The subject of arts education attracts perennial debate among politicians, pundits, educators and students. The precise role and intention of an educational system is up for continuous debate, and the arts is regularly held up to censure or hailed as a subject of vital importance. To draw new insight for a persuasive speech on the subject of the arts in schools, select a specific aspect of the topic to focus on.
Public Funding for Arts Programs
For many politically minded debates, the question of whether to support arts programs in schools comes down to the cost of such programs and the necessary municipal, state or federal funding to run these programs. To pick a side on the issue, consider a scenario in which a budget must undergo cuts; ask yourself whether arts programs are the most expendable element in education. Support your argument with concrete examples; you should have no trouble finding research related to the issue, should you wish to focus on students' test scores, creativity or psychological well-being.
Merit or Need-Based Scholarships
At private art schools, some students may receive scholarships, based either on their artistic talent, their financial need or a combination of the two factors. To address the theme of art school scholarships, consider which approach provides a more justifiable means of producing a new generation of artists. To adopt a standpoint, research the policies of various art schools and familiarize yourself with their criteria for acceptance and for awarding scholarships. You can also research nonprofit organizations that offer either type of scholarship. If you wish to frame your persuasive speech within a realistic context, you could compare the relative merit of donating to a merit-based scholarship fund or a need-based scholarship fund.
When to Focus on the Arts
The theme of arts education opens up an additional question, of when those students interested in the arts should begin to focus on them to the exclusion of other subjects. To address this question, consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of allowing a young child to train in the arts instead of pursuing any coursework in mathematics, history, sciences or other common school subjects. You can also address the question of who has the right to decide, whether student, parent, educator or some combination of the three. Take examples from magnet schools that focus students' studies on arts education from an early age.
University-Level Arts Programs
By university level, most art education is directed at students who are specializing in a course of art studies to the exclusion of other disciplines. As a result, the arguments for or against art education are somewhat different from other education levels. If you're arguing for the support of arts programs in primary school, for example, you might stress the usefulness of creating well-rounded individuals with creative and flexible problem-solving skills. To address the matter of university-level arts programs, however, you'll need to focus on the relative worth of training professional artists and of the role they play in society.
- Photo Credit art student image by feisty from Fotolia.com
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