Reading Reflections

NAEA – Learning in a Visual Age: The Critical Importance of Visual Arts Education [part 1]

The article covers the importance of art in learning through examples and descriptions of other NAEA documents. The use of visual materials is highlighted in reference to the domination of interactive modern technology. A strong knowledge in the visual arts is necessary in our changing era. The authors suggest that art encourages understanding and creative thinking. The article provides a background on what it is that arts education provides to students. It elaborates upon the potential benefits by explaining how they are useful and further prepare students for the future. After explaining the benefits of a strong arts education, the article provides examples and suggestions towards the teaching of arts education.

I feel that children learn through the engaging in art because it allows them to think creatively. In art, students are exposed to a problem without a clear answer. There is not always only one right answer. Instead children are given an opportunity to use different approaches to find answers to a problem. Students are given a freedom. They can touch and draw in order to feel and see a potential solution. It also is open to more questions. Students become more curious. I am fond of the thought that vision exposes students to the variety that exists in the world. There are so many different things out there. Through engaging in art, students have first-hand experiences with different situations. They are given an opportunity to experiment and learn for themselves. The answers are not exactly formulaic. Art also lets children express themselves. It is our role as educators to facilitate the learning process.

Art is important in schools for several reasons. Among them, they promote innovation. Students are motivated to think creatively. They also learn to observe and make inferences. By learning art students learn habits that are useful in everyday situations. They learn to look at things at a deeper level. They look for existing connections. I liked the suggestions that were offered for bringing a strong arts education to the class. I feel that are art extends so much further. Its functions extend into a greater community. Art can be shared by all; this allows students to explore beyond the familiar. Art is necessary in school to strengthen the students.

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NAEA – Learning in a Visual Age: The Critical Importance of Visual Arts Education [part 2]

The second portion of this article focuses on how to best integrate the arts into the class. One of the qualities of art is that it is accessible to students of all levels of needs. Marginalized students are given the same opportunity to engage in the arts. The openness of arts instruction motivates students to become more active learners and allows them to develop important skills. These opportunities for growth can exist in the class or in the community. There is a lack of qualitative research about art education; additional research needs to be completed although it is difficult to measure the benefits of art.

I appreciate all the suggestions towards the Federal Government in favor of art education. It seems that art education is often under appreciated in the era of No Child Left Behind. The benefits are often underestimated and not taken into account. In order to progress and provide more valuable art education, more research needs to be completed. Children deserve a high quality art education. The recommendations to the Federal Government are important to note so that the advancement of art education permeates all levels of government. I also agreed with the mention of museums as valuable resources. I believe that museums provide another dimension of understanding to all students.

The benefits of art are unique to each individual. I really feel that the arts are accessible to all people. There are no barriers when art is made. It can be felt. A work of art does not only belong to its creator; it belongs to all people as they each develop a meaningful relationship with the artwork. People may have various memories associated with the work and find that their experience is in fact shared with others. Art is so special in that it can belong to the individual and the community. It works on multiple levels and is transcending. One way that art benefits is by becoming a form of expression. People can release emotions and express them in any manner. This can lead to understanding. Art is a method of communication and can lead to reconciliation. Art allows people to view and perceive things by using different senses. Most importantly it allows the viewer to see something through the perception of another. Art strengthens relationships between people, society, and their surrounding environment. Art increases knowledge. Through the production, students learn of different methods. The can also experiment and create new solutions to problems in the production of art. By studying art, students also gain an understanding of the historical context of the artwork. They learn that art is not created in a vacuum and is a product of the factors of its time. There are far too many benefits that art offers. Art is valuable to all people.

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“Imagining and Playfulness in Narrative Inquiry” by Vera Caine and Pam Steeves

[Caine, V. & Steeves, P. (2009). Imagining and playfulness in narrative inquiry. International journal of Education & the Arts, 10(25). Retrieved [ Feb 2010] from http://www.ijea.org/v10n25/.%5D

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