“In the U.S., many four-year postsecondary institutions fall under the category of “liberal arts.” This term has nothing to do with political leaning, and doesn’t necessarily refer to art as a subject. Instead, it refers to the freedom to study a diverse array of subjects, treating each of those subjects like “an art,” and approaching it with the expectation to acquire not just knowledge, but a new way of thinking. When treated as an art, a subject becomes more than a series of rules to memorise; it becomes a foreign language, a unique discourse to master.
It’s this more philosophical definition of “art” that can turn arts education into a powerful interdisciplinary tool, and we need to start adopting it now. As we’re starting to see–with the addition of the letter “A” in the STEM acronym and various motions to save arts programmes around the globe–art is no longer being thought of as an indulgent, introspective practice that exists only within its own disciplinary parameters. On the contrary, it’s becoming clear that students of all subjects benefit from–even need–engagement with the arts in order to fulfill their academic potential. So let’s take a moment to consider art’s place in modern education–without defaulting to visions of fingerpainting and drama club.”
Read the article in its entirety here