One of the things that has always separated a Catholic education from a non-faith-based one is our belief in educating the mind, body, and soul. To that end, our curriculum incorporates a strong base of core academic subjects, core values, and fine arts.
In the schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford, we believe that:
The fine arts — dance, music, theatre, and visual arts — give students the opportunity to explore their creativity. Throughout time, the arts have been essential and vital to human existence. When people create in sounds, images, gestures and words, they discover ways to shape and share their thoughts and feelings with others; the arts enrich the quality of life.
The fine arts are fundamental ways of knowing and thinking. In addition to their intrinsic value, the arts contribute to children's development cognitively and affectively.
How do the arts aid in a child’s development?
- Physical development: Creating art, whether it be drawing, playing an instrument, or otherwise, requires fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. And the more a student enjoys the creative endeavor, the more he or she will do it, and the more honed the skills will become.
- Emotional development: Artistic activities allow children to express themselves in a variety of ways. Participation can also lead to self-confidence and pride.
- Social development: Collaboration is the basis of many creative endeavors such as theater and music. Education.com states, “children learn about diverse views, practice negotiation, and have tangible proof of how their work, when combined with others, can create something beautiful.”
- Cognitive development: Participation in the fine arts provides opportunities for honing the following skills: decision making, innovation, critical thinking, risk-taking, visual thinking, problem solving, organization, and reflection. In fact, studies show that students who are active in the fine arts perform better academically than their peers who don’t.
- Language development: PBS Parents explains that art provides a vehicle for children to “use descriptive words to discuss their own creations and to talk about what feelings are elicited when they see different styles of artwork.”
- Cultural Awareness: Because the arts are both universal and culturally specific, they are a powerful means of increasing international and intercultural awareness. Through the arts, students gain a greater understanding of their own cultural heritage, as well as a sense of the larger world community.
How have the arts enhanced your child’s learning and development? Let us know via our Facebook page.