We believe the Fine Arts are a life-long pursuit of emotional education and expression, encompassing our cultural heritage. The Fine Arts provide a means for the individual to communicate ideas, portray images and explore their humanity in creative ways. A Fine Arts education has the ability to facilitate language acquisition, reading readiness and general development. It fosters positive attitudes and cooperative learning, enhances creativity and problem solving, and promotes social development and self-worth. We believe the Fine Arts are an essential medium which promote academic excellence in all students. Therefore, the Fine Arts are an integral part of the Cedar Springs Public Schools’ curriculum.
The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.
The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem-solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.
The arts make vivid the fact that words do not, in their literal form or number, exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.
The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.
The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.
The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.
(Elliott Eisner, in Beyond Creating: The Place for Art in America's Schools. Getty Center for Education in the Arts. 1985 p. 69.)