•  step up for art education

    Jackie Spaulding Wright

     Carter Elementary Professional Art Educator

     2009 TAEA Elementary Art Educator of the Year

     2012 State Art Educator of the Year

     “Every child deserves to be taught by a Professional Art Educator”



    Art builds students’ capacity for critical thinking, self-directed learning, and problem-solving.

    Critical thinking and problem-solving are alive and well in the art room. The process of analyzing and creating art challenges students to develop these skills. Art students are given open-ended problems to solve. This encourages them to think critically to solve problems in their own unique way.

    These skills transfer to many other areas of life. And they cannot be assessed on a standardized test.

    Art helps students understand cultures beyond their own.

    We live in an increasingly global world. It is important for our students to leave school with a broad understanding of the world and its cultures. Art classes expose students to art from all over the world. This exposure helps them understand our shared humanity. The study of art history also helps highlight the issues of the past and the present.

    Art develops communication skills.

    When art students analyze an artwork, they use art vocabulary to express their ideas. Discussions about art build students’ capacities to listen to and learn from one another. When a student creates an artwork, they make careful choices to communicate their ideas. And when reflecting about art-making through artist statements, students are further developing these skills.

    In art class, we are always engaging our students in these highest levels of thinking. Art students are analyzing, evaluating, and creating every day. High order thinking is naturally present in art classes.



    The art program has taken a big shift away from only teaching technique to teaching children the “Studio Habits of Mind.” The goal is to have students think and be treated like real artists.

    • These habits include the ability to:
    • Develop Craft
    • Engage & Persist
    • Envision
    • Express
    • Observe
    • Reflect
    • Stretch & Explore
    • Understand Art Worlds
    • These habits transfer to many other areas of school and life. They are also highly valued by employers.
    • The focus is more on exploration and critical thinking skills.