Education is one of the most integral parts of a child’s development. Through the course of years, there has been a great focus on academics and their relevance in daily life. Additional classes or extracurriculars where children can unleash their creative ability has also been included in a child’s curriculum to help hone their creative thought process.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the need for the arts due to the surge in the use of social media and it has since created a medium that constantly requires the creative abilities of artists and designers in the world.
Although there is an increase in the need for creative individuals, there is still a stigma present that the creative field is not as relevant as the other jobs available and is still looked down upon. Fiona Stewart, Visual Arts Specialist from Aspen Heights British School said, “To be successful in the 21st-century one needs to be multi-disciplinary. Some people do not ‘value’ the arts or believe they are a 'waste of time’. In addition, some perceive that this career path would not lead to employment after graduation from college or university.”
This raises the question of whether there is enough attention given to the arts in a student’s life and if the curriculum cultivates their artistic and creative ability or instead is put in to place as a way to provide a break from academics.
Sarah Garcia, Head of the Art and Design Department at Reach British School said, “The importance set upon Art and Design relies upon awareness and knowledge of the subject and the myriad of opportunities within it.”
The creative field has the ability to cultivate a child’s growth and thought process. The importance of creative individuals can be seen in all the various aspects of life. With an increase in the use of social media and the ability to express one’s creative self, as well as the opportunities that have been created for individuals as well as young teenagers, can be seen by using their own unique creative process on the various social media platforms available.
Fiona Stewart mentioned, “The world is evolving at such a rapid pace that we must be prepared to teach our students and give them the skills needed to live in a digital world.”
Sarah Garcia further added, “All education has its value and each subject forms an integral role in the whole development of a student. For each student to access the full potential of their creativity, I trust that a focus on academics, in sync with their continued creative practice, is imperative in equipping them with the tools needed to do so.”
Although everyone has their unique creativity, there are certain children that prefer arts over academics and can be seen thriving in art while underperforming in their academics. Despite this, it is important for all students to focus on the various facets of their education as it helps prepare children for the real world.
Sarah Garcia said, “For each student to access the full potential of their creativity, I trust that a focus on academics, in sync with their continued creative practice, is imperative in equipping them with the tools needed to do so.”
In order to cultivate a child’s development completely, it is crucial that they are given multiple opportunities to grow and explore their own individual interests and likes that they further improve on in the future. Fiona Stewart mentioned, “Additional art-related subjects within a curriculum would nurture a student’s creative growth and, in turn, cultivate their ‘Future Ready Skills’ such as; critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity.”
To make sure equal attention is given to both the arts as well as academics, schools should prioritise and develop a child’s capabilities when they are interested.
Fiona Stewart said, “The arts, academics, and creative thinking go hand in hand. My advice for students would be to find a balance between their passion for the arts and their need for academics as this would allow one to keep as many doors open as possible. The arts can be integrated beautifully across all academic subjects and thus, in combination, develop a holistic approach to learning.”