The arts are essential to the academic success of Alphonsus Academy & Center for the Arts' students. By integrating the arts into our core curriculum, AACA students learn through critical inquiry and problem solving skills with inventive, creative and expansive work. Arts integration enables students to understand the human condition as well as the social, political and cultural framework of our world. The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.
According to the National Art Education Association, the arts:
teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.
teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions have more than one answer.
celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.
make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.
teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.
teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.
enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
SOURCE: Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind, In Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach and How It Shows. (pp. 70-92). Yale University Press. Available from NAEA Publications. NAEA grants reprint permission for this excerpt from Ten Lessons with proper acknowledgment of its source and NAEA.