The Arts are Essential

The Fine Arts program is a crucial part of Lovett's philosophy of educating the whole child. Studies have proven that the arts promote critical thinking, self-confidence, discipline, and more. Want to learn more? Follow this blog from Fine Arts Director Jay Freer.



Is Your Child Missing Out?

Each year, I urge Lovett parents, students, faculty, staff, and alumni to examine and consider the importance of the arts in the Lovett Philosophy. How do you see the arts being supported at Lovett? How do you see the arts supported in the Philosophy, in classroom practices, and in the academic curriculum? This year I hope to more methodically explain the crucial difference sustained study in the arts means to your child’s educational life here and into the future as an adult.

The arts at Lovett offer experiential training that makes learning a joy and helps students understand how to make the best use of all they are learning. In turn, they begin to connect the dots on a more meaningful level in their lives, discover who they are as human beings on a more meaningful level, and gain a perspective on the world that is crucial and life-changing. Without sustained study in the arts, traditional education can often produce a person who lacks insight and understanding.

Students everywhere are experiencing a different educational environment than most adults experienced in their childhood.  Simply learning dates and facts is not enough.  Education has evolved to require “core competencies, such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving—skills that many educators believe we need to teach to help students thrive in today's world.” Connected to this belief, many educators push acronyms such as STEM (studies stressing the importance of focusing on Science Technology, Engineering, and Math). Others push “Design Thinking” as a key to education. It is so very easy to get caught up in and confused by these theories and lose sight of what I believe is the key factor in making these new elements meaningful and real for a student—THE ARTS. When one examines either of these movements carefully, what is being described is the process and critical thinking inherent in sustained study in the arts—as it has been done for centuries—applied to learning in academics.

The fact is that without sustained study in the arts—which transforms STEM to STEA.M.—education is not only entirely incomplete, but can often feel disconnected and lacks nourishment for the soul. Former President of the Rhode Island School of Design, John Maeda, has some powerful thoughts surrounding this subject—read an interview with him here:
In each of the Fine Arts Newsletters and on my blog, I will offer some thoughts, based on research, that make strong arguments for why you should structure time and schedules to make sure that your child reserves time, throughout their career at Lovett, for in-depth and sustained study in an art form.  It is a key piece of what makes a Lovett education different, unique, and valuable! With our incredible faculty of working professional artists, the experience for those students that take advantage of what Lovett offers is life changing! Commit to sustained study in the arts—it makes all the difference!

Check out these very important web sites and articles:

“Why America's obsession with STEM education is dangerous”

“Putting ART in STEM”

“STEM vs. STEAM: Why the ‘A’ Makes a Difference”

Posted by Jay Freer on Tuesday October, 27, 2015 at 11:34AM


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