Technology is increasing its presence in students´ lives every day, therefore increasing their need to explore, create, and share their interests in new ways. An EU Parliament white paper published in 2019 recognised the historic relationship between Technology and the Arts, highlighting the ways in which technological innovation has enabled artists to adapt technologies meant for other purposes or to invent them in a way to foster the creative process.
Although arts, technology and science may not at first sight seem to belong together, they do interweave with each other. Creative artistic minds have always been looking for new techniques and ways of mastering the material world as a channel for self-expression. Globeducate schools recognise the need for balance and a bridge between these disciplines, with teachers always seeking ways to enable students learn from both, through innovative STEAM programmes, Arts programmes, and global celebrations of the Arts. Every year, Globeducate´s Virtual Arts Festival attracts huge interest from students across the group.
Globeducate Assistant Director of Education Moníca Fontan explains, “It is crucial that we acknowledge each Arts subject´s qualities while engaging in all curricula in a holistic way that allows them students to thrive in all subjects at school. This may be a digital age, and we may be educating digital natives, but the Arts, too, are evolving in the digital age by using technology to help link creative expression from students to a global audience. An Arts classroom or learning space in a Globeducate school will likely have tools to embrace digital technology.”
Sir Ken Robinson, a leading British educational thinker who died in 2020, and author of Finding Your Element, The Element and Out of our Minds believed that creativity is central to human improvement and innovation.
“My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”
“The arts are the exuberant celebration of being here now.”
“Dance is deep in the heart of human culture.”
Now more than ever, schools need to provide an education that expands learning beyond the core subjects, that re-thinks the traditional hierarchies of subjects, and that offers experiential learning. Arts education in Globeducate schools helps students build the kinds of skills they are going to need in future workplaces such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation, communication, and collaboration. It also helps students develop empathy, cross-cultural understanding and explore the mysteries of life. Likewise, artists need to acquire skills and competencies also in high-tech fields, and the research and innovation community needs to keep abreast of evolving developments.
What is Arts education?
- Performing arts – drama and music
- Literature and poetry
- Visual arts such as painting, drawing, design and photography, textiles and pottery.
Through embedding the Arts and embracing technology in creative classrooms across our schools, we are able to open doors to students who may not previously have felt motivated or connected to these subjects. “Drama,” explains Dawid Botha, Head of Secondary and Drama Teacher at Nobel International School Algarve, “embraces the student´s imagination and emotions, builds confidence and helps to develop language and communication skills, self-esteem, self-expression, collaboration, interpersonal skills and aesthetic awareness. It is so much more than learning how to act.”
St. George´s English School, Bilbão, hosted the Globeducate International Music Festival in 2019 and brought together nearly 200 students for three days of music-making.
“Music is the most important language that human beings have because it is the only truly universal one; it is the language of feelings and emotions. The benefits produced by the practice of music are widely demonstrated and it is in the school where they acquire a greater dimension. Group practice favours socialisation and collaboration, fosters respect, and encourages critical thinking. Our students learn to speak and discover the world around us through songs. The study of melodies and their active listening helps us to memorise texts, learn words, pronounce them correctly, learn other languages and improve concentration. By dancing they become aware of their own body and learn to express their emotions through it. The study of rhythm helps to understand mathematical relationships. Precisely in this digital age, in which physical contact is progressively diminishing, it is more crucial than ever to use music as a tool for socialisation and awareness. Music has the power to go beyond any screen, alleviate loneliness, promote learning, vent pent-up emotions and enhance self-esteem. Music is the vehicle for learning and a fundamental piece in the integral teaching of every human being.”
Aurkene Nuñez, Music School Coordinator, St. George´s English School, Bilbao
At Stonar School, in England, students have the opportunity to choose A Level in Art, A level Photography and Level 3 Diploma in Fashion, Design and Textiles and during school closures this year, the department has showcased student photography projects. Combining traditional techniques with technology is a key focus.
“All of the courses incorporate elements of more traditional practices, but there is a prominent feature of digital practices as well. When taking any creative arts course, the students are introduced to a wide range of techniques and processes, whilst core skills in drawing and art underpin the course. Digital technology is used in most photography lessons where the students are taught how to creatively use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to edit their images. Students have been encouraged to create digital portfolios over the lockdown to showcase their work.”
Austen O´Hanlon, Head of Art, Stonar School, England
The 2021 Globeducate International Music Festival will be hosted by Agora International School Portals between 15th and 18th March.