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To foster a love of art in children, we must teach it at primary school

The Guardian – Emily Gopaul

“It’s no secret that arts subjects are increasingly being deprioritised in many schools, and that there’s a fall in the number of pupils taking arts subjects at GCSE. Yet the arts matter, not only to individual learning but to the UK as a whole: the creative industries currently contribute £84.1bn a year to the economy. Enthusiasm for art should really start at primary school – by the time students reach year seven, attitudes about what matters in education will have already been established.” (more)

‘It captures their imagination’: teaching sustainability through the arts

The Guardian – Deborah Cleland-Harris

“At Fleet primary school in north London, children between the ages of three and 11 are learning songs about climate change and the environment. Tunes featuring fossil fuels, composting, growing vegetables and the impact of transport have all become popular in class, despite the somewhat serious messages at their heart.” (more)

Secret Teacher: subjects like art are being sidelined – but they matter

The Guardian – Secret Teacher

“According to the primary national curriculum, we should be teaching children to become “proficient in drawing”. So what’s going on? When I share my observations with the key stage 2 leader, she shakes her head. “There just aren’t enough hours in the day,” she says. And that’s the end of that. It’s not just art. Music is sidelined too, as are languages. Children are removed from French lessons for extra reading and writing interventions; school productions are shelved due to lack of practice time; opportunities for drama are reduced to the odd English lesson.” (more)

The Hidden Meaning of Kids’ Shapes and Scribbles

The Atlantic – Isabel Fattal

“High on the list of awkward social interactions is the moment when a dentist or a coworker shows off her young child’s nonsensical art. A bystander might think the art—or at least the fact of its existence—is cute. Or she might think it’s ridiculous or downright terrifying. In either case, a common reaction is to smile and ask, “What’s it supposed to be?” After all, these creations rarely look like anything fully recognizable or “real.” I uncovered a host of idiosyncrasies after asking parents about their kids’ art. There was a sideways house (or was it a knife?); a giant tooth resembling candy corn; a supposed self-portrait consisting of an oval with some jagged lines in the middle. Observers tend to laugh these sorts of things off as a kid’s erratic artistic process. If the drawing seems angry or dark, they might worry about what it means.”(more)

Being Creative While Teaching Students About Therapeutic Effects of Crafting

Education World – Samantha DiMauro

“As rates of depression and anxiety among young people in America increase, it’s an important time to teach stress management skills. Getting creative with arts and crafts, especially ones that require extensive concentration and working with your hands (i.e. knitting), have been proven to have effects similar to meditation, and function as a natural antidepressant.”(more)