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Using Art in Education to Build Better Decision Making Skills

Parents want children to succeed in life – earn well, be happy, obtain a college degree. While the goal is clear, parents are often not sure how to foster the necessary skills in their children.

While most parents and educationalists agrees that core subjects such as English and Math are essential for children to succeed academically; they also realize that children need to learn other skills such as decision making, independent thinking, and so on. These skills will help the children become leaders, innovators, and become ready to live independently.

Art in Education to Help Children Develop Decision Making Skills

Much of the basic core subjects such as English and Math, taught to children at the elementary school level, involve the following rules and steps. They are taught and expected to follow the rules of English grammar and spelling. Similarly, in Math they are expected to follow the steps to arrive at the answer, whether they are adding, subtraction, or multiplying.

While these are essential skills, this emphasis on following rules and being obedient in class can also slowly wither away decision making skills. One way to ensure that children continue to develop their ability to make decisions on their own and think independently is to enable them to participate in art class.

Plenty of Leeway

Unlike the core subjects such as English and Math, parents and teachers can provide children with much more leeway in art class. Children can and should be encouraged to choose their subject, color, and interpretation in art.

While very young children might need some guidance, they should be praised for making independent decisions and interpretations. This allows the children to understand that they should and can make their own decisions in some areas of their lives.

Multiple Benefits in Encouraging Decision Making Skills

When children are encouraged to make their own decisions, they begin to lose their fear of thinking independently. They understand that they can innovate and interpret the world around them. These skills will make the child a leader instead of a follower, but there is nothing wrong with being a follower at times. Whatever field of study or career your child chooses as an adult―the leadership qualities will ensure that they become successful in the field of their choice.

Simply encouraging your child to pursue an art form – painting, clay modeling, music, or sculpture – will open up their imagination and ensure that they receive plenty of time to exercise their decision making skills. They might make mistakes but will learn to cope with them and move on from their failures. This will help the child develop the courage to make decisions without developing an unhealthy fear of failure.

While art classes also foster a sense of aesthetics, develop fine motor skills, and help children understand and interpret the world around them, they also ensure that the child will become an independent and creative thinker and innovator. This is essential for leaders and will help the child put the core skills they learn in school to better use for society, their family, and themselves.

Playing to the Gallery

While most people think of the plastic arts such as painting and sculpting when it comes to art education, you should also take into consideration other art forms such as music that also foster a creative and independent focus. Warren Buffet, the investor, founder, and CEO of the mighty investment firm Berkshire Hathaway still entertains audiences with his skill with a ukulele. His ability to make money from his investments arises directly from his willingness to take risks, something that learning and participating in artistic activities can certainly develop.

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