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Sometimes it seems like STEM is what makes the world go around. There is a huge push to focus on sciences and make all education technology based. We can’t deny the importance of STEM in the 21st century. Technology is part of our culture and way of life. However, that doesn’t mean that creativity should be out the window. In a race to get ahead in the high tech world, we are short changing our children of important skills. Here are just a few of the reasons why an arts education is critical to 21st century achievement. Creativity and STEM are more interconnected than you might think.
Creativity and STEM Soft Skills
Year after year, employers are asked what they want most in a new employee. Even though technology has been rapidly changing, skills like coding and robotics don’t ever seem to make the list. Instead, what employers want most are the soft skills. These include thinking outside the box, problem solving, and the ability to adapt. All these skills and more are provided through an arts education. Stretching ourselves creatively builds brain power for tackling more complex problems and ideas. STEM and the arts work best together, not in competition with each other.
Have you ever stood inside a Gothic cathedral or wound your way through a medieval castle? Even if you haven’t, you have probably thought about it. What is it that draws us to these antiquities? They seem juxtaposed to our modern world. It all comes down to one word: aesthetics! Builders of the past understood the desire for beauty and creativity in the world. We treasure these marvels not just because they are old or important, but because they ignite our soul.
In an effort to improve science, math, and technology skills, the arts have been pushed out of most educational models. If they are there, it is usually as a footnote or a frivolous extra. Think of what the world would be without any beauty or art. Does anyone want to live in such a drab, cold, and ugly place? Our scientists, engineers, and architects need art!
Confident adults are successful adults. Confidence and boldness are what get things done. The arts supply confidence because there is no right or wrong. Students are allowed to express themselves and experiment. They can try this and change that. The bets artists keep experimenting and refining until they are happy with the results. This builds confidence in their work and themselves.
In addition, what would the arts be without exhibits and performances? Not every piece of art will make it to a museum, however art is definitely created to be displayed, whether that is in the Louvre or your kitchen refrigerator. We make art to share it. It’s not something to be hidden away in a notebook or locked in a vault. Performance and exhibitions build internal confidence and the ability to step out and be seen/heard.