TCPS Executive Director, Jim Price, discusses how important it is to incorporate art into the widely discussed STEM curriculum.
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! I am about to climb onto my soapbox, which at my age requires some effort. As many of you know, my background is not education. Though I did work in a public school setting and in various other organizations with kids, most of my adult life has been spent in leadership and management in the for-profit, non-profit and military sectors. That is why I absolutely love our school! I truly believe that we are not only providing a great academic environment, we are helping students develop the personal skills that will serve them well, wherever their lives and pursuits take them. That is why I could not pass on this article that a friend posted on one of my social media accounts.
If you would like to read the full article please click here.To summarize, Nicky Morgan, who is the British Education Secretary, “warn[s]young people that choosing to study arts subjects at school could hold them back for the rest of their lives.” She further states that, “[T]he subjects that keep young people’s options open and unlock doors to all sorts of careers are the STEM subjects.” Last year, TCPS joined with a group of schools and businesses across San Diego that are promoting the belief that while the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are crucial for students, we must be careful not to lessen or eliminate the powerful role that the arts play in a student’s learning and development. You may have read or heard us refer to STEAM. The goal of this group is to encourage and state the importance of the inclusion of art within the STEM subjects, hence Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM).
Most people would agree that Albert Einstein represented a great mind in the fields of science and mathematics. He once stated “After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well.” We had the opportunity, as a school, to attend a STEAM conference at Qualcomm last spring. One session of the conference included a group of neuroscientists. During their presentation, they showed a number of MRI images that showed the activity within children’s brains when they were exposed to music, dance, photography, etc. The presenters pointed out the incredible pathways that were being forged in the brain as the child participated in art activities. As presenter after presenter pointed out, art is the foundation of creativity, design, and innovation. Along with technical skills, these are the skills that will be very much in demand as our students enter adulthood.
As you walk around the TCPS campus, I encourage you to take a moment to fully view and appreciate all of the art that is displayed throughout the school. I am always amazed as I walk around leading tours at all of the art that takes place every day. Furthermore, it is incredible that we do not have an “art class.” All of this wonderful art is encompassed in all areas of our curriculum. I hope that you will join me in saying thank you to an incredibly creative group of educators who, each day, find a way to foster creativity, design, and innovation into our students’ lives.
Okay, off my soapbox and back into my chair.