Archive for May, 2010

Nurturing Creative Thinkers With Art Education

Friday, May 7th, 2010

My kids go to public school. It’s a healthy, diverse urban school a block away from our house. I love that we walk there, that it’s full of dedicated, energetic staff, and that the teachers innovate in ways to bring life to their curriculum while still adhering to state standards. In order to attain all of the state required “instructional minutes,” though, the school day is pretty heavy on the academics. My kids have one hour-long art class once a week. We are lucky compared to some schools across the country to still have a full time art teacher on staff.

It is amazing to me as an artist, mother, and business woman how little regard arts education is given in the public school system at large. Especially in times of economic difficulty, when hard budget choices need to be made, art and music programs often are first on the chopping block, seen as nonessential. These are the times we need creativity the most!

Our world continues to become increasingly complex as the global community interconnect in all sorts of ways. There is much more stimulus and information to wade through than ever before. To prepare our children to thrive as adults in this challenging future, we need to teach them how to innovate, how to think for themselves, how to express themselves and their unique ideas. Logical academic skills are useful. They are tools to use when solving problems. But generating innovative solutions to complex problems requires creativity. Kids need more art in their lives to give them opportunities to practice and develop these critical skills. Art class is not a frivolous extra, it helps kids use their academic skills in unique and holistic ways.

Part of the motivation in creating Artterro was the realization that modern kids and families are lacking these creative experiences. Even in stores, our products are unique compared to typical craft kits for kids because of their open-ended nature, the educational instructions, and most of all the high quality of the materials. This generation of parents wants to have these kinds of experiences with their kids. Many feel the need to supplement what is lacking in our schools as well as develop a more hands-on relationship with our children.  We want to help re-invigorate the love of creativity in children and families. For people to experience the satisfaction you get from making something beautiful with your own hands, to participate in the often meditative process of composing an original piece of art.

Our public schools and the dedicated teachers and administrators who nurture our children do a lot of things right. Sometimes the behemoth bureaucracies get in the way, though, and we need to use our creativity to find ways to inject more innovation and value of arts education into the system.