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Misha Joao

Mrs. Kathleen Trace

English 111

12 Dec 2018

Prioritizing Art in Schools

Studying the arts is a privilege, but it shouldn’t be. Studying the arts in school should be a

right. Having a school that heavily involves the arts in their curriculum is hard to come by,

whether it be because of funding issues or city regulations. Schools should create more

opportunities for arts involvement because they engage students in a unique way. Some may

argue that STEM programs should take precedence over arts programs because of the growing

involvement of STEM in modern jobs, economy, and society. However, arts programs should be

incorporated into school systems because they provide unique skill sets for an evolving future,

and they help disadvantaged youth.

Having the arts available to students is beneficial to their education because it provides

preparation for the future. A special report in business week magazine observes that, “ most

analysts studying the new global economy agree that the growing ‘creative and innovative’

economy represents America's salvation” (Eger). Although arts training is specialized, it’s

skillset can reach out to many other areas. The arts can be extremely valuable to any type of

student because, “the arts regularly engage multiple skills and abilities. Engagement in the arts

— whether the visual arts, dance, music, theatre or other disciplines—nurtures the development

of cognitive, social, and personal competencies” (Fiske). Because the arts have these qualities,

they can shape students into well-rounded individuals who are ready for the future.
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The arts cannot only push students to be fully engaged but also help disadvantaged

students strive for success. A study in various arts incorporated schools showed that, “for many,

the arts became the focus of daily existence and the central driving force behind their

commitment to talent development. The time they spent in art classes, rehearsals, and

performances appeared to give them a satisfaction unsurpassed by other pursuits and aspects of

their lives” (Fiske). In this way, the arts can become an outlet for students to become diligent as

well as escape from other aspects of their lives. Offering a creative outlet for students, especially

disadvantaged, can push them to succeed in academic and non-academic areas. In-school arts

programs also helps disadvantaged children because if the school had not provided it, they

wouldn’t be able to afford it.

Some may say that STEM programs will better prepare students for the future because of

the emphasis on future industrialized growth and technology. Strong supporters of prioritized

STEM would say that, “it prepares kids for the technological innovations they will undoubtedly

experience in their lifetime. In the past 60 years, technology has changed the way we function as

a society” (Baker). Evolving technology and its importance in our society is growing, however

without the arts education being equally prioritized students may never develop the creativity or

imagination to tackle future problems. STEM may teach valuable skills in the field, but the arts

teach students a multitude of skills that can be applied to everyday life.

An equal focus on the Arts and academics can greatly improve student experiences and

can be seen right in Salem High School’s very own academy. Studying the arts allows students

to express themselves, engage their hearts, and possibly develop a lifelong passion. These things

will benefit students by developing skills that otherwise may not be taught in school, including

teamwork, social skills, creativeness, and dedication. Although some may disagree with the
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value the arts provide, an arts program in schools can provide unique skill sets and help all types

of students including less fortunate youth.

Works cited
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Baker, Melanie. “Why Teach Kids STEM?” NYMetroParents, NYMetroParents.com, 15

Sept. 2016,www.nymetroparents.com/article/Why-STEM-Education-Is-Important-For-

All-Kids-Boys-And-Girls.

Fiske, Edward B. “Champions of Change: How the Arts Impact Learning.” pp. 26–30.

Gale, 1999.

Eger, John M. “The Arts in Contemporary Education.” Mar. 2008.