There is no inherent binary division between the kind of people interested in (or good at) math and science and those interested in the arts and humanities. In this climate of economic uncertainty, America is once again turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future. Yet innovation remains tightly coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math—the STEM subjects. Art + Design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century. We need to add Art + Design to the equation—to transform STEM into STEAM. What is needed for us to reunite art and science is to recognize that even in the most “sciency” science lab and the most mathematical accounting desk, there is a great need for creativity, problem-solving, and empathy. Those are the skills inherent in design thinking.
The National Art Education Association (NAEA) and other national arts and education organizations released a statement calling on policy makers and the public to re-examine support for quality arts education. Arts Education for America’s Students: A Shared Endeavor is a statement outlining the importance of high quality arts education and those responsible for providing it to students. It asserts Art Education as a core academic subject area, and was created to respond to the alarming marginalization of quality arts education in America’s schools in recent years, as funding, staffing, and school time have increasingly focused on tested subject areas.
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