SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2014

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 12 of 54

A D V O C A C Y Full STEAM Ahead When art teachers grid, measure, and draw, we use geometry. When we make sculptures, we use engineering. When we mix colors, we reveal information about physics. When we create illustrations for stories, we learn about literature. When we review art styles, we teach history. When we write about art, we strengthen these skills. When we create works of art, we solve complex visual problems in creative ways. Fighting for the Arts A big portion of the fight is not just to educate our students—which really should be everything—but to also educate our administrators and com- I have long advocated and promoted the fact that an education that does not include art is incomplete. Not just because art is fun, or cre- ative or helps children express them- selves, but because it is necessary for student success. Evidence supports the fact that art students are more successful than their non-art peers by a significant margin ( Stu- dents who take art succeed at higher rates than their peers on tests like the SAT, on average, by 100 points ( I use a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) approach in my pro- gram, and in 2013 my students scored 155 points higher than their peers, and were 50% more likely to pass the New Jersey HSPA (High School Proficiency Assessment). Eric Gibbons munity members in terms that they understand—terms used outside our subject. These groups need verifiable information they can hang their hats on in order to become our advo- cates. As a com- munity of creative people, it can be hard for art teachers to break out and be proactive when we are already so overwhelmed. To make things a bit easier, I have posted several links and visuals on my blog that may be helpful as you work to become an advocate. When we talk to "outsiders" about how cre- ative, fun, and full of self-expression our subject is, those same outsiders often hear "frivolous." But if instead, If We Don't Advocate, Who Will? When we create works of art, we solve complex visual problems in creative ways. Image courtesy Firehouse Publications. Continued on page 41. 8

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