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December 3, 2012

TEACH WITH THE ARTS, ALREADY, WILL YA? GEEEEZ…..

by Heidi Zeigler Twitchell

Despite the tremendous positive impact that they make upon education, visual and performing arts programs are consistently among the first to be cut. To those who are well informed, this is baffling, as integrating the arts into curricular instruction is the single most effective approach to teaching and learning available- and that’s a research-proven fact. In addition to enhancing our learning and retention across disciplines, the arts teach us to effectively communicate. They foster our creativity and develop our critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The arts teach us empathy, compassion, collaboration and cooperation- and they help us to express that which we cannot convey otherwise, like our individualism. They heal us- emotionally and physically. Research even shows that students who are involved in the arts throughout their youth are far less likely to commit violent crimes as adults. The arts are the tools that enable us to enrich our culture, further the progress of our society and generate tomorrow’s problem solvers. Ultimately- the arts convey our humanity.

So, my question to educators and school administrators is this….  WHY THE JUNK ARE YOU NOT INTEGRATING THE ARTS YET????  …and don’t you dare tell me that it is because of budget issues.  Total cost to integrate the visual and performing arts into your curricular instruction: $0.00 / year.  Doubt it?  DON’T!  I did it for a decade!

arts education wordle

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