The Importance of Art Education

 Lessons the Arts Teach

By Eliot Eisner


  • The arts teach students to make good judgments. In the arts it is judgments, rather than rules, that prevail.
  • The arts teach students that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
  • The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of the larger lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
  • The arts teach students that in complex forms of problem-solving, purposes are seldom fixed but change under various circumstances and conditions. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to unanticipated possibilities as the works develops.
  • The arts make vivid the fact that neither words nor numbers exhaust what we can know.
  • The arts teach students that small differences can have a large impact. The arts deal in subtleties.
  • The arts teach students to think about how the materials they are using can be used and the impact it has on their work.
  • The arts help students to express and “say” what cannot be said in other ways.
  • The arts enable us to have experiences we cannot have from other sources and through such experience students can discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
  • The arts position in the school curriculum signifies to young people what adults value and believe is important.




Why Be Involved in the Arts?

by Maxine Greene


At the very least, participatory involvement with the many forms of art can enable us to see more in our experience, to hear more on normally unheard frequencies, to become conscious of what daily routines have obscured, what habit and convention have suppressed.

The arts, it has been said, cannot change the world, but they may change human beings who might change the world.