Why Study Art?
Art stimulates both sides of the brain and allows children to learn to use their senses. The art classroom provides a safe haven for children to express themselves at school in an open, stimulating and nurturing environment. At Pinelands High, we aim to promote self-esteem, while teaching our pupils to respect the individual identities of those around them. We aim to teach our art pupils to think openly and to have confidence in their opinions on life and the world around us. Art represents a culture of questioners rather than a culture of responders, and our pupils learn that there is often more than one solution to a problem. Art provides a common ground across racial stereotypes, barriers and prejudices.
Examining art gives pupils the chance to learn how to think critically. Since most questions regarding a piece of art do not have a specific answer, pupils are encouraged to come up with their own solutions to questions. This process is a good way to practise and hone pupils' critical thinking skills, and is something that can be used throughout life.
One of the main features of art is the use of symbolism by artists in their work. However, before we are able to understand what symbols mean, we must first learn how to read basic symbolism. Once our pupils understand the basic types of symbolism and how the concept of symbols work (for example, the basic concept that the colour red symbolises passion), they can use that knowledge when reading or watching any number of artistic media, anything from movies to television shows and books. This creates a greater awareness of the environment that surrounds them, and makes children less prone to coercion and manipulation.