How Does Art Education Help to Think Differently?

There are few things that make humans different from any other living being; the ability to talk, think, and express themselves through art. Even the Neanderthals painted the insides of their caves, describing their everyday life and customs. Over the years we have come to observe art as something valuable, and not only as something we can admire in the museums for their beauty. 

Until recant, art education has been thought of as almost a useless subject which has no real contribution to children’s education. However, it has been proved that study and participation in the arts is a fundamental component in improving learning throughout all academic areas. You may be wondering how drawing, playing an instrument, creative writing, or doing some craftwork can be so useful to children, but many studies showed that art education changes the way we think.

The importance of art education

In recent years, more and more schools realized the importance of art education and added it to their curriculum. Arts education develops creativity, it helps foster a positive culture and climate in schools, increases student engagement, and help students to practice teamwork. But one of the most valuable skills that art education helps develop has to be critical thinking. 

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, that is, to look carefully at the given information and come to a conclusion that is rational. This skill is particularly hard for people to learn, but it’s also a very important one to acquire because knowing how to receive information, consider it rationally, and then use it to solve a problem is extremely beneficial. The younger the child starts attending art classes the sooner he will develop the skill of critical thinking, and here is how. 

It is proven that art education teaches students to observe the world more closely. When analyzing an artwork it is necessary to examine and consider all the details of a painting in order to fully understand it. This process of observation and study helps students to carefully observe and analyze the world around them, and that skill is the foundation of critical thinking.

Another great example of how art education changes the way we think can be found among students who create art. The creating of art is beneficial in developing children’s maturity, which can help them grow into more empathetic and caring adults. Not only that, but, during art classes children are exposed to each other’s progress, which helps them to learn how to support each other, and experience teamwork.

However, the art of developing critical thinking through artistic expression is not exclusively reserved for children. No matter the age, or the circumstance, art is for everyone. So even if you think you are too old for it, sing up to an art class, and you will see how beneficial it is going to be for you.

(1) “Why Art Matters-art and critical thinking” Arts management (online) Available at:,3984 [Accessed on: 11. Sep. 2020]