The importance of an education in the visual arts extends far beyond the realm of cutting and pasting, drawing and painting. Exposure to the arts aids in critical thinking skills, which is a necessary component in the formation of the truly well rounded student. Learning in and through the arts prepares students to succeed in life at large.
Through the arts, students have abundant opportunities to learn, use and refine thinking skills that will stand them in good stead for a lifetime. Artists employ complex thinking skills such as these:
- Gather information as they explore an idea, composition, or project
- Generate imaginative and original ideas
- Practice analytical skills
- Recognize challenges and problems
- Demonstrate respect for others' concepts and experiences
- Are flexible and intuitive
- Use logical reasoning
- Explore and refine options for possible solutions
- Make decisions confidently
(Source: Crayola.com The power of Creativity)
At the elementary level the art program is structured to provide the development of skills and techniques and the understanding of concepts and materials. The students learn how to work with clay, paper mache, several kinds of paint and many kinds of paper. They are also introduced to vocabulary like landscape, still life and portrait. Color names and groups like "primary" and "secondary" are introduced in Kindergarten and more added through the grade levels such as warm and cool, complementary and analogous.
We also explore several artists and their work. Art projects are created relating to the artists that we study. Many lessons also incorporate what they are learning in their regular classrooms.
With the younger students a storybook may be used in the introduction of the lesson.
The Souderton Area School District is committed to providing each and every student with a quality visual arts education. Students are challenged to think about the role the arts have played throughout time, and how time and place impact the work of artists and cultures at large. They learn to think critically and reflect upon their own work as well as the work of others. They are given the opportunity to master many production techniques while working with many different media. The Souderton Area School District art standards, aligned with both the National and State art standards are as follows:
- Investigate the Nature of Art
- Evaluate Art and Respond Critically
- Investigate Art in Historical and Cultural Contexts
- Produce Art