As students at Dunbar know, you need at least one art or humanity credit in order to graduate. To some, this requirement can seem trivial and it might raise questions like “Aren’t my common core classes more important?” and “How could this prepare me for the future?”
Art classes can seem unimportant, especially to students whose interests align more with other subjects. However, art classes play a significant role in getting students college and career ready. They do this in a few key ways, mainly by helping students develop emotional intelligence, intellectual intelligence, and design skills.
So, the connection between art classes, emotional intelligence, and preparation for a student’s future might not be obvious at first, but depending on the student, the emotional benefits associated with taking art classes can be a vital aid to their future and success. Being a student can be difficult, especially emotionally. The pressure to succeed not only academically, but socially can be difficult to cope with, and as a result, some students turn to unhealthy, destructive behaviors.
Students experiencing the strong, sometimes negative emotions associated with adolescence can benefit from taking art classes because they have a safe space built into the school day to express their emotions in a healthy and productive way. By learning to deal with their emotions in positive ways, as opposed to ones that might harm themselves or others, students benefit their futures because they can use those skills to stay happy and healthy in adulthood.
As well as emotional intelligence, art classes can help contribute to developing students’ intellectual intelligence. Art classes teach students skills like creative problem solving, outside-of-the-box thinking, risk-taking, decision making, and communication. These skills, among others, are ones that students can benefit from in their lives both inside and outside the classroom. Also, art can help students who struggle with some common core subjects learn difficult subjects in a way they understand.
Lastly, art classes are important because they help give students an eye for aesthetics and design. In the present day, lots of jobs value high quality, neat, creative work. The ability to present information in a way that can be visually understood easily is a skill developed in the art class every day. Art class prepares students for a future in which they can create high quality, visually pleasing work in any career they pursue.
Art classes aren’t just a place where students create things, and they’re not just a graduation requirement. Art classes are important because they prepare students for the future in a fun, creative way.