Arts in Education

Monica Williams July 31, 2011 EDU330-Cultural Diversity in the Classroom Professor Alison Walker The Importance of Arts in Education With all of the modern advancement of technology, sadly some of the components of a common school curriculum are progressively becoming extinct. Just think back, not to long ago, the library was a place where children could explore new adventures from a simple book. Students were also able to express themselves through the weekly classes in music and art. Funding has become a real concern with the slow decrease in the American economy.

Now funding for the art education program is becoming a victim to this decline. Since there has been a lack of arts in the school system, it has in turn affected the need to incorporate diversified education model to teach in a multicultural society. This essay will explain the need to incorporate the arts back into education to enhance the knowledge of living in a multicultural society. There are so many things that children can learn through cultural enrichment. Activities through language, music, art, and dance can enhance a child’s exposure to different ethnicities other than their own.

Since the establishment of No Child Left Behind, Congressional endorsements have restated the value of art and music in education as an important and vital element in quality education for all students (U. S. 2005). However, those were just mere words. Since NCLB, arts educational instructional time has decreased by 16% (Heilig, Cole, & Aguilar, 2010). Well that increase effects the lower performing schools which are usually populated with low-income students and students of color (Heilig, Cole, & Aguilar, 2010).

The mere benefit of these various programs are being overlooked because the teaching of art education has also contributed to an increase of self-esteem, the acquisition of job skills, and the development of creative thinking, problem solving and communication skills (NGA, 2002). All students crave a time to be creative and express themselves. Being in a classroom that is strictly knowledge and skills based can sometimes become quite mundane and boring. When there is music or art incorporated in the curriculum, this can become a great outlet for them.

In recent years there has been a huge emphasis on standardized tests. Administrators, teachers, and students are becoming pressured on making that grade. Education of the arts has proven to help reduce and manage their stress level (Creedon, 2011). There has also been cognitive research that showed when there is a well-rounded structured of music and art education program it enhances the emotional well-being of children for a readiness of learning (Creedon, 2011). Here is the problem, just recently this month, the Interior Appropriations bill wants so cut NEA, National Education of Arts, to 135 million (Advocate, 2011).

The U. S. House of Appropriations Committee just approved to cut 20 million earlier this month (Advocate, 2011). Where does this leave the students of America? It seems that no one is thinking about their education and fundamental it is to have the arts involved in the curriculum. In the state of Texas, there will only be a budget of 3. 7 million dollars for the next two years for the arts, which ultimately gives a fifty percent reduction in grants and thirty percent reduction in staff (TCA, 2011). This reduction of funding affects everyone.

Teachers will be loosing their jobs and more importantly the students are not receiving a well-rounded education. In order to not let this problem occur any further, as American citizens, it is imperative that letters are written to the congressman, senators, and governors. They are the only one that could change things with the state funding. Sticking together as a community can bring it to their attention that arts in education does matter. The days of protesting is not ancient, it can still make an impact on things.

The goal is to inform Congress that there should be at least a funding level of 53 million for the Arts in Education program within the U. S. Department of Education (Advocate, 2011). Those wonderful programs are able to help teachers, all students, and the community with art collaboration in education. Another solution is for the local districts to write grants to keep the arts in their school. The Bill Graham Foundation is a well-known foundation that provides grants for the areas of music in the arts of education (Arts, 2011). This grant can give $4000 for any program promoting arts in education.

This may not seem like a lot, but just think, that is only one out of a thousands programs out there that will provide funding for education of the arts. Grants like these can also give students the opportunity to explore multicultural educational field trips that were not available before. Several studies have proven that art education is a vital component to have a well-rounded student. Writing grants, letters, and even protesting can all help ensure that the arts will increase in the schools instead of decrease. The students should learn about other cultures and one of the best ways is through the arts.

So let’s keep the art teachers, the music teachers, and the librarians, they are important too for our students too! Resources Advocate for the Arts (2011). Retrieved July 30, 2011 from http://www. artsusa. org/get_involved/advocate. asp (ARTS) Bill Graham Foundation. (2010). Children & Youth Funding Report, 13. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Creedon, D. W. (2011). Fight the Stress of Urban Education with the ARTS. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(6), 34-36. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Heilig, J. , Cole, H. , & Aguilar, A. (2010). From Dewey to No Child Left behind: The Evolution and Devolution of Public Arts Education.

Arts Education Policy Review, 111(4), 136-145. doi:10. 1080/10632913. 2010. 490776 National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA). (2002) “The Impact of Arts Education on Workforce Preparation” Economic and Technology Policy Studies Issue Brief. Washington D. C. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, May 1, 2002. Texas Commission for the Arts (TCA). (2011) Retrieved July 29, 2011 from http://www. arts. state. tx. us/index. php? option=com_content&view=article&id=235&Itemid=55 U. S. Congress Passes Resolution Supporting Music Education. (2005). American Music Teacher, 54(6), 10. Retrieved from EBSCOhost

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