THE ROLE OF ART EDUCATION IN A CHILD'S LIFE: THE PHILOSOPHIES, EXPECTATIONS, AND EVALUATIONS OF ART EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN MUSEUMS AND SCHOOLS
My research focuses on the importance of art education in a child's life. By exploring the different philosophies throughout history regarding the teaching of art, I have discovered how community art activists, school teachers, and museum educators, particularly in the Philadelphia area, view the subject and what efforts they make to expose students to the world of art. Furthermore, my paper discusses the numerous documented benefits that art education can have for a child, from providing a valuable means of personal expression to enhancing critical thinking and problem solving skills. But recently, many arts education classes have been eliminated from schools across the country due to the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act. Placing a higher emphasis on reading, science, and math, the act has caused art programs to be squeezed out of much of the curriculum. In this paper, I hope to reveal and explain the value that a quality arts education has in multiple facets of a child's life, and why it should remain an essential element in a student's education.