Pros And Cons Of Five Day School Week
Throughout history the arts have played an important role in society. From theatre, to music, to visual arts there are several different forms of the arts, each has its own effect on people. Some people argue that the arts do not deserve public funding and public funding should go towards other things that are more important to them such as STEM programs and sports. However, the arts should not have to rely on private funding and should receive public funding as it improves education, develops children’s music skills, and can help children with disabilities.
Many art programs now must rely on private funding from outside sources as they do not have much government funding. Susan Conkling and Brian Kaufman discuss how underfunded the arts are in public schools: “However, when these monies became discretionary upon the repeal of ESEA in 1978, the arts seldom survived as a priority” (10). Without government mandating funding of arts education, it seems that schools prioritize other subjects that are not related to the arts. Many schools face cuts to their funding and usually they prioritize things like STEM funding instead of arts funding. As these cuts have persisted, “private funding continues to support arts education” (10). Private funding leads to disparities between different schools as poorer schools are less likely to receive private funds. Therefore, schools in poorer areas may not receive the benefits that arts education provides. Arts education provides necessary skills that can improve a kid's future.
Arts education can positively influence both a child’s artistic skills and help them prepare for their future. Kimberly Lloyd wrote an article compiling studies on how arts effects education. In her article she cites a study that suggests “the arts provide an alternative means to view reality, expand the way students perceive the world, and often has immediately unobservable benefits for the workers in a market economy” (1). This suggestion shows that arts education can help prepare children for their future careers. This education can also benefit society as a whole because it can influence the children's view on the world. Having experience with other cultures can help people develop as a person. Additionally, to explore an example of how arts effect education, Katherine Preston Keeney explores why universities decide to fund art projects: “Universities are embracing this call for creativity in an effort to strengthen academics and better equip graduates for a global workforce” (46). Colleges teach students about culture through their arts funding which in turn can make them better prepared for their future. They also believe that creativity can foster better education. Additionally, universities “might be considered an appropriate partner for arts and cultural organizations,” including ones in their surrounding communities (47). Through this partnership the colleges foster a relationship between themselves and their communities. Therefore, they create student engagement in the area which can create opportunities for the students in the future.
Along with helping people gain more cultural proficiency, arts can enhance people’s education in other areas. Indira Arias Rodriguez and her colleagues in Brazil and Ireland studied a connection between music and children’s mathematical abilities. They found that “music can stimulate mathematics learning without using routine school activities, thus being more ecological and inclusive” (406). Therefore, music creates an alternative way for people to learn. Music both improves people’s learning abilities and can help people with problems with traditional learning methods. They also found that after several sessions of NMT, numeracy musical training, they “observed a decrease in mathematics anxiety and improvements in counting backwards, reading and dictation of numbers, arithmetic as well as word problem solving” (414). This development of the children’s skill shows that music can make a positive impact in several other subject areas. Thus, music education should have the same level of priority as education in other subjects.
Along with developing a child’s general education, arts programs can help kids become amazing artists, musicians, and performers. A. David Nkosi discusses a program formed in Soweto, a poor town in South Africa, to develop young children. A manager of the program says that “’the bigger vision is to develop a pool of young professional musicians from Soweto’” (137). Their program works to develop the youth in their town so that they can become professional musicians in the future. Through this program the children have a chance to improve their prospects by creating better opportunities. However, due to the underfunding of the program the worker could not receive appropriate resources which “can negatively affect the concentration span and the energy that the participants need” (140). The program could have positively affected the surrounding community; however, it had to shut down. If the program had the proper funding and management, it could have survived for many more years. Therefore, the kids lack the chance to develop their skills and improve their futures which is detrimental as access to proper arts education and training can enhance a child’s life.
Another major reason that the arts are important is that they can improve the lives of disabled people. Irina Roncaglia explores how arts education can positively impact people with autism. In her article she states that some people had observed “autistic individuals who had never before used spoken language skills (speech), singing a full song with a microphone, reciting a piece of poetry that had meaning or dancing a sequence that expressed basic emotional states” (3). This observation shows an obvious impact on the autistic people involved in these arts programs. The children with autism can develop skills that they have trouble with due to their condition. There are also several other abilities, especially communication skills, that people with autism can develop through arts programs. Roncaglia states that performing arts can foster the “three well recognized basic psychological needs...Autonomy, Belonging, and Competence” (6). Many autistic people find barriers while developing these abilities and the act of performing can help to develop these three essential skills. Proficiency in these skills help people interact with others and foster relationships. Furthermore, Laura A. Prieto discusses how dance programs can impact people with disabilities: “individuals with disabilities who engage in dance can improve balance, motor control, and functionality” (349). This skill development can have a positive impact on people as a problem with these skills can have a very detrimental effect to a person. Improving these skills can help a person improve their overall quality of life. The government should take into account the advancement of the personal and motor skills of disabled people through performing arts programs when they make decisions on funding of these extremely beneficial programs.
Overall, the arts have an extremely positive impact on people and deserve public funding as they should not have to rely on private funding. The arts positively impact education, develop artistic skills, and improve the lives of people with disabilities. Therefore, people should receive education in things like theatre, performing arts, painting, and drawing. Although education in other subjects is also important, the arts should not be overlooked. This education needs attention from the government and should have a part of the budget that the schools get. The artistic skills that people develop can help them improve their lives exponentially.