In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The New School.”
If I were to create a school, reading, writing, and math would definitely be an integral part of the curriculum. However, just as important as those subjects would be the arts (visual/performing/music etc) and business education.
Most people tend to think that the arts aren’t very important, I think the exact opposite. I think it’s imperative that children learn these subjects because it can improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. Stimulation with the arts can connect people more deeply to the world we live in and give them “out of the box” ways of thinking and problem solving.
Arts education has been slipping behind the ever present “no child left behind” because there are pressures all around to raise test scores, which I understand, but leaving out the arts leaves certain children out of the loop. I mean think about it. Lets say you’re an affluent family, your kid is going to be exposed to the arts even if the school he/she is in doesn’t have those subjects available. All because you can afford to send him/her to those now “extra-curricular” activities. What about those families that can’t afford extras? Where does that leave them? By having these programs in school, it’ll level the playing field of exposure.
The arts are sometimes the only subjects in which kids can express their own creative individuality and have some sort of platform for their personal expression. Taking art class actually makes kids happy and makes them feel and think positively, and they get the chance to reduce the stresses that they might receive from other classes and everyday life in general.
As far as business education goes, my children went to an entrepreneurial charter school that focused on business. It was extremely forward thinking and I think it helped them tremendously. They learned different things about businesses and, depending on the grade level the children were in, is how involved they got. They learned about business plans and how to implement them, they learned about marketing, advertising, hiring/firing employees, paying certain fees/dues etc. It was an all around fabulous idea in my opinion.
By teaching business education in schools, it reinforces skills being taught in math, communications, spelling, art, and computer skills. I think it’s important to give kids practice making decisions about having a business of their own. Especially in this day and age where being self-employed and/or running your own business is something anyone can achieve. Even having a lemonade stand or a babysitting service is running your own business!