Youth arts education is a key component for balanced students and better employment prospects
By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
Dan Pink, best-selling author of A Whole New Mind, contends that if schools are to successfully prepare students for the future — not the future we once planned on, but rather the future that our students will inevitably face — then we must take a whole new look at how we educate our students and, in doing so, reconsider the traditional role of arts in education.
According to Pink, the left-brain capabilities ─ logical, sequential, linear, analytical thinking ─ are and will always remain vital to the success of our graduates, providing students the best chance of successfully navigating their way down the path toward opportunity and success. However, these capabilities alone will not sustain our students if they are going to succeed in an unpredictable and ever-changing professional landscape. Capabilities that were once considered a lock for opportunity and success can no longer stand on their own. Instead, a new kind of mind is in demand, one that combines a mastery of the left-brain capabilities with those of our right-brain ─ holistic, inventive, empathetic, big-picture thinking.
An honest look at independent schools shows that we are doing a pretty good job of educating with a whole, new mind. Most would agree that the idea of giving full attention to the development of both the left-brain and right-brain capacities is one of the realities that distinguish independent education. At Parker we acknowledge the vital role that the arts play in the development of our students. As experienced educators with a focus on preparing our students for global citizenship, social engagement and creative thinking, we at Francis Parker School believe that a thorough foundation in the arts, far from being merely extra-curricular, should be a core component in a comprehensive college-preparatory education and a tool that students can take with them into the working world of the future.
The arts at Parker: fun, joy, creativity and skill building for students of all ages
Throughout their years at Francis Parker School, our Lower, Middle and Upper School students take part in a wide variety of visual and performing arts activities ñ ranging from lessons in dramatic, musical and visual arts context, skill and technique to full-fledged theatre productions, performances and exhibits. As an institution, we make it our mission to provide our students with a premier and comprehensive arts education alongside the many other components of our innovative curriculum, and to prepare them for advanced arts studies at the university level upon graduation. It is our sincere goal to not only enrich the lives our students through these creative experiences, but also to instill in them a foundation in artistic perception, individual expression, cultural context and aesthetic valuing for improved communication skills and understanding on a global scale.
Art is integral to all human endeavors, and remains an essential component for the growth and development of civilization. To witness, understand, appreciate and share the arts with one another is a necessary pursuit; and in today’s economy, it is also one of the most serviceable skills and secure job prospects for soon-to-be grads. To learn more about the arts at Parker or any other element of our unique San Diego private school curriculum, visit us online: www.francisparker.org.
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