This is a guest post from Neve Spicer – founder and director of WeTheParents.org.
In a year of unprecedented challenges for educators and students, visual learning mediums have been a saving grace. We’ve had to draw deep from the wells of our own creativity, using teaching tools like Explain Everything to present lessons that would normally be hands-on – while learning English at a distance is much the same as in class, teaching art and music remotely can be a bit more challenging.
This hasn’t stopped teachers from finding ways to engage children in all-important arts education, of course. Sharing work and techniques through digital whiteboards and other visual mediums, many art teachers have led found-object based projects using common household supplies. It’s a vital bit of normalcy in the midst of the pandemic, as arts education plays a powerful role in child development.
Some noteworthy highlights:
- One assessment of the relation between arts education and academic achievement found that students with high levels of arts participation outscored their peers in all academic areas.
- A study of young studio-taught artists determined that early arts education can inspire children to continue pursuing their chosen creative skill.
- One study on music education determined that disadvantaged teens demonstrated higher self-esteem and self-efficacy after four months of guitar education.
World Art Day
There may be no better time to celebrate the power of the arts than World Art Day, which takes place on April 15th. It’s a celebration of the fine arts and creativity, and was chosen by the International Association of Art to commemorate the birthday of renowned artist and architect Leonardo da Vinci, whose wide range of talents continue to inspire and influence today’s works.
The City of Los Angeles will host this year’s World Art Day for the sixth consecutive year, but encourages participants to participate virtually rather than in person due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual art exhibition featuring the theme You’re Not Alone will be hosted on the IAA website from April 15th to May 15th.
Neve is chief editor at We The Parents. Her work has been featured in numerous government, educational and charity sector publications, and she continues with the goal of amplifying the needs of children and influencing policymakers across the globe.