“There is certainly a recent obsession in schools about Science, Maths and Technology but shouldn’t we connect the Arts?”
Greg Parry, CEO
Connect the Arts!
It is important to see the benefit of the Arts and more importantly the synergy that occurs when we connect the Arts, Maths, Science and Technology.
Da Vinci was a famous inventor who proved to us that innovation and inventions happen when we build connections between Science, Technology and the Arts. He taught us a lot about how central creativity is to innovation. We design and invent when we can be creative in an environment that is both logical and scientific.
When we connect the Arts it brings us many learning benefits:
1. Children Get Creative
When children can think on their feet and approach problems from different angles and perspectives they are both adaptable but also very critical in their thinking. They do not accept the ‘norm’ as acceptable, they push boundaries and look for better ways. Obstacles become challenges and failures become chances to find a better way. Design a different ending to a story, create a painting that represents a memory, or recreate a movie as a play with different characters. If children practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them and become an engrained habit in their life. When we connect the Arts we build value in creativity.
2. Children Develop Confidence
When children perform and express ideas and behaviours in public settings they learn how to convincingly deliver a message in many forms. Children learn how to express ideas in body language, tone and other non-verbal ways that gives presence. When children step outside their comfort zone they have the chance to make mistakes and learn within safe and supportive environments. The world is much tougher than the classroom. We prepare children for adulthood and develop behaviours that help them succeed.
3. Children Solve Problems
Da Vinci created art through solving problems. How do I turn these elements into a sculpture? How do I represent emotion through colours or dance? Through participation in visual and performing arts, children are constantly being challenged to solve problems. This process develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding so they have problem-solving skills necessary for success in the future. When we connect the Arts we help children solve problems through creative means.
4. Children Persevere
When a child first tries to learn a dance, sing a song or play a musical instrument they quickly understand that it may take some time and effort to reach the big stage. As they practice and begin to learn the skills and techniques, as long as they don’t give up, that chance of performing on a big stage, recording an album, or making a screen debut gets closer. Children need to learn that perseverance is essential and success only happens with hard work and determination, done on a consistent basis.
5. Children Focus
Children need to concentrate and focus in order to develop skills and achieve the final product that any learning environment demands. Balancing the important behaviours of listening as well as contributing involves both concentration and focus. Each student needs to not only think about their role, but how their role may contribute to the bigger picture or ultimate goal of the project. Participation in the arts improves our ability to concentrate and focus in all aspects of our lives.
6. Children Use Non-Verbal Communication
As adults we have a range of behaviours we take for granted that we learnt naturally or almost by accident. Through the experiences available in theatre and dance, children learn to breakdown the mechanics of body language in make believe environments. Children experience different ways of expressing themselves through movement and different ways to communicate emotions. Teachers can coach behaviours and performance skills to ensure children represent their character effectively to the audience. This is great preparation for future life skills.
7. Children Receive Constructive Feedback
Constructive feedback is essential for self improvement. When receiving feedback about a performance or visual art piece is a regular part of daily instruction we are developing essential skills. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and not a negative evaluation process. Children learn to reflect and in time get better at evaluating themselves. We know that in all areas of the arts critique is essential to making the final product the very best it can be.
8. Children Collaborate
The Arts value children working together in groups. In most projects children work together, share responsibility, and they compromise with others to achieve a common goal. When individual children play seperate parts in a band, or play different roles in theatre or dance productions, they understand that their positive contribution is essential for success by the group. We need to connect the Arts to collaborative skilling. Whether the child plays a small or a major role they understand that all parts are important and contribute to overall success.
9. Children Practice Dedication
Follow through is important and with all artistic endeavours there is a final product to produce, share and enjoy. Children learn that if they remain dedicated they can finish a product, project or performance and enjoy the feelings of accomplishment. Achieving deadlines, getting to rehearsal on time, making an effort and valuing the contributions by others will bring success. When we hear applause by an audience or recognition by others, that feeling tells us that the dedication was worthwhile.
10. Children are Accountable
Everything we do in life effects both ourselves and those around us. When we work with others, sometimes the actions affect many people. Children quickly learn that they are accountable for what they do and say in very natural ways. Their relationships and the consequences of their behaviour have very real consequences. When we miss a deadline, others suffer. When we perform poorly, others are affected. We naturally make mistakes but we also must take responsibility for them. We acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.
CEO and Education Expert Greg Parry
Internationally renowned for his expertise in education leadership, Greg Parry’s vast experience includes leadership of projects for edu-cation institutions throughout Australia, the Middle East, the United States, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. Recognised for his numerous contributions in the education arena, Greg has received the Ministers Award for Excellence in School Leadership based on improvements in school performance and a range of successful principal training and leadership development programs, as well as the School of Excellence Award for Industry/School Partnerships and the School of Excellence Award for Technology Innovation. His company GSE (Global Services in Education) has been recognised as having the Best Global Brand in International Education in 2015 and 2016.
Considered one of the premier experts in his profession, Greg has trained teachers and principals throughout the world in areas such as critical thinking, language development and leadership. His expertise in school start up projects, leadership and curriculum development, has made him a sought after authority in these disciplines.
Global Services in Education set up and operate schools in all parts of the world. Governed by a philosophy of global citizenship, every member of the GSE team shares a passion to help shape international education and student achievement through inspiration and collaboration.
Our goal is to meet the highest objectives of every school, teacher, student and parent, with an unwavering dedication to quality education, shared ideals and intercultural perspectives.