All children are not receiving equal opportunities and exposure to the arts as a part of their formal education.
The unequal distribution of art education for students is detrimental to their personal and academic development. The lack of exposure to the arts results in an inability for the students to express themselves on several levels.
As of the 1999-2000 school year, 94 percent of elementary schools offered music instruction, and even less, only 87 percent, offered visual arts. A mere 20 percent offered dance, and 19 percent offered drama and theater (US Department of Education). Ninety-four percent may seem like a lot, but that means that 6 percent of elementary schools do not offer music. Six percent is not that small of a number, but when you consider how many elementary schools there are in the United States it begins to grow.
[...] A quote, by Harry Thomas, Director of the Seattle Housing Authority, is an insightful look into the power of the arts for at risk youth; “When children express themselves through dance, or the power of their voices, they may no longer need a broken window, a can of spray paint or a gun to make their points.” Additionally, individuals who attend artistic classes or events are twice as likely to volunteer and does charity work. They are also twice as likely to participate in physically activities, such as sports and exercise, or spend time outdoors. [...]
[...] He then gave a narrative explanation of the drawing he had created Some students know the material; they just need a different way to express their knowledge.” The arts teach children several valuable lessons that they can use throughout their lives. For example, the arts teach students how to make good judgments. The curricula that children are taught from usually are centered on right and wrong answers and set rules (Eisner). This is high risk for students, who may fear making a mistake or being wrong. [...]
[...] Prior to the development of these goals there had been a lack of equity in arts learning opportunities for children and no strong state programs or coordination that allowed for quality art learning for children in and out of school (RI Arts Learning Network). RIALN advocated for a proficiency-based arts graduation requirement and was successful. Previously, experience in arts education was only a requirement for those students intending to go to college. Students usually had to only take a half credit class in the field of art to satisfy the requirement. [...]
[...] “Children need a relief from math, science, and English which are things that can become boring and tedious to them.” With her love for art, and the desire for her children to experience the same opportunities she had, Marquis stressed that she would be extremely upset if the arts were take out of her son's school, or if she moved somewhere where they did not have art programs. would be a big mistake. Art has been the basic form of communication and expression since before the written language.” Interestingly, I also found another article that supports Marquis' last statement, about art being the basic form of communication. [...]
[...] “NCLB has been slowly stripping from the school day of anything that smacks of “extracurricular,” says Sara Bernard, author of the article Wherefore The statistic that art students score 103 points higher on their SATs may be the arts saving grace in a system where test scores are determining factors. A good sign that the field of education recognizes this is that the National Teacher of the Year was a music teacher (Bernard) The arts also allow ESL students to communicate with other children. [...]
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