Why Teach Art?

All children need a variety of experiences to assist them in exploring their environment. Through art, children learn to value their own uniqueness and to appreciate the individuality of others. The teacher needs to choose art activities of variety which will contribute to all aspects of a child's development.

In summary, from the California Kindergarten Association publication, Art Really Teaches, Dr. Violet Robinson, President 1992-94 discusses Child Development Through Art.

Personal Development

Art provides an opportunity to augment creative expression, self discovery, self esteem and self concept. Dr. Robinson points out that each work of art creates a sense of achievement in the child or children who create the art.

Social Development

She notes that social development is enhanced as children learn to cooperate during group art projects. When individual projects are combined as in art quilts, young artists gain a sense of individual contribution to a group product and develop a "we" feeling.

Physical Development

Small muscles, eye-hand coordination, dexterity, and a sense of rhythm are developed as children engage in art activities.

Language Development

The publication notes that the young learners use art as a means of expression that does not rely on verbal or decoding skills. Language is
applied and their vocabulary is increased as the children talk about their art projects. Dr. Robinson also notes that drawing contributes to the development of writing and written expression in emergent writers.

Cognitive Development

The benefits of cognitive development are discussed thoroughly in the following areas:

Correspondences such as one-to-one or one-to-several
Part-Whole relations
Order, relationships, seriation
Symbolic representation
Spatial relationships
Dimensional relations
States of matter
Number and quantity
Topological relationships

This article comes from The California Kindergarten Association. This publication was released in 1997 at the California Kindergarten Conference in San Francisco. Art Really Teaches was published to help teachers, administrators and parents understand the value of using art in the educational process. Art Really Teaches was edited by Ruth Velasquez. Linda Becker, Liz Blek, Zelda Le Frak, Pat Rees-Miller, Vi Robinson, Cindy Tuisku, and Tom Velasquez all joined together to develop and produce Art Really Teaches.