One might think that science and art mix together about as well as oil and vinegar. Not so – oil and vinegar do make for a tasty salad dressing.Lewis Thomas, a famous scientist who is also known for his poetry, once said: “Science will…produce the data…, but never the full meaning. For perceiving real significance, we shall need…most of all the brains of poets, [and] also those of artists, musicians, philosophers, historians, writer …”
We certainly need Oklahoma students to study or pursue all of these fields, including some that were not even thought of just a few years ago.
But in order for students to be successful in the 21st century global economy, they will need to communicate effectively, solve problems and think critically. These are all skills that are greatly impacted by the arts.
In study after study, we see a direct link between art and learning. When art is brought in to supplement basic curriculum, student test scores and comprehension rates improve.
Research also has shown that at-risk students, in particular, improve academically and gain much-needed self esteem through art opportunities.
Having the arts in our schools is essential to having a well-rounded education and critical to learning in our ever-expanding and globalized world.
To bring awareness to the importance of the arts in education, March has for years been declared National Youth Arts Month. As such, observances will take place across the U.S., and each state has had a contest to design a Youth Arts Month flag. This year’s theme is, “Releasing the Power of Art” and soon each winning state entry will be made and flown for the entire month at the U.S. Capitol.
Tuesday, March 3, is Youth Arts Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol. A celebration is planned that includes performances by students and professional artists, state and community leaders speaking, and student artwork on display. In addition, the winning Youth Arts Month flag entry will be honored.
At the same time, student artwork from around the state will also be on display in our art gallery in the Oliver Hodge Education Building, State Capitol Complex, Oklahoma City.For more information about Youth Arts Month or other art education events throughout the year, visit the Oklahoma Center for Arts Education Web site at www.ocae.net/. And, check out arts-in-education opportunities at the Oklahoma Department of Education’s Web site, www.sde.state.ok.us.
- Sandy Garrett, state schools superintendent