Rethinking the role of arts education for diversified opportunities and well-balanced students
By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
In his best-selling book A Whole New Mind, author Dan Pink argues that, in order to effectively prepare today’s young people for the future – not as we once imagined it, but rather as it inevitably will be – educators must revise the way they teach children and, in the process, rethink their approach to arts in education. As Pink sees it, left-brain skills – those associated with logical, analytical thinking and precise, linear assessment – are undeniably essential to the ultimate pursuit of opportunity and success in the workplace. But at the same time, these capabilities alone are not enough to prepare students for the unpredictability of the future; and in our ever-changing society, the ability to balance sharp analysis with holistic vision, precision with big-picture thinking and factual details with empathy and creativity is increasingly in demand.
Independent schools have taken this balanced approach to heart, and are striving to educate the whole mind – right and left brain alike – in order to better prepare students for their eventual foray into the professional landscape. It is this dedication to full-spectrum teaching that sets such institutions apart; and at Francis Parker School, our rich and varied arts education program perfectly exemplifies this holistic educational philosophy. We commit ourselves to instilling within our students the tools for global citizenship, social engagement and creative thinking: and as seasoned educators, it is our view that a solid foundation in the arts, far from simply adding color to a college-preparatory curriculum, is instead a vital component that keeps young minds flexible and adaptable for an uncertain future.
Arts education at Francis Parker School: blending fun and functionality for superior creative skills
It’s never too soon to teach young people the importance of creativity, curiosity and culture; and that’s why we at Parker involve our Lower, Middle and Upper School students alike in the visual and performing arts throughout their time with us. From visual arts projects and exhibits to dramatic performances, music lessons and academic film and cultural studies, Parker students enjoy all the benefits of a premier arts curriculum that also serves to complement their other areas of study. As we see it, this system promotes balance while also preparing students for the challenges of advanced arts courses at the university level – all while promoting creative thinking and providing an outlet for fun, adventurous and joyful learning in the process.
Art is a universal language, and an essential building block for every civilization that ever has, and ever shall, exist and thrive in our society. By incorporating artistic sensibilities and skills into the elementary and secondary-school educational model, Francis Parker School champions the creative agency of each and every one of our students, and works to cultivate artistic perception, expression and aesthetic assessment skills for the sake of improved cultural understanding on a global scale. To learn more about the visual and performing arts program or any other facets of our San Diego private school curriculum, visit us online: www.francisparker.org.
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