Since industrialization, the Arts have ranked low on the educational hierarchy. STEM subjects usually take precedence in much of today’s academic & economic arena. In efforts to alienate the prejudice associated with the Arts and control leeway for STEM subjects in education, an elaborative cause must first be outlined.
The Misconception of Intelligence
From infancy and all through our earlier prime developmental stages, humans exercise an inherent trait for curiosity & creativity. However, as we grow and adapt to our external environment and realities, conditioned thinking & reasoning takes over forming what shapes most of our perception of the world. In hindsight, artist Pablo Picasso phrased it best in his famous quote, “All children are born artists but the challenge is to remain artists when we grow up.”
Dissecting into common day analogies on ‘climbing the corporate ladder and the scramble for white-collar jobs’ illustrates this divide. It seems the bulk of the world is in this big illusionary bubble called a ‘rat race.’ Although, one school of thought suggests that the race is inevitably won by a rat!
The adopted mindset on education places prestige on core analytical and Science-related subjects at the expense of art subjects. The latter is often dismissed, vilified & marginalized as hobbies, extracurricular, and depicted as side hustles rather than actual jobs. Although industrialization has its significant impact, the ‘intelligence misconception’ has lead to the greater disdain for Art subjects. This misconception has resulted in unilateral approaches in education and intelligence metrics. The education system uses test scores (memory testing) as a metric for intelligence placing a pedigree on STEM subjects results. However, intelligence remains distinct and varied according to aptitude. The academic inferiority misconception affiliated with the Arts transcends to their respective workplaces; where compensation is meager & much less compared to their preferred science counterparts.
Applying Intelligence Aptitude in Education for Arts and STEM subjects
Cliché as it sounds, but should fish really be climbing trees? But you can place the fish in water and watch it operate in mastery. The theory of left (analytical) or right (creative) brain dominance should all-encompassingly apply in academics and not hierarchal order. Perceptions of intelligence should change the narrative & filter into the education system. Adopting a new perception of intelligence & capability based on individual aptitude & ability is the breadcrumbs for change. This means not discouraging children from studying art-related subjects. All can’t be Einsteins’or Warren Buffets, but some can be Salvador Dali’s, Michelangelo’s, or Rasta the painter. On average, an IQ test score of 125 & above indicates superior reasoning and intellect. Although intrinsically analytic, the test comprises of artistic elements. Furthermore, the sentient core of our beings enables us to analyze, rationalize & learn better with the aid of arts subjects.
Integrating Arts and STEM subjects for Innovation
The Arts create an ingenuity of brilliance and a desired flair of discovery. This flair of brilliance assimilates the ‘think outside the box’ approach to solving modern problems. Imaginative & creative thinking brought about by studying the arts can cover an extra mileage in advancing STEM. Henceforth, modern innovators, inventors, and curricular adopters can alternatively stir towards STEAM, that is, ‘Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics’. Integrating Arts in STEM education ensures that both sides of the brain are used and optimized. In retrospect, the Arts have always supported STEM. Without the scaffolding, the edifice cannot stand; Art is that scaffolding for STEM and education.
What then of the tug of war? A standoff?