Due to budget deficits, schools throughout the nation are finding ways to cut their spending, and often the first thing to be removed from the curriculum is art. At Foothills Montessori School, we are committed to offering art education. We see the value in arts education and appreciate the significance it can have on student development. There is evidence that supports it helps our students to develop stronger academic skills, improve their decision-making processes, foster inventiveness, and help build self-confidence. These are the things we want for every student that joins our community.
We asked our art teacher, Ms. Angela, what the goal of our art curriculum is for our students and she said, “The goal at FMS has been to support fundamental academics, supplement our cultural curriculum, and bridge gaps by developing new ways of seeing. At a young age, children begin to communicate through artistic expression. Long before they are able to read and write, they tell stories through their artwork. Creativity through expression in the arts helps to improve innovative thinking for our students at every level. It’s the ‘out of the box’ thinking that provides so many areas for growth. Students exposed to the arts become adults with improved focus, decision making skills, self-confidence, and civic engagement.”
During our spring school closure in 2020, Foothills Montessori continued to provide our art curriculum remotely. The art curriculum was delivered through project-based challenges. Project-based challenges in the arts allow our students to devise strategies for problem solving. As teens and adults, life is full of trials and obstacles. Determination and commitment gained through project-based learning helps prepare our students for future challenges. No matter their level of development, their capacity expands.
In closing, the Brooking’s Institute did extensive research and published an article in 2019 on the impact of the arts educational experience. Their findings determined that arts education not only positively impacted emotional and social outcomes for students by fostering greater compassion for others; but it concluded that the students they researched had 13 percent higher standardized writing scores*. Our students create magic everyday with their creativity and dedication to their arts based projects- many of which become treasures or family keepsakes. The true beauty in arts education is that those experiences are helping to frame our future. Students that become strong leaders, inventors, designers, communicators, and citizens. Whatever they choose to become on their path, the arts provide them with tools to use for a lifetime.
*Brian Kisida and Daniel H. Bowen Tuesday, February 12, 2019