Benefits of Adding Art to STEM Curriculum

 

It is no secret that drawchange believes in the power of the arts in the development of children. There are countless studies and anecdotes, our own among them, that illustrate the ways in which participating in creative pursuits bolster children’s academic and emotional success. We ask why, then, are the arts not a critical part of the public education system? 

Is the short answer to that question that our society believes that artists are not employable? For instance, STEM curriculum aims to educate students with an applied approach in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The end goal is to connect these interdisciplinary concepts in a way that children can graduate and be prepared to fill the high demand for STEM occupations. Although STEM proves to be effective for many school-aged children, this curriculum may not be the absolute best program for every child, as every child has a different style of learning particular topics in school. A new curriculum is on the rise called STEAM, which has the arts at its core.

STEAM helps children who have a difficult time understanding abstract concepts by encouraging them to approach abstract concepts in a visual and physical way through art. STEAM’s success paints the argument that we express daily: art is a critical aspect of childhood development, and it serves them in a way that no other discipline can.

In an extension of STEAM’s values, drawchange increases impoverished children’s understanding of their goals in life by asking them to think creatively and visually about their dreams and ideas. Much like painting an abstract concept like the life cycle of a plant, our children can create a work of art that relates to something in their life. Through this creative process, they are able to see their ideas and dreams on paper, allowing them to more fully understand and express what is happening in their lives. This process not only helps our children more easily manage their emotions surrounding their current transient lifestyle, but it also allows them to draw change into their lives. Letting go of built up emotions through art and then replacing them with something more positive has shown to be effective. Using this approach with the children at drawchange holds a case for making this expression more widely available in schools. Drawchange helps homeless children through a difficult life transition while they are staying at a homeless shelter, and this addition of art in schools can help any child get through something difficult in their lives.

We would love to see more funding for drawchange so that we can reach more impoverished children in Atlanta and beyond. Additional funding for programs like ours can help change the world through children–cultivating confident, compassionate and creative children who can realize their dreams and create a better world for us all. After all, children are our future!

For more information on the benefits of adding art to a science-driven curriculum, visit the link below.
Source: https://thejournal.com/articles/2013/10/17/for-these-schools-adding-arts-to-stem-boosts-curriculum.aspx

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