Also known as cognitive functions, cognitive abilities are brain-based skills that people need to carry out tasks, whether simple or complex, relating to learning, problem-solving, reasoning, and the use of thisinformation in our daily lives.
These core skills help people process information and use what they’ve learned to solve problems or perform tasks. Examples of cognitive skills include:
- Auditory processing
- Divided attention
- Logic and reasoning
- Long-term memory
- Selective attention
- Sustained attention
- Visual processing
- Working memory
In the past, schools emphasized improving students’ grades and scores in standardized tests by pushing them to focus more on academic learning rather than the arts. But this has been proven to be counterproductive, with students’ scores remaining lower than what educators would like.
Searching for ways to truly improve students’ learning and subsequently helping them achievebetter grades, psychologists concluded that there is indeed a link between arts in the school curriculum and cognitive learning.
Although it may bedifficultto believe, incorporating arts into the curriculum helps students understand their academic lessons and get better grades. Students who used to struggle with difficult math and science concepts are learning more effectively through unconventional methods such as theater and dance!
This goes to show that students learn more when they’re having fun – and the arts can truly help them develop skills that they can’tgainthrough pure academics.
Benefits of Art Education and Creativity
Did you know that cognitive development isn’t just something that a person goes through as a child but develops throughout life?
According to Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, there are four stages in a person’s cognitive development:
- Sensorimotor stage develops from birth to around twoyears old; the primary goal is object permanence
- Preoperational stage develops from twoto sevenyears old; the primary goal is symbolic thought
- Concrete operational stage develops from sevento 11 years old; the primary goal is operational thought
- Formal operational stage develops from adolescent to adulthood; the primary goal is abstract thought
During the sensorimotor stage, kids learn through motor activity instead of understanding things through symbols and letters. While this might not look like a stage suited for academic learning, children will already begin developing their thinking and understanding skills based on objects they can see, touch, and feel.
That’s why this stage is perfect for starting art and creativity lessons. Not only are kids interested in doing fun things with art and music, engaging in these activitieswill also help develop their brains’ cognitive function.
Integrating music and arts into lessons can also help children better remember. Have you noticed how much easier kids learn basic concepts like the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and other stuff through songs? Learning isn’t such a difficult chore if kids are having fun.
Notice how kids respond well to Dora the Explorer, Barney, Little Einsteins, and other educational shows.These characters make learning more fun for kids and get them hooked on studying even if they didn’t even realize they are doing so!
Indeed, artists play an essential role in shaping society – and that could start with kids watching these educational shows.
Benefits of Art and Creativity in School Curriculums
As kids grow older and begin going to school, they get to learn through other channels.
While visual arts and music are getting pushed into the background because schools are focusing on academic learning, teachers are still trying their best to use alternative methods to incorporate these elementsintotheir lessons. After all, they know the importance of art and creativity in learning, even if theymight not be a priority in theschool curriculum.
Better communication skills and self-confidence
Many shy, introverted children developbetter communication skills after learning how to express themselves through music or visual arts.By achieving something, theirself-confidence also receives a boost.
Deeper cultural and self-understanding
As they learn to appreciate art and culture, kids develop a deeper understanding of culture and society. Many learn to empathize well with others and growdeeper self-understanding.
They will also have higher civic engagement levels and social tolerance, making them grow into well-rounded adults who can easily interact with others. Considering that humans are social beings, this skill is critical.
Developing problem-solving skills
Creative problem-solving skills may be developed as kids learn more about thearts.It’s said that the right side of the brain controls art and creativity,yetdeveloping art skills also helpsdevelopthe left side of the brain,which isused for analytical and methodical thinking.
Art also sharpens skills in decision-making.
Impact on health
The benefits of art aren’t just limited to what itcan do to the brain but also its impact on a person’s health and well-being. Studies have shown that students who are provided more freedom for creative expression through art lessonshave lower stress levels than those who are asked to focus more on academic studies.
Letting kids learn how to appreciate art will make them feel relaxed and happy. In turn, this will help them feel healthy and alert.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Education found a link between creative activities and academic development.According to the study, students improve their reading ability, verbal memory, and various executive functions by learning music.
Many parents are surprised to learn that art activities also improve cognition.
Introducing children to art helps develop their fine motor skills, enhances the agility of their hands, and improves their hand-eye coordination. This is why psychologists encourage letting children use their hands to create art, whether through drawing, painting, or othermedia.
Value of Art Education in Young Children
Because art isn’t assigned much importance in today’s school curriculums,it’s become something that parents haveto pay extra for their kids to learn. Several music and art schools offer special courses for kids. You can also find many online schools that offer different art courses, something that was beyond the reach of students in the past.
Visual arts such as drawing, painting, and sculpting are common practices in traditional art. Students learn these skills using their hands. This is a good thing, particularly for young kids who are still developingtheir motor skills.
Traditional art also includes music and literature.
Thanks to advancements in modern technology, artists of today can create art using media not available in the past.Thus, even if modern art is similar to traditional art, distinct features make it different.Photography and video art are among the practices ofcontemporary art.
Digital fashion is an exciting practice that combines the visual representation of clothing with computer technology to create a piece of art that’s visible on screen but isn’t a physical object.
Art is viewed differently now than it was in days gone by. While it might be pushed into the background in some highly academic schools, it’sterrific that plenty of art schools have opened to offer a training ground for kids to develop their artistic skills.
How can educators expose kids to art? Give them a task to create something with their hands, whether it’sdigital art on their computers or a colorful drawing on paper. Letting kids learn a musical instrument also has plenty of benefits.
It’s also a good idea to take kids on field trips to museums and art galleries.
So, how important do you think arts are in today’s times?