While the STEM classes (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are being more and more heavily stressed in schools, the arts are being whittled away as labeled as non-essentials. Unfortunately, this is completely counterproductive. Too frequently, teachers are only looking for the "right" answer from their students. But, where in math or technology can a made-up, imaginary answer be the right answer? So instead of STEM classes being the core, what about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics)?
This article, by Lisa Phillips (that's her photo there), highlight the top ten skills kids gain from learning the arts, from theater and dance, to drawing and sculpting, to singing and playing music.
In a nutshell, the skills Lisa lists are:
3. Problem Solving
6. Non-Verbal Communication
7. Receiving Constructive Feedback – So many adults I know could benefit from having learned this one.
#1 Creativity – In it's rightful place at the top of this list, and simply THE most important skill a person can have. When businesses are hiring, they don't want candidates who can only recite what's been done before. They want innovative, creative people, who can add A and B and come up with 42—then show why. Thankfully, and contrary to popular belief that either you have it or you don't, this skill CAN be taught.
#2 Confidence – While I do think confidence is important, having a lack of fear is more important. I've met some teenagers recently who are too big for their britches, so to speak. The young man I'm thinking of is very, very smart and knows it, but is so full of that knowledge few people can stand to be around him long. He's very confident in his intellect, but still is afraid to try new things lest he not live up to his own (albeit well-founded) hype. He would be better served with a willingness to fearlessly experience new things and not brag to others.
The rest, I more or less agree with. What do you think?
Thanks for reading,
Good juju-spreader, storyteller, graphic designer. I'd love to hear from you!