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Education

Art Makes Students Smart 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the too-bad-we-cut-it-for-football dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "For many education advocates, the arts supposedly increase test scores, generate social responsibility and turn around failing schools but research that demonstrates a causal relationship has been virtually nonexistent. Now the NY Times reports that with the opening of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a large-scale, random-assignment study (abstract) of school tours to the museum has determined that a strong causal relationship does in fact exist between arts education and a range of desirable outcomes. Students who, by lottery, were selected to visit the museum on a field trip demonstrated stronger critical thinking skills, displayed higher levels of social tolerance, exhibited greater historical empathy and developed a taste for art museums and cultural institutions. Moreover, most of the benefits are significantly larger for minority students, low-income students and students from rural schools — typically two to three times larger than for white, middle-class, suburban students — owing perhaps to the fact that the tour was the first time they had visited an art museum. Further research is needed to determine what exactly about the museum-going experience determines the strength of the outcomes. How important is the structure of the tour? The size of the group? The type of art presented? 'Clearly, however, we can conclude that visiting an art museum exposes students to a diversity of ideas that challenge them with different perspectives on the human condition,' write the authors. 'Expanding access to art, whether through programs in schools or through visits to area museums and galleries, should be a central part of any school's curriculum.'"
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Art Makes Students Smart

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  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @02:27AM (#45535701)
    THIS much difference from ONE field trip to a museum? Why, by all that is correlated, we MUST start opening up museums like 7-11s! There should be one on every streetcorner!
    • I should add, all sarcasm aside: I really do love museums and I really do think they're valuable and educational.

      But these claimed results are a little hard to swallow.
      • Re:Holy Crap!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jafiwam (310805) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @07:45AM (#45536901) Homepage Journal

        I should add, all sarcasm aside: I really do love museums and I really do think they're valuable and educational. But these claimed results are a little hard to swallow.

        I have no doubt art is valuable. Just not to the folks who "win" something and then choose to not go to a field trip.

        The kids who are smart, driven, and interested in stuff have.... wait for it... parents who are smart, driven, and interested in stuff. Those parents, are ALSO more likely to approve a field trip.

        They need to be looking at the kids who "won" but didn't go. THOSE are going to be a pile of nigh-dregs of society, because their parents are, and the results of the study will be necessarily skewed the way they wanted, and found.

        • The kids who are smart, driven, and interested in stuff have.... wait for it... parents who are smart, driven, and interested in stuff.

          Not necessarily.

        • The kids who are smart, driven, and interested in stuff have.... wait for it... parents who are smart, driven, and interested in stuff. Those parents, are ALSO more likely to approve a field trip.

          There's a rare subset of kids who are smart, driven, and interested particularly because they see what a sad waste of energy their parents are. Not me, but I've had enough friends this was the case for that I feel it warrants mention. I believe you are your upbringing, but not always in the ways that seem obvious.

          • There's a rare subset of kids who are smart, driven, and interested particularly because they see what a sad waste of energy their parents are.

            I have a friend like that. She is so different from her siblings in her intellect and drive, and while she's a lot like her mother in some ways, as much as she loves her father, she's nothing like him. He's 6'4" and skinny as a rail, she's 5' and round. He's uneducated, extremely conservative and a bible thumper, and she's college educated, heavily invested in the sciences, and herself an educator. He...

            Well, about five years ago, her mother confided to her that for a couple of years before she (my fr

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          I'm guessing you're either young and childless or, like me, got lucky. Both of my kids turned out fine, but I know guys with sons, where one son is hard working, literate, successful and another who is a lazy, uninterested, aliterate alcoholic drug abuser.

          I also know some people my kids' ages who had terrible parents but turned into good, productive members of society.

      • But these claimed results are a little hard to swallow.

        Perhaps because the study's funder had a vested interest in the outcome? I'll believe it when I see it replicated. If the results are real, then lots of kids should be going to museums, and there should be plenty of data.

        • Yes, always be aware of the corrupting influence of money. Short of outright fabricating the data(not impossible), how do you posit bias was injected into the study?

          • Challenge: take a belief you have and prove it. You get to design the experiment, collect the data and publish your results.

            Unless you try to fail, you won't, you'll "prove" exactly what you set out to prove. As noted above, can independent researchers reproduce the result. That is, people that are doubtful that art will magically fix kids.
            • Nope, sorry. That's not how it works. You can formulate a hypothesis and still objectively test it, in spite of personal attachment. "People like proving things more than disproving" doesn't contravene the basic principles of science and you're going to have to try harder.

    • Re:Holy Crap!!! (Score:5, Informative)

      by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @02:58AM (#45535837)

      The study doesn't claim a big difference. The results were only 5% to 10% of a standard deviation. But they were statistically significant. And since the students were picked at random and had the tests administered after the fact, you can't argue correlation-but-not-causation. (What, do you think that performing well on a test improves your ability to have your name picked out of a hat six months ago?)

      • by zAPPzAPP (1207370)

        Depends.
        Was the tested subject time machines, or temporal magics?

      • Re:Holy Crap!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @04:07AM (#45536067)

        I like to believe that this is true, but can we confirm that everyone who had their name picked out went, and everyone who didn't, didnt?

        In a more general sense, it's clear around me that an appreciation of art develops thinking skills in unrelated fields. The dullest geeks I have the misfortune to associate with are those who think that nothing is important beyond their own tiny little corner of knowledge - it's not their ignorance which is grating, but their paucity of reasoning power.

      • Re:Holy Crap!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by narcc (412956) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @04:38AM (#45536175) Journal

        you can't argue correlation-but-not-causation.

        Sure you can. The fact that they went to an art museum may be completely irrelevant. It could be as simple as students being singled out for special, positive, attention. It puts me in mind of Mayo's Hawthorne experiments.

        Causality is hard, particularly in social research. I haven't read the paper, though the abstract doesn't suggest any attempt to control for rather obvious confounders. Of course, the abstract doesn't mention a causal relationship at all, so this could just be another case of bad science reporting.

        When I read "Further research is needed to determine what exactly about the museum-going experience determines the strength of the outcomes" in the summary, I cringe a bit -- it ought to read "Further research is needed to determine if it was the museum-going experience at all".

        • by Talderas (1212466)

          This was my initial thought. Was it the museum visit or was the it the singling out and elevating of the students as special or different from their peers that had the effect.

        • "Further research is needed to determine what exactly about the museum-going experience determines the strength of the outcomes"

          Allow me to translate that into non-grant-proposal-writing-scientist-language:
          "It was fun to study this, please give us more money so we can continue having fun."

      • Re:Holy Crap!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by wisty (1335733) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @04:39AM (#45536179)

        > Several weeks after the students in the treatment group visited the museum, we administered surveys to all of the students. The surveys included multiple items that assessed knowledge about art, as well as measures of tolerance, historical empathy and sustained interest in visiting art museums and other cultural institutions. We also asked them to write an essay in response to a work of art that was unfamiliar to them.

        > These essays were then coded using a critical-thinking-skills assessment program developed by researchers working with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

        Then from the actual article (well ... the abstract):

        > Students who participated in the School Visit Program demonstrated significantly stronger critical thinking skills when analyzing a new painting.

        So basically, visiting a museum makes students a little more interested and knowable about art. I'm not sure that actually makes them better thinkers (unless they want to be art critics).

        The tolerance thing is the only really interesting thing. I guess learning about history (especially in an engaging way, even if it's a little shallow) can put things in perspective. You would equally say that watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos could help students see the big picture.

        • by u38cg (607297)
          It doesn't "make" them better, but it doesn't seem unreasonable that it makes them more motivated, which is really the main driver behind intellectual achievement.
      • by apol (94049)
        Personally I believe in the stated causation. But if one wants to be skeptical, there is always a way:
        • The causation comes not from going to museums but from the feeling of being lucky.
        • The causation exists because of the negative effects induced by the alternative activity proposed to those who didn't go to the museums
        • In the museums the guide talked about tolerance and most of the students never had heard about this concept. So it was what was said not the contact with the art itself.

        For me unfortun

      • I didn't read the NYT article, but I did read the abstract. It explains what the test was about:

        Students who participated in the School Visit Program demonstrated significantly stronger critical thinking skills when analyzing a new painting .

        In other words, the kids that visited the museum of art managed to learn something about art, somehow slightly more than kids that didn't ... learn about art at the museum. That's no surprise - the "study" was designed to succeed.

      • by trongey (21550)

        Actually, you can make the correlation/causation argument, and the authors did so: "Further research is needed to determine what exactly about the museum-going experience determines the strength of the outcomes. How important is the structure of the tour? The size of the group? The type of art presented? "
        But in this case the correlation is important on its own. Something about these visits was beneficial to the children, and having visited this museum I suspect that both the art and the way it's presente

      • (What, do you think that performing well on a test improves your ability to have your name picked out of a hat six months ago?)

        ::yawn::
        Hypothesis: Field Trips to the Museum cause students to get better grades. Null Hypothesis [wikipedia.org]: Field Trips have nothing to do with getting better grades.

        Now, in order for any of the evidence for your hypothesis to mean anything beyond confirmation bias, it must be statistically significant more so than the null hypothesis (which is accepted as true by default otherwise). This is the mechanism for that whole "disprovability" thing that scientists require of theories.

        Since I've posted this now several

      • "And since the students were picked at random and had the tests administered after the fact, you can't argue correlation-but-not-causation."

        Yes, you can. As someone else mentioned up above, there is probably a significant (large?) amount of self-selection going on here.

        Do parents with lower IQs or education value a visit to a museum enough to allow their kids to go? Do poorer parents have the money to make a sack lunch, drop the kids off at school, or whatever other preparations for the visit are necessary? Etc.

        I'm not saying there *IS* bias, but there is enough potential for self-selection here that we should most definitely not assume t

    • Re:Holy Crap!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @04:17AM (#45536093) Homepage

      THIS much difference from ONE field trip to a museum? Why, by all that is correlated, we MUST start opening up museums like 7-11s! There should be one on every streetcorner!

      If you take a kid from the hood who's only ever seen turf wars, people fighting and other gang 'bidness' and show him something past the end of his street then it probably has an effect, yes.

      • This is northwest Arkansas. It's lily-white and rural. Not that that doesn't have its own pathologies, but being the hood isn't one of them.
    • You were sarcastic, but I'd argue that museums probably contribute more to society than 7-11s. I'd also hazard a guess that spending tax dollars on opening tons of museums would probably do more for our country than your average tax expenditure.
  • by devloop (983641) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @02:39AM (#45535753)
    "Researchers" were contacted by.. uh.. well.. the Museum... developed a "methodology" for the "experiment" after the fact, then based their definitions and metrics on an assessment program developed in conjunction with ... another museum.

    Solid!. No way this is just another case of confirmation bias.
    • But that argument, all researchers develop confirmation bias that makes their studies worthless.

      Everybody wants their research to show positive results. It's much harder to publish a failure, let alone get cred for it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fatphil (181876)
      What tosh - it's not as if one of the authors' "areas of research interest include the effects of culturally enriching field trips to art museums", and therefore none of them were inclined to bias the findings.

      Oh... http://www.uaedreform.org/jay-p-greene/

      I'd also like to know where the 10 million of "private" funding come for that deparment came from, in case it provides even more nails...
      • by horigath (649078)

        He's interested in researching the topic that he is in fact researching—how damning. What?

  • by Belial6 (794905) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @02:42AM (#45535769)
    This sounds like BS. One trip to a museum and the students have measurable increase in critical thinking, social tolerance, and historical empathy? I am just not buying it. The only part that sounds even measurable is that some of the kids might, after visiting a museum for the first time, say "Yeah, I would go again."
    • Re:Not buying it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @02:53AM (#45535811)

      A random sample of tens of thousands of students, controlling for education level, income level, gender, and other factors, showed a small but statistically significant increase in critical thinking, social tolerance, and historical empathy. What part sounds like BS to you? Is it the part where the conclusion doesn't fit your preconceived notions, and therefore must be false?

      • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @03:59AM (#45536027) Journal

        Belial6 never visited a museum when attending school and his/her mind has not fully developed as a result.

        Basically the study seems to claim that teaching kids makes them smarter. Who knew! Is going to a museum that unusual in the US?

        • by Belial6 (794905)
          No, it claims that one trip to a museum increases their critical thinking skills. There study is making an extraordinary claim. Their methodology does not support that claim. Maybe if you didn't rely on that single visit to a museum to supply you with your critical thinking skills, you could look at their methodology and see why it is BS.
          • I don't even think the things they used to 'measure' this supposed increase in critical thinking skills were valid in the least.

            Somewhat unrelated, but it seems like certain people want this to be true.

        • by wcrowe (94389)

          Well, yes, if you live in a rural area, going to a museum in the U.S. is pretty unusual. I grew up in the Ozarks, not far from Bentonville, Arkansas (where the museum in question resides). The nearest museum would have been in Tulsa, Oklahoma -- over 100 miles (160 kilometers) away. Such a trip would have been an all-day, expensive affair, to a small museum which is nothing like Crystal Bridges. It would be a rare thing.

          The first art museum I visited was when I was seventeen, and it was the Pergamon Muse

        • by profplump (309017)

          It's quite unusual for anyone in rural or semi-rural areas; I visited one museum in my entire primary and secondary education and that required extra attendance on Saturday and a $50 fee.

          Even in urban areas we do a lot to lock children away from the world rather than engage them in it. The amount of staff you need to keep them locked up is a lot smaller than the amount of staff you need if they were allowed to interact with the world, so guess which one we pick?

  • by holophrastic (221104) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @02:46AM (#45535781)

    very simply: 99% of classroom education isn't actually visual, tactile, nor aural. Math is numbers, graphs are relationships, algebra is logic, english is literary, poetry is aural, and plays are visual but how many poetry readings and plays are in classrooms these days?

    The museum is 90% visual and 80% tactile (even when you aren't permitted to touch it, you can still see the texture and infer the tactile). Welcome the part of the brain that's bored in the classroom.

    More parts of the brain being engaged, more to knowledge to associate with other knowledge, less being bored and blinder-focussed, better learning.

    • by rtb61 (674572) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @02:57AM (#45535833) Homepage

      Simply put, once the motivational trigger for the quest of knowledge has been trigged, it has been triggered. Providing the students with greater access to a wider range of educational interactions means that motivational trigger is far more likely to be triggered. So museums, zoos, high tech manufacturing plants, behind the scenes look at the infrastructure of major facilities, ports, major construction sites, airports, even visits to universities by primary school students basically any place the reflects the end use of the education they are participating in and the possible rewards they can expect. Most children have an motivational trigger for a desired range of knowledge, the more experiences the more likely it is to be triggered.

      • Damn. Wish I could mod you up. Agreed.

      • by psnyder (1326089) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:50AM (#45536451)
        As an early education teacher, I am convinced that the quest for knowledge is innate, and is repressed by classrooms that ask preadolescent children to barely move or speak for 4 to 6 hours every day. I believe the "trigger" you mention could be areas of a stifled, developing brain finally getting what it desires, like a cold glass of water in hell.

        I work in a school where most lessons are planned with sensory motor function in mind, where art, language, math, etc are shown to be intertwined, and where students often preform higher on standardized tests, despite me never giving them a single, formally graded test the rest of the year.

        For more than half of the children that transfer into my school after spending 3 or 4 years in a public school (factory structured, lecture based model), I have to spend the initial months detoxifying the child, showing them that it's okay to be creative, unsuppressed, and use their interests to learn.

        The developing brains of young children are extremely sensitive to visual, tactile experiences that the various arts provide. Their psychology is very different from an adult's, yet many adults often project their own learning styles onto them. This leads to continuously keeping subjects separate (such as art & math). While key concepts should initially be presented in isolation to avoid confusion, the follow up activities should combine multiple areas. In other words, expose the children to everything possible, show them how it all interconnects, and use what the child's mind is sensitive to, practicing multiple areas in conjunction and forming deep understanding.

        I find it highly likely that the statistically significant increase in critical thinking, social tolerance, and historical empathy that this study found not only comes from the initial exposure, but also from teachers integrating the experience into follow-up lessons / activities.
    • by wisty (1335733)

      "Learning styles" is mostly debunked (just google "learning styles debunked").

      I'd imagine it's mostly just that art is an engaging way to show students what the "big picture" is. If you could force them to learn about history from a text book, it would be equally good ... it's just that reading about history isn't so engaging.

      Different "learning styles" aren't useful because they "exercise different parts of the brain". Different mediums are good because some are more engaging, or easier to understand. (And

  • Field trip (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @03:20AM (#45535915)

    How do we know it was a museum that produced the effect, and not field trips in general?

    Could be the Hawthorne effect: The students who believe the school cares enough to send them on an 'intellectual' field trip will study harder. Those who believe the school views them as battery hens won't bother.

  • by steelfood (895457) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @03:23AM (#45535923)

    Who could imagine that increased exposure to different thought patterns (art is/was materialized thought) would increase their ability to think?

    Who could imagine that Europeans, with vastly greater exposure to varying cultures than Americans, would be comparatively more tolerant and creative? Who would have guessed that Americans, with more exposure to other cultures than Asians (East and South, who are all fairly secluded for the most part), would exhibit the same trend? Who could imagine that being able to experience more ideas means being able to incorporate those ideas into everyday problems?

    Studying art through a textbook is meaningless though. Who'd'a thunk?

    • As a man who has been around the periphery, I can assure you that artistic circles are entirely the opposite of open-minded and tolerant. In fact, if you don't agree with their politics you are quite quickly ostracized. Sad but true.
    • by clovis (4684) *

      Who could imagine that Europeans, with vastly greater exposure to varying cultures than Americans, would be comparatively more tolerant and creative?

      Umm, if you think Europe's countries such as England, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Greece an so on are "varying cultures", then you don't get out much. They are all the same type of government with a middle-class culture.
      And if you think the average European is more accepting of the average Vietnamese, Somali, Brazilian than the average American, then you don't get out much.
      I'm not saying things are cool in the USA, because they are not, but to accuse the USA of being a mono-culture is just plain weird.

  • Yes, I read the article.

    If you list the 'positive' outcomes, you'll see that one aligns almost perfectly with left wing dogma terminology ('diversity', 'social tolerance', 'historical empathy'), another is circular reasoning (more likely to return to a museum, so what?), and 'critical thinking skills' (which, without context, means nothing). What did this program do? Count the number of times the student used 'diversity', 'social tolerance', 'historical empathy' and possibly others? How does that prove ove

    • by horigath (649078) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @04:21AM (#45536113) Homepage

      ...and 'critical thinking skills' (which, without context, means nothing).

      I'm not sure what kind of detail you read the article in then, because it describes the students being given an essay-question test. And if you read the links given [educationnext.org] you'll find out how the test was blindly scored looking for certain specific techniques as evidence of critical thinking: “observing, interpreting, evaluating, associating, problem finding, comparing, and flexible thinking”. They even built in a test for their system, having separate researchers score overlapping samples so that they could make sure they were producing consistent results.

      And here's a little bonus:

      A large amount of the gain in critical-thinking skills stems from an increase in the number of observations that students made in their essays. Students who went on a tour became more observant, noticing and describing more details in an image. Being observant and paying attention to detail is an important and highly useful skill that students learn when they study and discuss works of art. Additional research is required to determine if the gains in critical thinking when analyzing a work of art would transfer into improved critical thinking about other, non-art-related subjects.

      I'm not sure why the summary doesn't include a direct link to the study, as is present in the NYT article, but there you go. There's more detail in there about what they mean by empathy and tolerance (specifically including a measurable decrease in the student's support for government censorship).

      • because it describes the students being given an essay-question test.

        So, in other words, this whole thing was rather meaningless. What we need are more useless tests.

        you'll find out how the test was blindly scored looking for certain specific techniques as evidence of critical thinking: “observing, interpreting, evaluating, associating, problem finding, comparing, and flexible thinking”.

        That sounds utterly subjective.

        • It doesn't matter if it's subjective if the people doing the subjective grading don't know who did and didn't go to the museum as part of the study. Well, also if the essays were graded in random order, were otherwise identical, etc, etc, etc, There is nothing wrong with using a subjective measure as long as the person doing the measuring is blind to the parameters the study is looking at.

          • It doesn't matter if it's subjective

            I'm not talking about bias here. I'm saying that I think their methods for determining intelligence and critical thinking are the same type of garbage we see from the school system.

    • by Bongo (13261)

      I gather the real basis for "diversity" is the cognitive skill of finding fault with one's own thinking, beliefs, attitudes, etc. But too often it is merely used as a narrative to find fault with the opponent. Basically, honest diversity is about being able to deconstruct one's own view, "maybe we are treating gays unfairly". So it is an actual skill HOWEVER, unless one has that "bending over backwards to prove one's self wrong" skill, the teaching of diversity can merely encourage tribalism. Basically, you

  • The "control" group didn't go on any kind of field trip. They just continued to attend class like normal. So there's no reason to believe that the art had any influence. It could just be that giving kids a day off from the usual school grind, getting them away from their usual neighbourhoods, and showing some kind of interest in them beyond the norm had a positive impact.

    I do happen to believe that exposure to art can aid in personal development, but this study does little to prove that.

    • That's the real problem. Per the abstract the measure was not really cognitive ability per say. The kids "demonstrated significantly stronger critical thinking skills when analyzing a new painting". So, a guided tour of an art museum gives/refreshes your knowledge of art terminology and the sense that art docents have of how art should be looked at. They didn't demonstrate math, reading, writing or IQ improvement in this experiment.
  • In Plato's Republic, the essential education of the ruling class required musical and artistic study. Plato thought that arts were a good way to cultivate creativity, and music was good for making people balance out emotional and logical thinking. It turns out he was absolutely right, at least about music: Centuries later, they've determined that musicians have a larger corpus collosum connecting the right and left brains, which enables them to better connect different kinds of thinking into a coherent whol

    • by Sentrion (964745)

      I'm not sure if referencing Plato's Republic is really helping your cause here. Look at Greece today. Even if we just look at ancient Athens, the city-state didn't fall because its citizens abandoned art or cut back on concert attendance.

  • Art is mostly a joke, in what other "field" can a single white vertical line sell for 44 Million? What about the two circles that sold for 10 Million? What about the paintings that are paint just thrown onto canvas? I can keep going but I don't think I need to. Art will not help with test scores, it won't help with knowledge and it won't help you in your life unless your the one selling these pieces of junk. With the exception of realism, art is just random crap on a medium. Once a line or a circle g
    • by u38cg (607297)
      OK, oh great art critic. Fuck off and sell your "random crap on a medium" to the highest bidder. Best of luck.
      • by Murdoch5 (1563847)
        I'm not going to sell art, I hate art, if it's not realism it's worthless. Random paint on a surface that doesn't look like anything or doesn't have a meaning or is just a simple shape does not constitute value in my books. I can paint my own line and not spend 44 million doing it.
        • by Sentrion (964745)

          The trick to selling art is in salesmanship. It's all in how you spin it. And people who really want to impress their friends are more likely to buy "art" that is so "complex" that they don't even "get it" themselves. So if the "art" is so advanced that the buyer can't truly comprehend it, then surely their friends are going to be blown away.

          The "intellectuals" bought into the sales pitch over 100 years ago. Now they are stuck because that can't risk losing credibility by admitting that they were fooled

        • by u38cg (607297)
          There are two possibilities. (a) You are ignorant. (b) All members of the art world everywhere are engaged in a giant conspiracy. Paging Occam to the front desk, please. Occam to the front desk. Seriously, there are courses and books about this shit. Educate yourself.
          • by Murdoch5 (1563847)
            I have educated myself, in fact I have a large wealth of knowledge about many art styles and art cultures, I didn't just invent my opinion based off ignorance, I studied art in school as a series of elective studies before coming to the conclusion I have. I've personally justified my reasoning.
    • by hey! (33014)

      I've hear this criticism leveled at Picasso, but Picasso *could* draw; he'd have been a great realist [google.com] if he wanted to be. As you begin to study the things that set a good painting apart from a mediocre one, you start to see that not all of them have to do with accurate draftsmanship or the subjects chosen. You begin to pay more attention to the interplay composition, balance, geometry, and shading. These are things that exist *apart* from the things represented; they can exist *without* anything represente

  • Yet our government keeps cutting both physical education and art, to save money. At the same time the school superintendant in my city makes $500k / year, plus benefits.
    • by Sentrion (964745)

      But cutting budgets is hard. Really, really hard. They deserve $500k. It's like they say "it costs money to save money". Right?

  • by Fringe (6096) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @09:44AM (#45537969)

    We don't have a liberal arts shortage. We have a STEM shortage. We don't lack educators. We lack programmers. Is it possible that by increasing empathy in these students, we're reducing the traits that nudge kids towards computers, math and science? Since we can't dedicate resources to compensating for that reduction, is it really profitable to do it at all?

    Nice thing about my computers is, they don't have need for me to be empathetic.

  • OK, so some went to the art museum and others didn't. So that makes art the answer to our problems? What about sending a bus load of kids to a museum of science and nature? When advocating for art, the studies tend to compare students engaged in art activities against kids spending the same amount of time staring at a blank wall. Surprise! Art makes you smarter!

  • I think it may have to do with getting a well rounded education. Students who are receptive to (not just suffer through curriculum requirements) a wide range of subject matter are probably better at critical thinking, empathy, social interaction, etc. And later in life, they are more adaptable to changes in their careers. I've seen people graduate from college with something odd like a degree in geography go to work as a software developer and actually surpass CS grads. Particularly the kind of STEM graduat

  • Hey, look! A study that doesn't conform to the common narrative that STEM is the be-all-end-all! Let's rip it to shreds with our flawed understanding of how testing works, our limited understanding of sociology, our complete lack of understanding about education, and completely ignore the fact that this study was performed by people who have dedicated their lives to doing this sort of thing and then peer reviewed and published by people who have also spent their lives doing that sort of thing.

    But sure, ou

  • Of course the arrow of causation could also be reversed - or both are caused by some third factor (wealth?). Or research bias/fraud? Or just chance.

    But that will not stop most from quoting this as cause and effect.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

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