Are Creative Arts Subjects Beneficial?

With the last update on the government policy EBacc (or English Baccalaureate) being put into place regarding the alterations to its criteria, it’s important to consider the underlying aims and issues surrounding the modern curriculum template. The English Baccalaureate is an academic performance measure that evaluates the quantity of students that study core curricular subjects within Key Stage 4. This aims to highlight how many pupils have achieved C grades and above, or grade 5 and above in what the Department for Education deem as core subjects. You can read the updated policy paper here.

         “Information is not knowledgeAlbert Eintstein

The EBacc subjects that the Department for Education have listed as ‘core subjects’ are; English, Mathematics, Science, History & Geography, and Languages. This has been highlighted as a concern amongst the teaching community as other subject such as Drama, Music, and Physical Education aren’t considered as essential when it comes to a student’s education. It isn’t the first time Creative Arts subjects are heralded as non-mandatory, and due to the Digital Education epoch it may become easier to push the subjects out. Considering this statement in broader terms, due to the increase in technological capability and dependency, children may become more likely to follow career paths that centre around technology and digital ability as it is something we are currently pushing towards in modern teaching trends. Although there are many benefits that go with the EBacc territory, other aspects of student development will be neglected which could cause an array of consequences.

Subjects or lesson plans that nurture a student’s creative streak can also help develop their understanding of emotion and emotional behaviour, this can benefit a vast range of future career pathways. Understanding emotion can help both socially and academically. The advantages of this can benefit how people control their own emotions and begin to understand themselves in aspects such as their friendships, boosting their confidence and motivation, as well as positive communication with others. These characteristics become vital when you’re aiming to better yourself within the professional hierarchy as anti-social behaviour is not warranted in the work place. Motor skills and social interactions are primarily encouraged more during non-core subjects as there is more freedom of movement and verbal interaction between student groups. Furthermore, by encouraging children to be creative can help them find enjoyment in learning, thus progressing in their education. Creativity is the ability to make, invent, design or imagine something original and potential life changing, whether this be for the individual or the many. Much like Vygotsky’s ‘Scaffolding’ Theory, teachers can provide support for their students but leave it to them to decide how much, and what they want to achieve. With creative arts subjects, students become responsible for their own progress.

The ‘one size fits all’ approach to learning has been consistently disproved which leads to question why academic policies are still working to suit the many, when the many is yet to be distinguished. Studies have shown that creative art subjects in schools enhances the process of development in a standardised learning environment. With this in mind, it may be useful to implement techniques that combine core with creative as a type of hybrid learning style. Some students may benefit from a more ‘core’ focused style, whilst others may progress further with creativity. Either way, it could be argued that schools should expose both styles of education as essential for students to feel comfortable in what works best for them in terms of development and achievement. Creativity sets students apart from one another. The correlation between work place dreams, opinions and preferences needs to be scattered to avoid a wonted, unremarkable future for the younger generation, and a middle platform between core and creative can potentially help implement this.

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