At the Over My Shoulder Foundation, we are passionate about Designing the Next Generation and have made this subject our international conversation about mentoring. Unfortunately, our country’s education system has a limited budget for art and design curriculum and regards such subjects as luxury extracurricular activities. In reality, weight should be placed more heavily on the importance of visual learning as it plays a valuable role in the development of our next generation. Outlined below are several reasons why art and design are critical aspects of education for young people:
- Decision Making: While it may not seem like it at first glance, art and design can actually strengthen problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Creativity inspires our youth to look at things from different angles as well as discover new ways of doing things. These are critical skills that our youth can benefit from throughout their lifetime.
- Visual Learning: Our youth are constantly exposed to three-dimensional objects on computers, social media networks, and television, and art and design can help this age group to gain more input and better understand this visual information and how to make choices based on it.
- Cultural Awareness: Our society is becoming much more of a melting pot, and art and design are critical ways in which different cultures define themselves. For example, some colors are more prominent in one culture than another. Allowing our youth to gain a better understanding of the choices that an artist or designer may have made can allow them to better understand the concept.