|NATA 2013 Youth Art Month Exhibit|
The pieces on display not only showed artistic talent, but told the stories of how they were created. I ran across many great lesson plan ideas. (NOTE: I forgot to write down the names of the pictures I took, and so I only have two teachers quoted. If you happen to know the teacher whose lesson plan is listed, could you let me know?)
The flier for the event touted all the positive outcomes of Art Education: "promotes critical thinking, encourages collaborative efforts, develops the creative brain, increases innovative ideas...is about good teaching and learning through the 21st Century Skills and is...so much more than just making pretty pictures."
As a teaching artist with experience in classrooms both in Nebraska and California, I fully appreciate the fact that schools in Nebraska still have funded arts programs with art teachers and art classes in elementary and middle schools. I have observed the difference that arts can make in a young person's outlook and interest in school, not to mention all the learning opportunities that are inherent in art. It's unfortunate that anyone should have to prove that the arts make a difference in education, but that's exactly what most art teachers and art organizations have to do. When budgets get reduced and cuts are needed, the arts and other "non-essential" programs (like physical education) get the axe first.
I'd just like to extend my thanks again to the Nebraska Unicameral and their support of the arts!
"The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need-And What We Can Do About It" by Tony Wagner.