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Friday, 31 May 2019

The Habits of Mind Fostered by Arts Education

While we certainly hope that each student performs as well as he/she can on their final examinations,
we need to remember some children may not get the grades which parents may be hoping for. Few children will excel in every subject in high-stakes, academically focused exams. We need to support individual needs and abilities but encourage all children to have a wide variety of experiences in these formative years.

Through Drama, Music and Visual Art, students learn essential social-emotional skills
, including waiting your turn, perseverance, assuming best intent, prolonged focus, and the willingness to prioritize the good of the greater whole over one’s individual desires. These skills and sensitives carry over into the more academic parts of the curriculum.

Here is a short list of the habits of mind which author Linda Nathan believes makes instruction in the Arts an essential part of a holistic educational experience:

- Developing craft: Learning tools, materials, and artist’s practices;
- Engaging and persisting: Learning to pursue topics of personal interest and develop focus and perseverance;
- Envisioning: Picturing and imagining what cannot be observed;
- Expressing: Creating works that convey ideas, meaning, or emotions;
- Observing: Viewing visual, audio, and written resources more critically;
- Reflecting: Thinking and conversing about their work and processes of making;
- Stretching and exploring: Going beyond perceived limitations, exploring freely, and learning from errors and accidents;
- Understanding arts in the world: Learning about art history, artistic practices, and engaging the arts community.

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