The membership of AEAI calls on our state lawmakers to reconsider initiatives that threaten fine arts programs in our state's public schools and develop policies that will comprehensively and adequately support all types of high quality educational opportunities for Indiana's children.
Talking points for art education advocates:
* Education funding must include consideration for the preservation of existing fine arts programs.
* The creativity of our children is a national resource we cannot afford to waste.
* Children need fine arts educational experiences that empower the imagination and enhance the capacity for creativity and invention.
* Neural networks within the brain’s operating systems are stimulated, strengthened and expanded when children are engaged in high quality art and music education experience. Visual arts learning experiences strengthen children’s attentional memory and music educational experience trains the brain’s capacity for working memory.
* If we could electronically scan the human brain while its subject was engaged in typical didactic classroom learning activities, we could see a narrow band of neural networks within the pre-frontal cortex on the left side of the brain stimulated during this typical educational event. Consequently when subjects are engaged in stimulating sensory based music or art experience, neural networks within both hemispheres of the entire brain light up like Christmas tree lights.
* There are three basic skills children need if they want to thrive in the knowledge economy: the ability to communicate effectively; the ability to collaborate, and the ability to do critical thinking and creative problem-solving. One cannot make the claim that quality, world class educational experiences are being provided for Hoosier school children if subjects and programs specifically designed to foster creative problem solving are removed from the curricula.
* Fine Arts education experiences are critical for a well rounded education. Human beings are hard wired to think and dream in visual images. Ideas and intellectual property dependent upon visual thinkers will become assets in the new economy of the 21st Century. The refinement of the imagination as developed through the visual arts will provide future designers, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, innovators, professionals and others with the creative edge they will need to compete in an increasingly competitive and uncertain future.
* Students thrive in schools where art and music are present in the curriculum. When educational experience is monotonous and based on tedious pencil and paper seat work, learning often times goes’ into one ear, and out the other. This fact is extremely important for policymakers to consider. Results from the latest High School Survey of Student Engagement, conducted by researchers from Indiana University with over 350,000 high school students participating from across the U.S. reveals 67% of students did not feel engaged during their school years. Upon further examination of the survey, students reveal subject areas like art, music and drama provide them with significant opportunities for personal engagement with their learning. Disengaged individuals frequently drop out of school resulting in higher crime rates, lack of unemployment opportunities and a myriad of other wicked socio economic problems. Public schools are the backbone of our communities. The health of our public school system affects us all.
* We know that children thrive in schools that provide regular quality fine arts experiences. The Governor simply cannot make the statement that we will finally reform education “centered upon children,” while shortchanging their opportunities for regular fine arts learning experiences in our schools.
Please feel free to compose your own fine arts advocacy messages and talking points, however it is vital that your state legislators hear from you and that you are able to make a strong advocacy message in a public forum if you are called upon to do so.
You can find a treasure trove of advocacy resources here: http://www.arteducators.org/advocacy
You can find and contact your state legislators here:
The AEAI thanks you for all of your advocacy efforts!
I appreciate your efforts!
AEAI Advocacy Advisor
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