How important is art education?
I came across an interesting online poll sponsored by Liberty Mutual.
There was only one question: Is art education important? Only a “yes” or “no” response was permitted.
Out of almost 18,000 responses, the results were almost evenly divided, with the “yes” voters having a slight edge. 52% of the respondents said that, yes, art education is important, while 48% voted “no”.
Now, it’s important to take a poll like this with quite a few grains of salt. First, it was not a scientific poll with a random sampling. Anybody who came across this poll could vote on it. So it’s not necessarily an accurate measurement of public opinion on the subject. [Note: The poll is no longer available online.]
What I found most interesting were the twenty-seven comments left by people who had read or participated in the poll. The greater majority of the comments came from readers who believed that art instruction was very important. Here’s a sampling of some of their responses:
“I believe art gives choice and freedom to people, and enables many to express themselves.” – Rebecca R.
“What is more useful in today’s changing world than critical thinking, collaboration, or creativity? These are researched benefits of art education.” – Matt
“Appreciation of the arts (music, dance, architecture, etc) is enriching, engaging, and like candy for the soul.” – ACAgal
“Creating art strengthens your problem solving ‘muscles’…. It also helps to teach students to appreciate the communication that is intrinsic to all art forms.” – Eileen
“An education or training in the ability to truly see the world in art makes life fun and full of wonder.” – Caroline G.
One of the saddest responses comes from someone who apparently is in a school system that does not have art as part of the curriculum: “I agree art gives kids a break from graded work and it relieves stress they got rid of art at my school and if I try to draw in study hall they would send me to detention.” – BallenaJ
Choice, freedom, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, enrichment, problem-solving, fun, wonder, a nd communication are just a few of the benefits of art education. This month, the See the Light Blog will focus on why art education is important and should be a key part of any homeschool curriculum.
So, what do you think? Is art education important? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below.