Art Class is a 21st Century Class

I recently attended the 2nd trimester open house at my daughter’s high school. This is where parents follow their child’s schedule for  brief 10-minute “classses.” It’s a chance to hear from the teacher, including syllabus, expectations, etc.

As I listened to the Art teacher talk about the art exploration class, it occurred to me that Art embodies the essence of a 21st century skill:

  • Creativity:  students create original work.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving: Students are presented with an expected outcome and need to analyze how to get there. In this case, the teacher used the words “problem solving” when talking about assignments and process.
  • Communication: the teacher was clear that students are to see themselves communicating about something through their art – about themselves, an issue, a concept. In this case, students have to communicate without words.
  • Collaboration: students work on individual and group projects in this class.

In this particular art class, there isn’t even any digital technology!

21st Century Skills are cross all disciplines and are about more than the use of technology. Yet, art classes are almost always the first to be cut. Here’s hoping we soon realize the importance of these classes that encourage and foster these skills.