Whether your son has a natural flair for the Arts, enjoys a challenging maths equation or is a computer whiz – the visual arts are for everyone. Studies have proven that the benefits of visual arts are endless, and the good news is, you needn’t aspire to be an artist or musician to enjoy this diverse and all-encompassing field.
Creative arts programmes provide more than artistic skills. Visual arts subjects can arm students for the future by embedding life skills, fostering emotional intelligence and offering a different way of seeing the world.
Research indicates that an arts infused education enables people to become informed citizens, critical thinkers, creative problem solvers and productive members of society. Robert Sabol, Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at Purdue University in the USA, states that nurturing and developing students’ creative capacities is vitally important for advancement in the workforce.
Here are five ways visual arts can arm students for the future:
1. Contributes to academic achievement and success
There is a growing body of research that suggests a link between an arts education and improved academic achievement. According to a report into how the arts benefit student achievement, there is “compelling evidence connecting student learning in the arts to a wide spectrum of academic and social benefits.” The report suggests that a foundation in arts education can help students master other subjects such as mathematics, reading or social studies. It is also thought that a grounding in arts learning helps to improve motivation and the ability to think critically, significant assets to study in general. An Australian Council for Education Review report about arts education in Australia, found that “students whose learning is embedded in the arts achieve better grades and overall test scores, are less likely to leave school early, rarely report boredom and have a more positive self concept than those students who are deprived of arts experiences.”
2. Preparation for future study
Steve Jobs said, “People with passion can change the world.” Being inextricably linked to the digital revolution, Jobs realised early in his career that ‘passion’ was his leading requirement when hiring employees. “If they didn’t respond with much enthusiasm, they didn’t get the job,” he said. Organisational psychologist Suzie Plush said, “A lot of the competencies that you learn from an Arts degree or a Bachelor of Arts are things that are going to put you in good stead moving forward in the future. There are a lot of those incredible skills that a robot just can’t replace.” No matter what field of study or work your son may aspire to, a visual arts education at school will certainly arm him for his future learning endeavours.
3. Provides real-world insight and preparation
Although the practical skills taught in Visual Arts aren’t typically measured with tests or exams, research indicates that assignments assessed outside of an exam environment provide boys with a true reflection of the ‘real-world’. Examination performance is not always an accurate representation of a student’s ability, but more importantly it is not always a true reflection of real-world work. Students must be equipped and prepared to juggle collaboration, communication, time management, stress management and deadlines. Visual arts provide this fundamental ‘real-world’ awareness in preparation for the future workplace. Visual expression is part of everyday communication. For young people to succeed in the workforce, visual literacy and the ability to communicate visually will be as fundamental as literacy and numeracy. A grounding in the visual arts is therefore a necessity in the workforce.
4. Promotes self-discipline
While self-discipline usually develops naturally over time along with practice, this expedient inner power can actually be taught, and in turn, learned. Visual Arts studies generally entail lengthy projects outside of a typical examination environment. Projects or assignments require time management, organisation, focus and determination, especially for projects that students may be working on over an entire term. Visual Arts require boys to carry out projects from start to finish, working diligently and patiently on their own passion project, instilling the valuable skill of self-discipline.
5. Increases self-awareness
Self-awareness undoubtedly improves interaction and social skills. However, it also allows for self-reflection – an ability that many of us struggle to grasp. The more you know and understand about yourself, the better you are at adapting to life changes. A study that surveyed 2,407 children in Years 4, 5, 7 and 8 across 12 schools found connections between the arts and various cognitive social dimensions, such as the ability to think elaborately and take creative risks. Students who engaged in arts-related studies attained more self-confidence and the ability to form self-concepts. Further research suggests that the arts allow the opportunity to give and receive feedback in a constructive manner, learn to accept criticism and praise from others, and develop a growth mindset.
At Trinity, we are passionate about the positive impact that Visual Arts have on a boy’s education. We inspire boys to not only achieve outstanding results in the classroom but empower them to ignite their creative talents and to seize the Visual Arts opportunities offered.