Art or No Art? -- That is the Question.
When it comes to the history of education, art education has played a rather insignificant role in the schools of the United States. According to Jenifer Milner, the history of art education shows that in the last thirty years there have been cycles of "boom and bust," periods of promise and great productivity followed by long periods of withdrawn support or neglect. Today, as insufficient funding for education becomes more of a problem, classes such as art and music are put on the back burner or thrown away altogether. The idea is that these classes are not as important to a child's education as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Many believe that the drive towards traditional schooling is a necessity for children to survive in the world today. Those adversaries, who want to diminish the art programs in schools believe that a child's education should not permit individual creativity and self expression. The belief is that individual creativity and self expression will hinder a child's performance in other classes. However, there are many advocates of art education who believe that without art children will be lost. Their belief is that art not only builds self-esteem and individuality, but also greatly influences a child's performance in other classes. There have been many studies done to try and support this claim. Even though there were varied results many still believe that art education is a major building block for success in school. .
Most advocates believe that giving children the opportunity to participate in art education is the greatest gift one could give to a child. Students who participate in the arts are given the opportunity to explore their individuality and build self-esteem through their work. Many also believe that the arts not only benefit a child's individuality and self-esteem, but greatly influence the performance in other classes.