The Impact of Cultural and Creative Arts in Student’s Education
Education in arts is an integral part of the development of each human being. Those who have studied learning process throughout the ages, beginning with Plato, have emphasized the impact of arts in the education process.
Arts education refers to education in the disciplines of music, dance, theatre and visual arts. Study in the arts is integral to our society. They are the part of the cultural heritage of every African and the world at large. The arts are what make us most human, most complete as people. These arts cannot be learned through occasional or random exposure any more than math or science can. Education and engagement in the fine arts are an essential parts of the school curriculum and an important component in the educational programme of every student in NTIC schools in Nigeria.
Today, evidence of its effectiveness in reducing student dropout and raising student attendance is lucid. Developing better team players, fostering a love for learning, improving greater students’ dignity, enhancing students’ creativity, and producing a more prepared citizen for the work place for tomorrow can be found documented in studies held in many varied settings, from schools or campuses to Africa at large.
Evidence from brain research is only one of many reasons education and engagement in fine arts or cultural and creative arts is beneficial to the educational process. The arts develop neural systems that produce a broad spectrum of benefits ranging from fine motor skills to creativity and improved balance. One must realize that these system often takes months and even years to fine tune. In a study conducted by Judith Burton, Columbia University, research evidenced that subject such as mathematics, science, and language require `typical of arts learning’ [Burton, Horowitz, and Abeles, 1999]. `The arts enhance the process of learning.
Today’s world is witness to the information age. The primary sources of content information are no longer teacher lectures or textbooks. Learning is not limited to what the learner received, but it is dependent upon how to find information and how to use that information quickly, and co-operatively. Students need to be thinkers, possess people skill, be problem solvers, demonstrate creativity, and work as a member of a team. We need to offer more in depth learning about the things that matter the most, order, integrity, thinking skills, a sense of wonder, truth, flexibility, dignity, contribution justice, and cooperation in which arts provide all these.
Once more in the study of arts importance, research shows that arts promote the understanding and sharing of culture. Arts enhance perceptual and cognitive skills. The Burton study of more than 2000 children found that those in the arts curriculum were far superior in creative thinking, self-concept, problem-solving, self-expression, risk-taking, and cooperation than those who are not [Burton et, el., 1999]. The arts have the capacity to engage every one. All levels of world society can and do participate in the arts. The subject arts has no barriers of race, religion, culture, geography or socioeconomic levels
Students’ engagement in the arts helps them to stretch their minds beyond the boundaries of printed text or the rules of what is provable. Arts help the students to free their mind. Imagine the benefits of seeking, finding, and developing multiple solutions to the myriad of problems facing our society today! Arts education provide access to students to the deepest of those wells.
Today all NTIC schools in Nigeria are trying to see that, their students get access to the deepest of these wells through its equipped and conducive learning environment with qualified professional teachers that are on ground working to make the students achieve such wells.
Mr. Henry Mutashi
Creative and Cultural Art HOD