Anthony Cody has been running a series of articles about the importance of art in school on his blog “Living in Dialogue.”

 

I will post each of the series.

 

This is number one. 

 

It contains a beautiful statement by Susan Dufresne, kindergarten teacher and artist:

 

Art is healing and meditative for children and teachers. It is inspiring and allows a different kind of space for free and creative expression. Art builds self-confidence in a way that children need. It develops listening skills and an ability to work from part-to-whole. It develops trust in one’s teacher.

 

Art develops executive functioning skills, impulse control, delayed gratification skills, planning and organizing skills, fine motor skills, and visual spatial skills. Art develops meta-cognition skills, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Art increases experiences of joy in all children and during the process of a shared joyful Art experience, our immune systems get the same kind of boost as a hug provides. Shared Art experience creates a strong sense of community. Art creates a sense of peace and satisfaction. Art creates children who think outside the box and can help students stand up for themselves and others. Art develops empathy. Art helps us learn about our world sometimes in a way nothing else could replace. Art can be full-on play! Art can create wonder and Art can answer wonderings. Art can be fiction or non-fiction. Art can come from within or from a power outside of oneself. #Art can incite emotion. Art can be visual music with rhythm and a melody of pattern. Art can engage all of our senses. Art can be science. Art is math. Art is visual poetry. Art can be social studies. Art can incite social justice! Art can be dangerous to the elite! Art can disrupt and disturb oppression. Art can heal depression and trauma. Art is worth doing for the sake of Art alone, but Art does all these things!

 

Can you VAM an art teacher? No! Can a multiple-choice test grade children’s imagination and creativity? No! Why do we measure and care about the wrong things?