The Philadelphia Art Education Struggle
Funding art programs decreases as teaching focus is shifted to reading and math test scores. The number of district schools that lack an art teacher amount to 109 schools, which is 41%. More then one out of five schools have neither an art teacher nor vocal music teacher. Because of the cut in public school funding many schools have dropped their art programs all together. Many teachers try to help the loss of the art programs by having in school and after school art activities. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is aware of the importance of art. They have found that is helps children who struggle academically to stay in school and help attendance. This way they have something they can be confident in. teachers continue to use their own time to do projects and put on plays because they find that art is important to the learning process.
Benefits of Art Education for Children
Art education develops imagination and critical thinking. It strengthens problem solving which helps with overall academic success. Art develops a sense of craftsmanship, quality work, and goal setting. It teaches children to articulate a vision, their vision. Art can nurture team building skills and respecting alternative viewpoints. It also brings about the awareness of different cultures and traditions. It plays a central roll in cognitive, motor, language, and social-emotional development. Art is the most natural vehicle for play which promotes and enhances development overall.
Adult View on Art Education
This data is taken from Americans for the Arts National Public Opinion survey. 91% believe that art is vital to a well-rounded education. 95% think art teaches intangibles such as creativity, self-expression, and individualism. 89% believe that all schools should find the money to keep art programs alive. 96% agree that art belongs to everyone, not just the fortunate or privileged.
Social and Academic Impact of Art Education
Art makes it possible for people to create themselves. Art is hard to measure, sit it is often underestimated and undervalued. Art can help students out of “formal” ways of approaching relationships, outcomes, and perceptions. Art draws on a range of intelligences and learning styles helping children find their strengths.
Art Experiences that Promote Learning
Dance builds motor control, body relationships, and a sense of direction. Drawing, sculpting, and other visual arts develop spatial acuity. Group activities such as learning dance steps or singing songs build social skills. Repeating stories, poems, or songs strengthens memory.
Programs in the Philadelphia Community to assist in Art Education
This group helps provide high quality art education opportunities for children in Philadelphia. It was created in 2008 by the Philadelphia Education Fund, Fleisher Art Memorial, and Public Citizens for Children and Youth. They offer programs inside and outside of schools for the community. They have three core issues: in schools to provide access to a high-quality education for every child, in communities to celebrate out city’s thriving neighborhoods, in life to engage young people and prepare them for success in school and beyond.
Philadelphia Arts In Education Partnership (PAEP)
They promote learning in and through the arts for students K-12 in southeastern PA. They encourage excellence in art education. They believe arts are integral to the comprehensive education of all learners. They were created in 1996 with the initial involvement of 25 local arts and cultural institutions. They work in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. PAEP supported, designed, and implemented more than 1,124 residencies facilitated by 1,150 area artists for more then 16,500 students. They employ 910 teaching artists. They have also placed artists in 350 schools. They provide daily arts-making experiences in a record 90,000 inner-city youth.
The Village of Arts and Humanities
They began with the transformation of a vacant lot into an art park for neighborhood children. They were formally incorporated in 1989. They value art as a vehicle for creative place, building self-esteem, and engender mutual respect. They encompass visual and performing arts as well as creativity in thinking, methodology and implementation. They are very focused on maintaining and restoring the local community. Their programs are designed to grow youth and adult residents into community leaders.