfect our work, not for others, but for ourselves. I learned fractions while singing, shapes through finger painting, and proportions while weaving a tablecloth. Funding for the arts are being cut, so where are children, particularly the disadvantaged, learning their confidence? We need to make art to see the beauty in the world and the competence in ourselves. 

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