By Allison Armijo
Arts, in public and private school, has always fostered creativity among students. From photography to the performing arts, students are allowed to express themselves in multiple ways. Without the arts in the common core curriculum, students would be robbed of the ability to connect and make friends, but also convey their emotions through creative projects. Arts are an essential in everyday classes because they allow for students to have unique opinions on assignments and different outcomes. However, the beauty of the arts is, there is no right or wrong answer for assignments. For example, say an assignment given is to paint a flower. With this vague, yet specific prompt, students could paint a wide array of flowers. They could all paint different flowers for one, but they could also all use different colors. This, in essence, is the beauty of the arts. Students possess the ability to think for themselves and portray those creative thoughts through the assignment. The arts allow students to add nuances into their work that have hidden meanings. For example, the colors one uses could reflect their mood or maybe say something about their childhood. With all of the opportunities to convey emotions, the opportunities are endless in terms of creative outcomes. Therefore, the arts are essential in common core curriculum because they inspire creativity, which leads to positive outcomes for the students.
The arts are less appreciated today because of strong regard for common core academic performance and high GPA. Although art does not directly contribute to a rigorous course load, the different subject areas of art are just as beneficial as those of the common core. For example, Sara Neufeld, contributor to the Hechingfield Report, explains how “...[the arts] help create positive school climates and give kids a reason to show up to class when they find a passion for a subject like visual art, music, dance or theater. They inspire creativity and innovation, traits highly valued in the workforce” (1). Although the arts appear not as intellectually demanding as common core classes, that is far from the truth. The skills needed to excel in art foster extreme creativity expresses in multiple forms. For example, students who thrive in an artistic scene are not just creative thinkers, they are able to decipher which colors are hot and cold, which colors blend well together on a canvas, and art students are amazing at conveying how they feel through their work. Although these subtle insertions may be hard to catch, artists always integrate a piece of themselves into their work; it makes the artwork personalized and allows others to connect to not only the work, but the artist.
Even though the arts inspire desired qualities in students, the common core curriculum does not emphasize the importance of the arts as much as should. For example, “the arts only seem to be included when supporting the language arts, mathematics, and history” (Incredible @rt Department). Although the various benefits to arts in the common core have been researched and documented, the arts are still fighting to have a place in everyday learning. Like mentioned above, students, teachers, and academic advisors in today’s society reflect the importance of solely academic classes and how those classes can bolster a GPA. However, they do not realize that the arts, while less demanding and rigorous, offer the same life lessons and soft skills that are introduced in a common core class, if not more. The lessons learned in art class are applicable everywhere; students just have to think creatively and open their minds to the endless possibilities.
In conclusion, the arts offer many compelling arguments as to why they are important in the common core. Aside from being able to express themselves emotionally and physically, students taking art classes learn valuable skills that can take them far in the workplace and on other arenas outside of campus. Although art is not as academically bolstering to a GPA, it offers the same benefits as a common core class. Therefore, although not widely appreciated by most private and public schools, the arts are a necessity in common core curriculum because they foster creativity and allow students to connect with themselves and express themselves in a variety of ways.