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Art to Heart

Educational Ideas

“Art is a process-oriented activity and it takes stages to get something done, so patience is needed. I think that’s a really good activity for kids, definitely in this TV- and computer-driven world where everything’s instantaneous.”

Melanie Walker, art teacher, Byck Elementary

“Art can be wonderful therapy—what nothing else can do, art can do. I think of it as the refinement of the human soul, the most powerful tool.”

Won Jung Choi, art teacher, Settlement Music School

“The arts represent a set of resources for learning how to see, how to imagine, and how to feel. Their absence in the school is a form of educational deprivation. As long as we think about ‘children in the round,’ so to speak, and their full array of capacities, we need the arts to actualize what is latent, but which doesn’t develop on its own very far unless it has the support of environment and teachers who know what they’re up to.”

Elliot Eisner, professor of education and art, Stanford University

“The artistic languages and poetic languages allow the other subject matters and disciplines to develop in a terrain that’s very fertile for development of a more human kind of knowledge where rationality, expressiveness, and emotion are all linked.”

Vea Vecchi, curriculum consultant, Reggio Children

“Children this young learn with their bodies—they learn by doing things. The arts are just an endless, rich source of ideas for learning. I really can’t imagine teaching children this young separate from the arts.”

Marla Shoemaker, senior curator of education, Philadelphia Museum of Art

“I really believe that any of us, and children certainly, construct knowledge based on their personal experiences and the input of new information. And art is one of those avenues that children respond exceedingly well to.”

Sharon Shaffer, executive director, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center

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