International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
A Very Hungry Horse: The Problem with Art Programs in Public School


Picasso said he spent a few years learning to draw like Raphael and a lifetime trying to draw like children. As childhood art educators, it is our job to inform and enlighten their minds and show them the limitlessness of their abilities. The core of art education should be centered on creativity and storytelling.

It is crucial for children between the ages of seven and nine to recognize how their ideas develop into drawings. These are the most prolific years in a child’s life to spark and deepen their ability to adapt and come up with ideas. Unfortunately the current state of art curriculum in public schools does not allow for this kind of growth and knowledge. The designated art curriculum of today centers on replicating and mimicking existing artwork as opposed to creating an outlet for individual style.

The current content standards set forth by the State of California in the subject of Visual Arts greatly lack any substantial effort in developing creativity. In the Creative Expression category, the target learning objectives are vague at best with little to no indication of teaching students how to have their own ideas. Instead, the focus seems to be on concepts of mixing colors and drawing from observational sources such as art history and objects in daily life.

To teach children that realism is the only qualifying attribute of good art is to take away all their creativity and put a cap on their artistic potential. The only way to become creators is by surpassing reality, not imitating it. Realism is little more than a tool to advance our own ideas, not as a crutch for not having any. Realism is a skill, not a talent.