Page updated April, 2008 - Marvin Bartel
Recently, in my Art for Children class, a college course for elementary education majors, a student came to me very sadly relating how much she felt cheated by the lack of art instruction she had received in her elementary school. When she was in elementary school she had very much wanted to learn to draw. Her teachers dismissed it by telling her it was not very important. Her experience, unfortunately, is not an isolated case. About 40 percent the elementary schools in the US do not have art teachers. Some areas of the country have much better schools.
The above student grew up in Elkhart, IN. The good news is that the Elkhart Schools, in 2000-2001, added Elementary Art Teachers. Elkhart, IN, children now have art teachers. However, other schools in our area have discontinued art teachers in their elementary schools.
The Arts Education Partnership Critical Links page reports on four visual arts studies showing the benefits of art programs.
Keep Arts in Schools web site
. . students have experienced significant advances in achievement and
student growth as the arts have become infused in the curriculum."
This site has well written explantions of how the arts influence brain development.
Americans for the Arts
This Web Page has a link to a PDF file that gives the data on the higher SAT scores for students enrolled in the arts (including music).
"No Arts Left Behind" by Rita Goldman,
© 2005, Centerpiece Magazine
Maui Arts & Cultural Center
Goldman relates the problems with No Child Left Behind and goes on to cite examples of how the arts are facilitating learning.
“In all my years of teaching science, last year was the absolute best, because I finally integrated art into the curriculum. . . . If you don’t integrate art, you are doing them a great disservice. -- Maggie Prevenas at Kalama Intermediate School in Makawao, Hawaii
Five Habits of Creative Families is an essay that searches for good parenting practices by iterviewing the winners of Sholastic contests and their parents.
Less than half of the nation's 8th graders are being taught the arts
National assessments in the arts are infrequent.
National Assessment of Educational Progress in arts education (visual
art, music, theatre, and dance) studied the general population of 8th
across the country and found that students are not achieving at high
in responding to, performing or creating works of art. However, NAEP
that students receiving classroom arts
instruction outperformed other students
and that instruction increased all of their arts abilities, including the
ability to create works of quality that communicated complex ideas and
feelings - a fundamental communication skill in contemporary society.
less than half of the nation's 8th graders are being taught the arts.
benefits of an arts education are being denied American students."
The National Center for Educational Statistics offers the 1997 report. ( 958KB)
Chapter 4 - Creating and Responding in Visual Arts: A Close Look at the NAEP 1997 Visual Arts Assessment as a pdf downloadable file.
Better Test Scores Through Arts Education
Read a copy of a letter to a school administration related to whether or not to employ elementary art specialists.
Research you can use
Cornett lists 11 studies that show the benefits of arts education.
Cornett, Claudia. Creating Meaning Through Literature and the Arts: An Integrated Resource for Classroom Teachers, 2nd Ed., © 2003, Pearson Education, N. Jersey. Merrill Prentice Hall. see page 8. Sorry, no link. This is a book - remember libraries and bookstores?
NAEA the National Art Education Association
Advocacy Kits and Links
TeacherArtExchange is a place for art teachers to share ideas, questions, and ideas.
How Important are the Arts in our Schools? by Marvin Bartel. This essay responds to an April 13, 1999, front page article in the Goshen News about budget cuts in the Goshen Community Schools.
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