Mary Shadbolt: Tiger Fly

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Teaching Philosophy

I am committed to art education because of its invaluable importance to student education. As the former United States secretary of Education, Rod Paige, has stated, “study of the arts enhances young people’s intellectual, personal, and social development.”

It offers students the opportunity to explore world cultures and traditions and to practice self-expression. This individual avenue in the educational process is reinforced by research, as Chair of the Education Commission of the States, Mike Huckabee, Governor of Arkansas, recently stated in an interview for Education Week when referring to research statistics. The arts “demonstrate solid academic, cognitive and creative benefits for students who are given the chance to participate in the arts. Such benefits are absolutely indispensable for today’s students as they enter an economy that many experts believe will place an increasing premium on creativity in the workplace."

Art promotes higher thinking and critical problem solving skills, a valuable contributor to all disciplines, such as math, science, social studies and English. Art will affirm the different curriculums and help children visualize through images what is being taught. Rod Paige echoes these thoughts by stating, "the arts are a core academic subject under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). NCLB included the arts as a core academic subject because of their importance to a child's education. No Child Left Behind expects teachers of the arts to be highly qualified, just as it does teachers of English, math, science, and history."

In today’s visual culture, art education is invaluable. Visual culture is a very influential phenomenon on our society. Everyday we are bombarded by images that define our culture and have an impact on how we interpret out world. Through educating about visual culture, tools are given our students that allow them to look more critically at the messages being sent. Art can convey strong social and political messages, which the students can learn to interpret and use to express themselves. Art enables all students to become visually literate citizens of the 21st century.

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