In human history, art, culture, and education have played a reciprocating role in shaping who we become. Education was and is still pegged on culture. Art is still a form of exploring our culture and education. However, schools in the modern world are spending a lot of time trying to separate art and culture from schooling.
Finding the perfect balance between these involves knowing what role each has to play in the entire system. The tricky part is these three always end up in a cycle that makes it hard for us to figure out what came first, hence which one is more important than the other.
Culture, art and education are sides of the same coin
In essence, all three revolve around the same concept. Culture, for instance, is the heritage of any civilized society or community. Heritage can be in the form of skills, religion, beliefs, and practices. On the other hand, art is a product of culture — a manifestation of the concepts a culture holds so dear.
Education encapsulates the three by letting new members of society take in the prior knowledge of known societies to build their understanding of the world. The thing with education is that it can pick on what to teach and what to omit. While some might argue it is natural selection at its best, some cultural practices and art forms deemed useless for now wither out regardless of their subliminal impact to our civilisation.
Education seems to take a central role as it’s more streamlined
With modern society obsessing about results, we seem to have taken a liking to education and alienated concepts we think of as art and culture. Curriculums across the world choose what they deem fit for their students to learn in mainstream classes while relegating the rest of societal lessons to art and culture classes.
It is understandable since streamlining the education process helps us churn out professionals or are a perfect fit for our modern industrial and computerized needs. After all, the marketplace doesn’t need someone who knows how to use traditional forges to make iron or bronze. This specialisation and building on the past have allowed us to grow exponentially. However, it could be the making of our demise if not checked on time.
Art and culture stabilise the society
Human beings are social. We thrive by knowing how to relate to each other, entertaining each other, and doing whatever we get. Understanding culture is the perfect way to tap into this intrinsic nature.
Since cultures grow over centuries, understanding their foundations and concepts gives us a resetting point that we can always fall back to things that go wrong. Failing to teach this to our students creates a society that has no restore point. We come up with professionals who don’t have alternative living ideas. It puts humanity at risk in case a disaster strikes. Having more custom writing on these concepts immortalizes and keeps them circulating hence making them more memorable.
On the other hand, art is a perfect let out through which students and adults alike can decompress. Imagine playing the guitar after a long day at work, or working on your new set of China wear from your basement just because you learned clay work in an art class.
This detoxing is crucial to making you more productive through your workdays. Even if your work is performing art, you will have the power to help other people decompress and continue working on inventions that will make society a better place.
Should art and culture have a place in the classroom?
Yes, they should. Keeping track of our past is the best way to learn of our past successes and avoid past failures. Learning our culture makes it easier to understand why society works as it does and, therefore, cherish some values that otherwise sound meaningless.
Art will bolster a student’s creativity. It is a great way to give learners the power to look at facts or problems from a different perspective. Art, be it drawing, music, or performing is all about improvising on the go. New inventions are born of improvisation.
Our society is built on our ability to learn what people before us invented. The shift to deciding to learn only the latest innovations and ignore culture and art that grew over millennia is a recipe for disaster. A prosperous society should always have a fraction that knows and holds our entire past. It will ensure that we never lose any knowledge, and we will always have a place to fall back to when need be.