Art Education Advocacy
Page updated April, 2008 - Marvin Bartel

"How Schools Are Doing?"
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 site provides ways to influence legislation and policy makers to promote 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.

"The 1997 National Assessment of Educational Progress in arts education (visual art, music, theatre, and dance) studied the general population of 8th graders across the country and found that students are not achieving at high levels in responding to, performing or creating works of art. However, NAEP found 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. Unfortunately, less than half of the nation's 8th graders are being taught the arts. The benefits of an arts education are being denied American students."

Better Test Scores Through Arts Education

Students who have had arts education have higher SAT scores than other students.
Sources: The College Board, Profile of College-Bound Seniors National Report for 2001, 2002, and 2004.

Read a copy of a letter to a school administration related to whether or not to employ elementary art specialists.


Better Reading and Writing Through Arts Education
"Brain research is showing that the stimuli provided by the arts - pictures, song, movement, play acting -are essential for the young child to develop to the fullest potential. These activities are the "languages" of the child, the multiple ways in which he or she understands and interprets the world. Active use of these forms also paves the way for the child to use verbal language, to read and to write."



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. 

Successful Examples

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Art Education web pages

Art and Learning
to Think and Feel
by Marvin Bartel

Art Ed Links  annotated

an avocacy letter
How to write art tests
requiring creativity
How to Draw an Orchid at age 4

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