Why the Arts Change the Learning Experience
When well taught, the arts provide young people with authentic learning experiences that engage their minds, hearts, and bodies. The learning experiences are real and meaningful for them. While learning in other disciplines may often focus on development of a single skill or talent, the arts regularly engage multiple skills and abilities. Engagement in the Arts — whether the visual arts, dance, music, theatre or other disciplines—nurtures the development of cognitive, social, and personal competencies.
The arts connect students to themselves and each other.
The arts reach students who are not otherwise being reached.
Young people who are disengaged from schools and other community institutions are at the greatest risk of failure or harm. The arts provide a reason, and sometimes the only
reason, for being engaged with school or other organizations.
The arts reach students in ways that they are not otherwise being reached.
Recent educational research has produced insights into different styles of learning. This research also addresses examples of young people who were considered classroom failures.
The arts provide learning opportunities for the adults in the lives of young people.
The arts transform the environment for learning.
When the arts become central to the learning environment, schools and other settings become places of discovery.
The arts provide new challenges for those students already considered successful.
Boredom and complacency are barriers to success. For those young people who out grow their established learning environments, the arts can offer a chance for unlimited challenge.
The arts connect learning experiences to the world of real work.
The world of adult work has changed.
How the Arts Change the Learning Experience
Enable young people to have direct involvement with the arts and artists.
Require significant staff development.
Support extended engagement in the artistic process.
Encourage self-directed learning.
Promote complexity in the learning experience.
Allow management of risk by the learners.
Engage community leaders and resources
Students learning in and through the arts become their own toughest critics. The students are motivated to learn not just for test results or other performance outcomes, but also for the learning experience itself.