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Why High Schoolers Need Art


Art is often considered a luxury or an extracurricular activity, but it is actually essential for teenagers' development. Teenagers need art because it provides them with opportunities to express themselves, develop their creativity, improve their critical thinking skills, and explore their emotions. In this article, we will explore these benefits of art and examine some of the research that supports them.


Self-expression

Art allows teenagers to express themselves in ways that they may not be able to do with words alone. By creating art, teenagers can communicate their thoughts, feelings, and experiences to others. This can be particularly important for teenagers who are going through difficult times or who may feel like they don't fit in. According to a study by the National Endowment for the Arts, "artistic activities can provide a unique outlet for adolescent expression and communication, as well as opportunities for teens to develop and maintain positive relationships with peers and adults" (NEA, 2006). Art can also help teenagers develop a sense of identity and self-worth.


Creativity

Art encourages teenagers to think creatively and outside of the box. When teenagers engage in art activities, they are forced to come up with new and innovative ideas, which can be beneficial in other areas of their lives. According to a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, "the ability to think creatively is associated with positive academic and social outcomes, including better problem-solving skills and higher levels of social competence" (Kim, 2011). By engaging in art, teenagers can develop these skills and apply them to other areas of their lives.


Critical thinking

Art also helps teenagers develop critical thinking skills. When creating art, teenagers must make decisions about composition, color, and style. They must also evaluate their own work and make changes as necessary. These skills can be transferred to other areas of their lives, such as problem-solving and decision-making. According to a study published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, "the study of arts, including music, theater, dance, and visual arts, promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity" (Burton, Horowitz, & Abeles, 1999).


Emotional exploration

Finally, art allows teenagers to explore their emotions in a safe and healthy way. By creating art, teenagers can express their emotions and work through difficult feelings. According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, "art-making can provide a powerful tool for the processing and expression of emotions, particularly for adolescents who may be struggling with emotional challenges" (Bekhet & Zauszniewski, 2012). Art can also help teenagers develop empathy and understand the emotions of others.


In conclusion, teenagers need art because it provides them with opportunities to express themselves, develop their creativity, improve their critical thinking skills, and explore their emotions. By engaging in art activities, teenagers can develop skills that can be applied to other areas of their lives. The benefits of art are supported by a growing body of research, and it is important that we continue to promote and support the arts in education. As the National Endowment for the Arts has stated, "artistic expression can play a critical role in promoting the healthy development of children and youth" (NEA, 2006).


Works Cited


Bekhet, A. K., & Zauszniewski, J. A. (2012). Effects of art making on anxiety: A pilot study. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 30(3), 165-173.

Burton, J., Horowitz, R., & Abeles, H. (1999). Learning in and through the arts: The question of transfer. Studies in Art Education, 40(3), 228-257.

Kim, K. H. (2011). The creativity crisis: The decrease in creative thinking scores on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. Creativity Research Journal, 23(4), 285-295.


National Endowment for the Arts. (2006). The arts and achievement in at-risk youth: Findings from four longitudinal studies. Retrieved from https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/Arts-At-Risk-Youth.pdf

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