(C) 2015 Burlington High School Art Department

Burlington High School Art Department    123 Cambridge Street     Burlington, MA   01803     781.273.7024

  1. We promote the skill of looking closely and carefully; of noticing things.

  1. We promote creative thinking and idea generation, both essential skills in a competitive marketplace.

  1. We promote a variety of methods in problem-solving, and also the idea that there may be more than one solution to a problem.

  1. We promote a sense of community through collaborative projects, group critiques, and regular informal discussions.

  1. We begin to answer a young person’s need for greater independence, giving students the opportunity to generate, or modify, goals, and to develop their own variations on some projects.

  1. Students like it.

  1. It serves as a balance to academic classes.

  1. It’s enriching, and it helps to create a well-rounded person.

15 Ways an Arts Education Helps Students

Develop and Grow:

  1. Develops creative thinking

  2. Provides means of self-expression and communication.

  3. Serves as an emotional release

  4. Strengthens a student’s self-concept and confidence.

  5. Increases self-understanding

  6. Heightens aesthetic awareness and sensitivity

  7. Enhances the ability to visualize

  8. Encourages creative problem-solving and decision-making

  9. Develops appreciation for the individuality of others

  10. Leads to the integration of the individual

  11. Serves as a balance to classroom activities

  12. Aids physical coordination

  13. Develops work habits and a sense of responsibility

  14. Aids the adult in understanding and helping the child

  15. Generates joy

(Davis Publications –

Monthly Planner and Art Education Advocacy Guide,

August 2005 – August 2006)

     How Arts Education Builds the Skills that Business Values

  1. An education in the arts encourages high achievement.

  1. Study of the arts encourages a suppleness of mind, a toleration for ambiguity, a taste for nuance, and the ability to make trade-offs among alternative courses of action.

  1. Study of the arts helps students to think and work across traditional disciplines. They learn both to integrate knowledge and to “think outside the box.”

  1. An education in the arts teaches students how to work cooperatively.

  1. An education in the arts builds an understanding of diversity and the multicultural dimensions of our world.

  1. An arts education insists on the value of content, which helps students understand “quality” as a key value.

  1. An arts education contributes to technological competence.

                                        (Business Week, October 28, 1996)

Features of art education which improve cognition

Art helps young people make judgements in the absence of rules.

Students learn how to attend to subtle relationships – to notice the seemingly small things which are actually significant. The arts teach an attention to nuance

Art-making teaches students to exploit unanticipated opportunities – We cannot predict everything, but we can make use of the unexpected.

Art-making helps students appreciate the quality of the journey rather than the speed at which the destination is reached.

The arts cultivate imagination and the ability to visualize situations and consider the rightness of a planned action.

The arts enable students to see the world from new perspectives with fresh eyes.

The arts develop the ability to shift aims in process – to pursue goals that were not conceptualized at the outset.

(from Educating for Tomorrow’s Jobs and Life Skills, by Eliot Eisner, Arts Education for Life and Work,  the Getty Education Institute for the Arts)

Studies show math scores on SATS were 44 points higher for students who studied the arts for four or more years.


Why Study Art?


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