ActivePaper Archive Arts education important for state - Oklahoman, 3/17/2007

Arts education important for state

Picture

Betty Price

Students who have hands-on experiences in the arts develop critical thinking skills, discipline and an opportunity to grow academically. That’s why it is encouraging that House Speaker Lance Cargill has authored legislation to boost arts education programs in Oklahoma schools.

Speaker Cargill believes creating school arts programs will foster a talented and capable work force. I agree. These programs should be available for every Oklahoma child to have a world-class education, and not just for a privileged few.

We have seen the negative results of narrowing the curriculum to exclude arts education. There is a direct link between arts education and academic achievement. The arts should be studied as one of six basic academic subject areas in order to succeed in college, according to the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

As a former music and art teacher, I observed the window of opportunity to develop our children’s creativity began to close by third grade. Using the arts to develop creativity in our children’s most formative years is essential to future leadership. As the world shrinks through innovation and technology, the arts connect us, stimulate economic development and foster a vibrant society.

Support of the Oklahoma Arts Council’s funding request and a focus on House Bill 2102 that makes the arts a part of every child’s education can happen with a bipartisan effort.

Oklahoma has a bright future as we begin our second century. Albert Einstein said, “I’ve come to the conclusion that the gift of imagination has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing knowledge.” Not all of our children can be an Einstein, but early on through arts instruction, all children have the right to develop their own creativity. Oklahoma’s future depends on a creative work force in order to compete in a global economy.

As the world shrinks through innovation and technology, the arts connect us, stimulate economic development and foster a vibrant society.