Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Saturday, Feb 24, 2024

How the arts are a key part of any child’s education

How the arts are a key part of any child’s education

Creative exercises can improve children’s ability to learn in other subjects, and contribute in many ways to their life in the world at large as well as to their educational journey

While the benefits that visual and performing arts can bring to a child’s academic life may not be immediately apparent to all, their positive impact is broad and often far-reaching. For starters, they help students excel in managing emotions and developing an appreciation for different cultures and nationalities.

One only needs to do a quick internet search to see that creative problem solving often ranks among the top 10 skills that employers look for in potential employees. Proficiency in communication is also often cited as an essential soft skill required for today’s workforce. It is never too early to start nurturing these skills in children, and art in every form is an effective way to build and encourage the use of both.

“Arts education helps children to develop transferable skills for learning such as creative problem solving, fine motor skills, communication skills, social skills and decision-making,” said German Swiss International School’s (GSIS) head of primary German, Priska Erni, and her colleague Donna Morley, the school’s head of primary English, in a joint statement. “It can also help children to understand complex concepts if they are presented visually,” they added.

At Canadian International School, art is used to help children develop the confidence to express a viewpoint.

Howard Tuckett, headmaster at Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong, points out that because art is a form of personal creative expression and there is no right or wrong, it is an effective way of helping children to develop self-confidence.

“Art is one of the subjects where children can create their own version of ‘correct’,” Tuckett said. “Of course, the concept of multiple ‘correct answers’ becomes more obvious in other subjects as children develop into them, but art is the first common subject where a child’s picture, model or drawing is their unique response to the topic given to them to respond to.”

According to him, creating their own pictures or models helps children to develop a confidence in their ability to hold their own point of view. “If you can paint your own picture, you can explain or argue your own point of view. Younger children may not have all the words or the verbal skills required but they can express their individual responses through a drawing or painting,” he said.

Art also helps children refine their perception of what they are thinking and feeling, Erni and Morley said. It helps them learn how to give shape to various external impressions as well as inner moods and feelings. “The aim is to develop the power of imagination. It enables the pupils to form an image of what they see ‘outside’ as well as what they see ‘inside’,” they said.

Building transferable skills
Even decision-making skills can come into play in creating art.

Getting children to participate in art improves their ability to learn in other subjects, helping them to exercise and practise essential skills that will stand them in good stead over their school careers.

Anne Drouet, the director of visual and performing arts at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CDNIS), said schools that integrate arts into their curriculum show improved student performance in maths, English, critical thinking and verbal skills.

“This is not a recent discovery: philosophers like Plato recognised the inherent value of studying the arts over 2,000 years ago,” Drouet said. “Drama, music, dance and the visual arts were seen as integral to Greek society. The arts also help to develop motor and interpersonal skills, and critical and divergent thinking that clearly help benefit students across all of their learning.”

Tuckett said that the subjects taught in primary schools are the means that schools and educators use to develop a child’s ability to think, reason, research, develop a hypothesis, work collaboratively with others and more.

“These are all the skills they will need for more senior levels of academia and in their adult workplace. Art is a critical aspect of this selection of curriculum tools,” Tuckett said. “To be able to respond and express yourself in a unique way to those required in other subjects is an enriching and enabling area of any child’s development.”

A broadening world view

An arts education can encompass a variety of visual arts, as well as scenarios and events from real life that educators can use for a lesson – from history to festivals to cultural customs – all of which can help widen a child’s perspective of the world.

“Children who learn about the world through song and dance, for example, quickly learn that cultures around the world have more similarities than they have differences. This promotes global understanding and open mindedness which are critical values for a successful future,” Drouet said.

Erni and Morley concur: “The discussion of artistic works in the community draws attention to different possibilities of expression and design, and promotes the ability to experience and judge. Appreciating the work of other pupils and works of art requires empathy, respect and tolerance, and teaches social responsibility.”

Nurturing emotional development

Art in all forms can have powerful, positive effects on children’s emotional and mental well-being. Drouet explains how taking part in art can elevate one’s mood and bring about feelings of relaxation and peace.

Drouet said she believes the arts can help our brains to slow down a little while we focus on the moment of practising or creating artwork. “Breathing rates slow down coupled with an increased brain production of dopamine. We often feel this every Friday during our community choir rehearsals. About one minute into our breathing exercises and warm-ups, you can feel a collective unwinding and relaxation, together with a sharpened awareness of our own presence, as well as each other’s and the room,” Drouet said.

Erni and Morley from GSIS said art is a safe way for students to express their worries and gently find a way to manage their feelings. “Engaging in creative arts helps children to explore their feelings and emotions,” they said. “Through visual and performing arts, they can express their ideas or worries in a safe setting. Being creative helps children cope with their feelings and fears, as well as managing their various emotional states.”


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.