Posted by: brian | September 4, 2007

Does art matter?

Yes, according to this article that I found via Arts & Letters Daily. The gist of the story is that the current obsession with standardized test scores, and the tendency to teach with a focus on improving those scores, has undermined the perceived value of the less quantifiable skills students learn through art (and music):

As schools increasingly shape their classes to produce high test scores, many life skills not measured by tests just don’t get taught.

[…]

While students in art classes learn techniques specific to art, such as how to draw, how to mix paint, or how to center a pot, they’re also taught a remarkable array of mental habits not emphasized elsewhere in school.

Such skills include visual-spatial abilities, reflection, self-criticism, and the willingness to experiment and learn from mistakes. All are important to numerous careers, but are widely ignored by today’s standardized tests.

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