The Role of the Arts in Education
By GRACE VAINISI ‘19
After a full day of classes, activities, and sports, after eating dinner and dragging my feet up to my room, the time comes to start my homework. And all I feel is dread. I’ve taken so many courses where the work in the class itself isn’t necessarily hard, but the time I have to put in to finish my work everyday makes it seem grueling.
The act of memorizing information is undoubtedly important, as it enables us to store little bits of knowledge away to use for when it suits us. However, even if I’m learning about something I find interesting, memorizing vocabulary words or dates is often a boring, if not excruciating, task.
The arts are definitely important to education. From providing the opportunity to find a new passion to giving the space for individual expression, the arts have the power to play a major role in any young person’s life. However, they don’t have to be all-consuming in order for us to reap their benefits; by incorporating the arts little by little into our everyday studies, we can take big steps to work towards being both more engaged in what we’re learning and more well-rounded students on the whole.
Whether it’s listening to Hamilton again to refresh on what exactly the National Bank has to do with the American Revolution or watching an entire season of Elite on Netflix in a fleeting attempt to convince myself that it’ll help me learn Spanish vocabulary, involving the arts in my process of learning makes doing the actual work more interesting and enjoyable than scribbling down countless lists or flashcards.
Choosing forms of entertainment to supplement my education in a way that makes the work seem less taxing is a personal choice; everyone has a choice to take ownership of their work and decide to try different tactics to make the work more manageable. And I think that the arts are a great place to start.