Final Blog Post

  • What did you learn about your writing?

A: I learned that my writing is done best when I’m allowed to actually put my voice and my opinion into my papers. For the Rogerian argument, I struggled so much with the paper because I had to be neutral on a topic that I very much only on one side to the argument. Now, with the papers in this class, I did alright with not using the first person (I, me, you, we) and sticking to an academic sounding, third person writing format. I also learned that I really like writing persuasive papers on topics that I’m passionate about. Not sure how I’m going to do when I have to write papers on things I don’t care for…

  • What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses in the composition process?

A: I felt that my strengths for the composition process of making my papers in this class were definitely in the first component, the research component of creating my paper. I loved digging around and learning more and more on my topics because I ended up learning more about things that I felt I had a pretty good understanding of. Now I know even more, which is great! My weakness is definitely in creating an effective rough draft. Most of mine were just barely able to pass off as rough drafts and I know it was because I just simply did not put in the right amount of time and effort into my rough drafts. I think that if I had actually worked harder on them and made them the right page lengths with proper citations and everything, my editing process would have gone a lot smoother and quicker for my final drafts.

  • Where do you feel you made the most improvement?

A: I’m not really sure about were I felt I made the most improvement. I do feel like I was able to grow as a writer in the fact that I got a little more specific with my examples with giving evidence from sources and explanations about my examples. I was always docked points on papers in high school because I was not specific enough in my papers or I didn’t elaborate enough on what I was talking about. Asking myself the, “So what?” and the, “Why?” questions when it came to points I presented in my paper helped me tackle this problem.

  • Which paper was the most difficult? Why?

A: Rogerian. It was different. It was difficult. Mostly because it was a different argument style that I really didn’t like, especially for my topic on art classes being cut from schools. At certain points in writing that paper, I could literally feel my brain splitting in half from trying to wrap my mind around being neutral and finding points of my counter-argument that I actually agreed with.

  • Which paper reflects your best work? Why are you proud of this paper?

A: I’d like to think my first paper was probably one of the best papers that I’ve ever written as a student, but from this class, I think my position paper is my best. Because it was the last paper, I was better, wiser, and stronger as a writer. But the reason why I really liked my first paper is because it was so much fun to write. I did not struggle at all with the definition paper, really. At least I didn’t feel like I struggled at all with the paper. I knew what I was talking about and I knew what I wanted to talk about in my paper, which made finding sources and relevant evidence easy for me to write the paper.

  • What did you learn about argument, persuasion, and writing?

A: I learned that when writing an argument/persuasive paper, you need to ask a lot of questions in order to keep track of the points you need to tackle and which points are OK to leave out of the paper so it’s not 50 pages long.

  • How will this class help you with your future courses?

A: I think this class will really help me with writing papers about my artwork. I know that for gallery shows or even just for homework assignments, art students are asked to write about their pieces. Most of the time, the subject matter that I’m covering in a piece is some sort of position I hold on an argument or some sort of idea, which could then lead to an argument about my position on the idea because there is always someone who is the opposite of you. This persuasive writing class will also probably come in handy when I need to write papers for grants, when I need to persuade people into giving me money so I can do things.

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The three blog posts that I would like to have the most focus on grading are the posts that I’ve titled:

  • Time to Reflect…Again (Nov. 8th)
  • Assess Your Sources (Nov. 14th)
  • Revision = Perfection..? (Nov. 26th)

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Wow. And just like that, the semester is over. Thank goodness! I’ve really enjoyed this class, don’t get me wrong. But man am I so freaking glad it’s finally winter break. No more school! For now… I’ll take it.

Blog #lastone

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Position Paper

The Arts are Valuable, Keep Them in Our Schools

Parents want what is best for their child; the best care, the best living environment, the best education. Parents want their children to receive a well-rounded education to prepare themselves for the future: to graduate high school, go to college, get a degree that will ultimately get them a good job to earn a decent amount of constant income to survive on their own, because it’s what’s best for them. That education comes from the elementary, middle, and high schools within our nation, but the opportunity to get a well-rounded education lies jeopardy. Due to budget cuts presented to schools in the past decade, art classes are slowly being eliminated from the curriculum in order to keep core classes of language arts, history, math, and science in the system. These budget cuts present the debate of whether or not art classes are actually necessary for students to receive a good education. The truth of the matter is that art classes are just as valuable to students as those core classes. Studies have been conducted to show the benefits of the arts to a child’s education, with results showing how art helps with brain development starting at a young age, which in turn develops necessary skills for future learning in school. The results also show that the arts help students succeed and reach their full potential in school by improving test scores and motivating students to stay in high school and see that they walk across the stage and receive their diploma at graduation.

Firstly, a definition of what qualifies as an art class needs to be presented into the argument in order to fully understand what exactly is at stake during education budget cuts, as well as to show the many art mediums that exist in schools and should be available to all students in every school across the nation. From AudioEnglish.org’s definition of an art class, it is “a class in which you learn to draw or paint,” (2014). When defining art on Google, the definition of “expression or application of human creative skill and imagination” comes up; however, it was not limited to just drawing and painting. Sculpture, music, literature, and dance all came up under Google’s definition of art (2014). Art classes are not just the stereotypical drawing and painting class; art classes encompass a variety of elective classes and activities, including the drawing and painting classes, drama and theater, all types of music classes (band, orchestra, choir, jazz band, marching band, etc.), jewelry making, sculpture, film and photography classes, and pottery. The title of art class could even reach out to subjects of wood shop, robotics classes, and even art appreciation classes, if they are available in the school. The classes listed previously are not by any means the complete list of what all art classes are due to the fact that schools are able to supply classes that other schools might not have available; the list is a bigger, general list of what an actual art class is to expand from the “traditional” drawing and painting classes.

From a very early age, parents shower their babies with picture books, music, dance, videos, and toys to help develop their understanding of language, numbers, colors, and basic knowledge about the world they are so new to, such as what sounds a certain animal makes. Gay Lynn Smith, EdD, the regional assistant dean for the University of Phoenix College of Education points out that a child’s first five years of life revolves around the arts (Yaremich, 2012).  Many kids are given a set time during their day where they explore different art mediums to exercise their brain, including finger painting, coloring with crayons in a coloring book, and gluing macaroni noodles onto construction paper – many would call this “arts and crafts time”. What does arts and crafts have to do with brain development? A toddler’s brain must go through a hefty amount of processing and analyzing order to accomplish the task of finger painting, for example. They must be able to identify the colors available to them, make the decision to use a certain color, dip their fingers into the paint, and then apply it to paper. That entire process and all the processes a child’s brain goes through when participating in artistic activities are the beginning steps to developing skills that include critical thinking, problem-solving, analysis, reading comprehension, and emotional development (Yaremich, 2012). These skills are essential for comprehensive learning once enrolled into kindergarten and will only be refined as children advance through grade school and on through high school. From finger painting, kids can move on to learning how to use tools like paint brushes to create paintings and how to safely use scissors. These skills further the development of a child’s fine motor skills, testing their dexterity and ability to use hand-eye coordination to accomplish complex tasks (Lynch). It also develops a child’s observation skills by challenging them to view problems from different perspectives in order to find a solution (Alban, 2012). If a child is tasked with creating a representation of a tree with only scissors and multi-colored construction paper, they will need to hone their skills with their scissors to cut out the shapes necessary to create an image of their representation of a tree, which could take several trial and error shape-cutting sessions to get the desired shapes. Leonardo da Vinci, one of the worlds greatest and most well-known artists in human history, claims that painting is a practice that tests all of the functions of the human eye, which includes “darkness, light, body and color, shape and location, distance and closeness, notion and rest,” (Alban, 2012). By this, da Vinci means that in order to create an accomplished painting, the individual must be able to take what their eye is able to observe and accurately project that onto the 2D canvass so that what is seen in the painting is accurate to the reality of what the eye sees. Mrs. Smith makes the statement that it is strange that in the first five years of childhood, there is so much emphasis in using the arts for a child to learn, but as soon as they get into eighth grade and on through twelfth grade, parents and teachers suddenly take away the arts and think that students don’t need the arts anymore to learn (Yaremich, 2012). If students are only taught to see things one way in black and white, then they will never be able to see all of the darkness and light in their subject, they will not be able to see the spectra of color in their subject, nor will they be able to describe the body and shape of their subject accurately.

What if someone does not have any artistic skills? Often times people who claim to not have any artistic abilities what-so-ever are categorized as “left-brain” people, someone who is more analytic than artistic. The more artistic ones tend to be the “right-brained” people (Alban, 2012); however, just because one does not have great artistic ability in drawing does not mean they are not artistic in other ways. Art makes the brain use all of its quadrants and is the only discipline within schools that has this ability (Yaremich, 2012). “Left-brained” people can benefit from participating in a sculpture class or try out for the school play and participate in the drama club because their brain will be able to better understand material in the more analytical classes (math and sciences) and to learn the material faster while being able to retain the information. Not everyone enjoys taking art classes and sometimes the students that really excel in art classes are those students who happen to be more “right-brained” than their classmates. It is difficult to believe that art benefits everyone when not everyone enjoys art classes; however, everyone has their own art form that they can benefit from, it is just a matter of making an effort to find that form and actually trying it out. The benefits will vary for each individual; some do it for the enjoyment they get from creating work, others do it because it helps relax and calm themselves, and some do it to help reflect and express feelings inside of them that cannot be expressed by using simple words.

One of the many reasons the arts are important to students and adults alike is because the arts can be used as a means of expressing one’s emotions, coping with them and communicating how they feel through their work. The arts in school greatly help guide students into portraying their emotions and developing communication skills to tell their friends, family, and teachers how they are feeling. Art can boost a child’s self-esteem when a child creates a piece of work and receives praise for their achievement from family and friends (Alban, 2012). Not only that, but art in its many forms gives students the exposure to constructive criticism to their work. In school, students are graded for the effort and presentation of their work, be it a painting, a musical number, or a monologue; this then builds a student’s confidence in their abilities, especially if they have been given praise and encouragement from their peers for their work (The Florida State Department, 1990, p. 12-13). The biggest stimulation from art is the ability for a student to tap into their imagination, which according to Einstein “…is more important that knowledge,” and this is so because, in simple terms Einstein says that knowledge is limited and imagination is infinite (Einstein, 1931). A student’s ability to tap into their imagination allows them to obtain the skills of creative thinking and problem solving, the ability to think in metaphors and abstract terms, and the ability of creativity in general; to think outside of the box, to look at problems from different views (Yaremich, 2012). Art allows people to express themselves, to heal themselves, to help others, to create. Judy Dater, a photographer, says she likes to express emotions in her work, but in order to do so, she must feel what her subject is feeling when she photographs them. Pete Docter, the director of the hit movie Monsters, Inc from Pixar Studio, says he creates because he enjoys the process because it is fun to make things. “And I’m sure there is also that universal desire to connect with other people in the some way, to tell them about myself or my experiences,” (Smith, Marsh, 2008). Art has the ability to communicate ideas, feelings, and stories without the limitations of language, race, religion, or other boundaries that separates humans. Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that posses the desire or the ability to freely create art, starting back to more than 90,000 years ago to human being’s anatomically modern ancestors, who created the first blade tools, sculptures, and jewelry pieces which is considered to be the first works of art (Feder, 2014). Yet animals have been able to step-up their artistic abilities and have created paintings and drawings of their own. Hong, a 6 year old female elephant, has been able to paint accurate representations of other elephants and caught the attention of the art world. Internationally known London painter, Vanda Harvey took it upon herself to visit Hong to collaborate with her “to create abstract art…to hold it’s own in a top London gallery” (BBC Earth, 2013). However, elephants that have the ability to paint have been trained to do so with positive reenforcement in the form of bananas as a reward for doing what their trainer has instructed them to do. Jessica Palmer, a ScienceBlog blogger, defends this claim of elephants simply doing what their trainer tells them to do by clarifying that, yes while an elephant is able to use it’s trunk to hold a brush and use that brush to paint, “the brain is what makes any artist an artist…we have no idea what’s going on in [an] elephant’s brain…” (Palmer, 2008). Most art created by elephants is considered to be abstract art and is simply used as an auction item to raise funds for the zoo that houses the elephant or funds to conserve elephants, as done by the Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project (Palmer, 2008.) So while elephants and other animals have been observed to create art, they do not create art for themselves as humans do, they are doing it to receive their reward for completing a task their trainer has taught them to do.

A study from the West Virginia Department of Education showed that high school students who participated in more that the required amount of art classes (in this case, only one credit of art classes was required for a student to graduate) proved to perform better than the students that only took the one art class during their high school career. Those students that earned more than 2 credits of art were likely to score 1.3 to 1.6 times better in math and language arts than those students who took 1 credit of art. This included visual arts (drawing, painting, sculpture), musical arts (band, orchestra, choir), and performing arts (theater, dance) (Kolberdanz, 2012). The 2010 College Board data for SAT scores that year show that the students that took arts or music classes all throughout high school scored higher in each section of the SAT – writing, mathematics and reading, than their fellow classmates who took other liberal arts programs (Yaremich, 2012). According to the The Center for Arts Education (CAE), a frequently asked question is why the arts are important to a quality public school education. In response to this, the CAE responded with this:

CAE believes that every child in every school has the right to a well-rounded education of which the arts are an essential ingredient. Quality arts education is central to a complete education—and it is required by state law. Beyond having great value in and of themselves, the arts: promote the health and well-being of children, engage students more fully in school, motivating them to learn and succeed, help at-risk kids stay in school and graduate on time, play a key role in the development of a child’s cognitive, analytic and creative skills, build a child’s confidence and self-expression, offer students channels for emotional expression and healing. . . (The Center for Arts Education, 2014).

The arts help motivate students to stay in school and continue on with their education, encouraging them to not drop out in high school and to pursue a higher education by going to college. Today, the United States has more than one million students across the nation dropping out of high school each year (Israel, 2011). In New York, a study was conducted over the course of the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years, focusing on the impact that art has on at-risk students. The Center of Arts Education looked at more than 200 schools in New York and found that the high schools in the top third of graduation rates had 40 more physical spaces and most access and resources to art education, while the schools with the lowest rates of graduation had limited resources to art in their schools, some even absent of having art in their facilities. The findings from the study suggest that if the lower rated schools increased their access to the arts, their graduation rates will rise (Israel, 2011). The Florida State Department of Education conducted a two year study, also focusing on students who were at-risk of dropping out of high school before graduation and how art classes impacted these students and their school life. A survey was conducted on 40 students during this study requesting information about the positive impact that art classes had on them, with half of the students admitting to seriously contemplating dropping out of school (p. 25). The students wrote that their participation in an art class (these classes included band, art, and drama) is what persuaded them to stay in school until graduating because they felt they were actually “involved” and liked everything about their class (p. 25). One student said they could not drop out because they were part of the school plays and dropping out would disappoint everyone, “…especially the teacher. Plus, theatre will help me in later life, so I decided to get as much as possible.” (p. 13).

Doug Israel, the Director of Research and Policy for the Center for Arts Education (2014), believes that the way to turn around this pattern of drop out rates in the United States is to “be more strategic as we beat the drum,” (2012). Drum representing the present state of how education is conducted in the United State. By “be more strategic”, Israel means that the resources for creating opportunities for all students to receive art education need to be taken more seriously. “We need to form more strategic partnerships,” is one example he presents; partnerships with museums and outlets for the arts so that accredited art teachers can be integrated into the education’s staff force and opportunities to enjoy and create art are available to students outside of the classroom, as well as inside. He also states that more resources need to be shared with those who are “less familiar with the power and value of an arts education”, meaning those students who do not have as much opportunity as others because their school is not providing enough outlets of an arts education (Israel, 2012). “We haven’t given art enough credit for its value,” claims Gay Lynn Smith. “There are academic and social skills that no other discipline develops to the extent art does.” If art classes are taken out of the education curriculum, it is very likely that the motivation and drive of students will drastically fall and the rates of drop outs in American high schools is sure to rise. Everyone benefits from exposure to the arts, no matter what side of the brain one is more like, no matter what personality one might have, and no matter what one’s goals for the future might be. Leonardo da Vinci was not just a famous painter, he was also an engineer and inventor, who’s inventions could not have been without his creative side and artistic abilities. Einstein might not have been a painter, but he did play the violin, and he went on to develop the Theory of Relativity and explain aspects of our universe that some will never have come to comprehend in their lifetime. The arts are necessary if this nation is to make the right steps towards becoming a strong country full of innovative individuals that have the ability to tackle problems and solve the mysteries of this world.

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References

Alban, D. (2012). The Health Benefits of Art are for Everyone. Retrieved November 17, 2014.

AudioEnglish. (2014). What does art class mean? Retrieved November 21, 2014.

BBC Earth. (2013, September 20). Awesome Elephant Artist: Extraordinary Animals (Parts 1-2).

Einstein, A. (1931). Cosmic Religion : With Other Opinions and Aphorisms (p. 97).

Feder, K. (2014). Expanding Intellectual Horizons. In The Past In Perspective: An Introduction to Human Prehistory (6th ed., p. 170). Oxford University Press.

Florida State Department of Education. (1990). The Role of the Fine and Performing Arts in

High School Dropout Prevention (p. 25). Retrieved November 21, 2014.

Google. (2014). Define art. Retrieved November 21, 2014.

Israel, D. (2011, September 15). Keeping Students on Track to Graduation. Retrieved November 21, 2014.

Israel, D. (2012). Staying in School: Arts Education & NYC High School Graduation Rates. Retrieved November 21, 2014.

Israel, D. (2014). About Doug Israel. Retrieved November 21, 2014.

Kolberdanz, K. (2012, October 23). Want Your Kids to Excel in Math and Reading? Teach Them to Paint. Retrieved November 17, 2014.

Palmer, J. (2008, March 6). Can animals create art? Retrieved November 21, 2014.

Lynch, G. (n.d.). The Importance of Art in Child Development. Retrieved November 17, 2014.

Smith, J., & Marsh, J. (2008, December 1). Why We Make Art. Retrieved November 17, 2014.

The Center for Arts Education. (2014). About CAE: FAQS. Retrieved November 17, 2014.

Yaremich, M. (2012, March 12). How the arts can improve SAT scores. Retrieved November 21, 2014.

Revision = Perfection..?

Alrighty, time to get down and dirty with the process of writing this position paper. I have 2 rough drafts and then my final. The way I’m going to show my changes is first, I’ll show the three different stages of a given section (1st draft, 2nd draft, final draft), then I will go through the changes and explain what exactly happened during the transformation of the given section. I made a lot, and I mean, A LOT of changes between the different drafts, so I am going to focus on the introduction, the conclusion, and one part of the body of my paper that changed the most and ultimately came out stronger in the final draft.

Hopefully that is a simple explanation…

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Section: Introduction

1st Draft:

Any parent wants their child to be able to go to school to get a well-rounded education in order to learn and grow to prepare themselves for higher education: college. Or at least to get educated enough to get a job and to move out in order to survive on their own. That education comes from the school within our nation, but that well-rounded education is in jeopardy.

2nd Draft:

Any parent wants their child to be able to go to school in order to receive a well-rounded education to prepare themselves for their future: to graduate high school, go to college, get a degree, and then get a good job to ear a decent amount of constant income to survive on their own. That education comes from the elementary, middle, and high schools within our nation, but that well-rounded education is in jeopardy.

Final Draft:

Parents want what is best for their child; the best care, the best living environment, the best education. Parents want their children to receive a well-rounded education to prepare themselves for the future: to graduate high school, go to college, get a degree that will ultimately get them a good job to earn a decent amount of constant income to survive on their own, because it’s what’s best for them. That education comes from the elementary, middle, and high schools within our nation, but the opportunity to get a well-rounded education lies jeopardy.

The Process:

Well I knew in the first draft that this introduction was really weak. I was trying to get a general draft of what I wanted to convey in the introduction and then slowly build it up as the idea became clearer to me through the editing process. I wanted to set a tone of importance of education because that is a big component of my position, that being art classes are valuable to students. It made sense to me to go this way because in the body of my paper, I explain why art classes are an important factor in a child’s well-rounded education.

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Section: 2nd Paragraph (Art helps with brain development)

1st Draft:

The arts help students to try viewing problems from different perspectives in order to solve obstacles in their way, such as tough assignments in other classes or difficult problems in certain homework assignments. This ability to see things in different perspectives helps students become more observant (Alban, 2012), a crucial skill for the real world after school. “Painting embraces all the ten functions of the eye; that is to say, darkness, light, body and color, shape and location, distance and closeness, notion and rest,” (Alban, 2012) is what Leonardo da Vinci once said, one of the greatest and most well-known artists in human history. But the arts do not only help with brain development related to education, it also helps with student’s personal side and emotional side of life.

2nd Draft:

This furthers the development of a child’s motor skills, testing their dexterity and ability to use hand-eye coordination to accomplish complex motor tasks (Lynch). This also develops a child’s observation skills by challenging them to view problems from different perspectives in order to find a solution (Alban, 2012). “Painting embraces all the ten functions of the eye; that is to say, darkness, light, body and color, shape and location, distance and closeness, notion and rest,” is what Leonardo da Vinci once said (Alban, 2012), one of the greatest and most well-known artists in human history. If students are only taught to see things in black and white, then they will never be able to see the infinite amount of colors available to them.

Final Draft:

These skills further the development of a child’s fine motor skills, testing their dexterity and ability to use hand-eye coordination to accomplish complex tasks (Lynch). It also develops a child’s observation skills by challenging them to view problems from different perspectives in order to find a solution (Alban, 2012). If a child is tasked with creating a representation of a tree with only scissors and multi-colored construction paper, they will need to hone their skills with their scissors to cut out the shapes necessary to create an image of their representation of a tree, which could take several trial and error shape-cutting sessions to get the desired shapes. Leonardo da Vinci, one of the worlds greatest and most well-known artists in human history, claims that painting is a practice that tests all of the functions of the human eye, which includes “darkness, light, body and color, shape and location, distance and closeness, notion and rest,” (Alban, 2012). By this, da Vinci means that in order to create an accomplished painting, the individual must be able to take what their eye is able to observe and accurately project that onto the 2D canvass so that what is seen in the painting is accurate to the reality of what the eye sees. Mrs. Smith makes the statement that it is strange that in the first five years of childhood, there is so much emphasis in using the arts for a child to learn, but as soon as they get into eighth grade and on through twelfth grade, parents and teachers suddenly take away the arts and think that students don’t need the arts anymore to learn (Yaremich, 2012). If students are only taught to see things one way in black and white, then they will never be able to see all of the darkness and light in their subject, they will not be able to see the spectra of color in their subject, nor will they be able to describe the body and shape of their subject accurately.

The Process:

This section changed a bunch from the 2nd draft to the final draft, mostly due to the fact I found more evidence to support this part of my argument which I believe helped make this section just a little bit stronger. Before this part, I go through an explanation of why finger painting is a good example of brain development in a child due to the number of tasks and thinking processes a child must go through while finger painting. The idea was to show how important art is in learning for younger kids and I then wanted to show that importance should be continued as children grow up and go into school. But that transition to showing why it’s important for older kids wasn’t really there in the first two drafts and that’s why I added in the bit from Mrs. Smith. I also went ahead and explained da Vinci’s quote because, honestly, the first few times reading it I didn’t fully understand. I read it over and then put in my interpretation of what da Vinci was trying to emphasis in the importance of painting because he uses terms that non-artists would not necessarily understand or know why it is so important, so I did my best to help guide the reader through his quote.

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Section: Conclusion

1st Draft:

Art is incredibly important for the future of humanity. If art classes are taken out of the education curriculum, the number of students that succeed and continue on in furthering their education will drop, and there won’t be innovative individuals left in the world to help push the limits and progress the human race into a bright future. Their brains won’t develop to see things from more than one point of view, they won’t be able to think and express for themselves the ideas they want to share with the world, nor will they be able to tap into their infinite imagination in order to not only help themselves, but others as well.

2nd Draft:

If art classes are taken out of the education curriculum, the number of students that succeed and continue on in furthering their education will more than likely drop, and there won’t be innovative individuals left in the world to help push the limits and progress the human race into a bright future. There will be a lot of “Average Joes” who just graduate from high school and go straight into the work force, but where will the next Bill Gates be? The next Einstein? The next da Vinci? The students brains won’t develop to see things from more than one point of view if they do not have the arts available to them to challenge their minds and their standard ways of thinking. They won’t be able to think and express for themselves the ideas they want to share with the world, nor will they be able to tap into their infinite imagination in order to help themselves and others.

Final Draft:

Doug Israel, the Director of Research and Policy for the Center for Arts Education (2014), believes that the way to turn around this pattern of drop out rates in the United States is to “be more strategic as we beat the drum,” (2012). Drum representing the present state of how education is conducted in the United State. By “be more strategic”, Israel means that the resources for creating opportunities for all students to receive art education need to be taken more seriously. “We need to form more strategic partnerships,” is one example he presents; partnerships with museums and outlets for the arts so that accredited art teachers can be integrated into the education’s staff force and opportunities to enjoy and create art are available to students outside of the classroom, as well as inside. He also states that more resources need to be shared with those who are “less familiar with the power and value of an arts education”, meaning those students who do not have as much opportunity as others because their school is not providing enough outlets of an arts education (Israel, 2012). “We haven’t given art enough credit for its value,” claims Gay Lynn Smith. “There are academic and social skills that no other discipline develops to the extent art does.” If art classes are taken out of the education curriculum, it is very likely that the motivation and drive of students will drastically fall and the rates of drop outs in American high schools is sure to rise. Everyone benefits from exposure to the arts, no matter what side of the brain one is more like, no matter what personality one might have, and no matter what one’s goals for the future might be. Leonardo da Vinci was not just a famous painter, he was also an engineer and inventor, who’s inventions could not have been without his creative side and artistic abilities. Einstein might not have been a painter, but he did play the violin, and he went on to develop the Theory of Relativity and explain aspects of our universe that some will never have come to comprehend in their lifetime. The arts are necessary if this nation is to make the right steps towards becoming a strong country full of innovative individuals that have the ability to tackle problems and solve the mysteries of this world.

The Process:

So, conclusions are not my forte. In fact, in almost every paper I’ve written, the conclusion in the first draft is always the worst part of the paper; this paper is no exception. I think the reason behind this is because in my first drafts, I’m still trying to work on what exactly I am trying to say and I’m still trying to find the right wording for these ideas. The conclusion is supposed to be a general recap of the paper and if I don’t have a solid ideas in the body of the paper, how is the conclusion supposed to be strong? That’s my reasoning behind that process… And I think in this paper it all worked out because my conclusion not only grew, but it definitely grew 10x’s stronger than the first go around. Adding the references helped with the credible conclusion and I used the information from Israel to end the paper in a sort of “this is the direction we should take” kind of tone.

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Hope this was how it should look for the post! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Blog #almostoversoiveforgotten

Assess Your Sources

Whew… The semester is almost over. Holy cow! There are only…like 6 more class periods and then it’s the final. Wow… Where did the time go?

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In my position paper, I will continue with the argument surrounding cutting art classes from schools; I will be defending the statement of how art classes are valuable to students (all people, really.) Just to state that so my source assessment makes sense.

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Printed Source Assessment

Printed Source: The Past in Perspective: An Introduction to Human Prehistory, 6th Edition, by Kenneth L. Feder, pg. 170

– Relevance: This particular page in the textbook is helpful to my argument about how art classes are valuable. This particular page talks about how art is what essentially gave the human race its humanity when humans began to create intricate blade tools and later created small statues and jewelry.

– Credentials of the Author: The author, Kenneth L. Feder, is a professor from Central Connecticut State University, who’s field of study is archeology. He has written several books and teaches several different levels of anthropology classes (Level 100 – 400.)

– Stance of Author: I don’t believe Mr. Feder has a particular stance in my argument, at least not one that I can find from this anthropology textbook…

– Credentials of the Publisher/Sponsor: I believe the publisher is Oxford University Press. I don’t think I’ve ever had any sort of textbook or any type of printed product from Oxford University Press, but it is the largest university press in the world and the second oldest (founded in 1586.)

– Stance of the Publisher/Sponsor: I am not sure what Oxford University Press’ stance in this argument is, based solely off of this textbook. And this is just something I’m thinking of but I could be completely wrong, but I don’t this they really have “opinions” on things like this (arguments) because they’re basically just a printing press? So they just kinda, take their material and print it and they’re happy as long as they get paid? I could be totally wrong on that, so don’t quote me on it…

– Currency: This is the 6th Edition of the textbook and it is up to date, 2014.

– Accuracy: There are a couple of sources that Mr. Feder cites in this one page, which are sources from psychologist and their studies/tests. They are pretty dated, ranging from 1956 to 1990, but for psychology research the dates don’t really have a huge affect on the accuracy of the data found (especially if the studies are tested again under the same circumstances in more present times and the same result comes up.)

– Level of Specialization: Although Dr. Feder is not a specialist in the arts, he definitely knows what he is talking about when it comes to anthropology. So.

– Audience: This textbook is written for an audience of an introductory anthropology class at a university level.

– Length: The bit I’m taking from the textbook is only about half a page, but the information within that half of page will be helpful to my argument.

– Availability: I have the textbook right here in my hands.

– Omissions: More about art in human prehistory. There are other parts in different chapters that touch on monument building and cave paintings and use of symbols for written languages, as well as a look at different sculptures and pottery pieces from certain cultures, but they are more of an analysis of what their purpose was during their time period and why they were used…

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Electronic Source Assessment

Electronic Source: The Importance of Art in Child Development, by Grace Hwang Lynch from the PBS website under PBS Parents, Link : http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-importance-of-art-in-child-development/

– Who posted it? Grace Hwang Lynch posted this to the PBS Parents website under a tab called education. It looks to be sort of a blog post? Because there are comments at the bottom of the “article” from other users on the website (safe to say that they are all parents.) Perhaps it is just an article posted to the site and then people can make comments about it to discuss what has been posted.

– Credibility? Grace Hwang Lynch is a blogger on the site called HapaMama, but has also been published on sites like PBS, Salon, and mom.me, as well as printed mediums like the Wall Street Journal. She studied at the University of California at Berkeley and received her B.A. in Rhetoric, then went on to continue her education at the Mass Media Institute at Stanford University. She is currently the News and Politics Editor at BlogHer.com. Also, there’s PBS.

– Who’s accountable for the information? Credits sources? Within the article, Mrs. Lynch basically places her sources in her writing, one example being this sentence from her article: “According to the National Institutes of Health, developmental milestones around age three should include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors.” There are seven sort of sections to this article and each one has at least one source to back up the statement claimed about why art is important in child development.

– Currency? So there is not an actual date of when Mrs. Lynch published this article (that I could see), so I looked through the few comments that were made on the article and the oldest one was from 2 years ago. I would say it was probably published sometime in 2012, based off of that information.

– What perspectives are represented? A lot of the perspective coming from this article is from a scientific perspective because of all of the sources Mrs. Lynch is using to create her argument. There’s also an educational perspective (is that even right?) because there are examples and reasonings for why schools provide certain art activities for their students.

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Blog #11??

Time to Reflect…Again

To summarize what my experience was like from writing the Rogerian argument, it was a struggle. I didn’t really learn anything new about my opposition in my argument. My argument was about how art programs shouldn’t be cut from schools because art helps with brain development. My view point hasn’t changed since writing this argument paper: I don’t think art programs should be cut from schools. And I don’t really agree with or support anything from the opposing side of the argument. Just because school’s are faced with budget cuts doesn’t mean the art programs should be completely eliminated from the school. It pisses me off because a lot of times the money that is given to schools isn’t being spent wisely; a lot of money goes into funding for sports or making silly renovations to the school that were not necessary at all when the school could have really used new textbooks or new tables and chairs.

I guess the slippery slope fallacy could be applied to this problem. With budget cuts, schools want to cut things out that cost them too much to keep running. Well, art programs aren’t the only program that has somewhat high expenses (for supplies and things of that nature); what about equipment for science classes? Buying chemicals and all of the equipment to do experiments in chemistry classes can get expensive. What about buying machines for wood shop classes or buying new computers for computer labs? That can all add up to a lot of money, not including possible damages that might occur or things needing to be replaced.

For the next paper… I’m not quite sure what to argue next. If I need to piggy back off of this previously written paper, then I guess my option is to argue why art classes are so important to keep in schools. I’m hesitant to do this, though, because I did not really enjoy the process in writing the last paper. But then that leaves me with, “Well what am I going to argue then?” I’m also thinking ahead for the next visual essay, that documentary. I think arguing for why art classes are so important could make a really interesting visual essay…

We shall see…

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Blog #10..?

Extremely Rough Draft

Before getting to the actually draft, a few things I need to establish:

1. This is extremely rough. It is no where perfect. There is a lot missing and I know this.

2. I have my title page. I have a work-in-progress abstract. They are not included in this post.

3. I have my references included in the post. However, the appropriate in-text citations are not within the body yet.

4. It’s short. Yes. I know.

5. The reason I am posting this draft so rough is one, for my peace of mind so I know I have a draft posted for peer review as it is approximately 3:15 in the morning and I don’t want to sleep in and miss the deadline for this assignment, and two, so that I can go into further discussion about my argument fitting in the Rogerian argument style. It has been a struggle to get my mind to wrap around this new formatting…

So now here’s what I’ve got so far. (For class, I will bring in a printed version that is much more better than this post.)

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Why The Arts Should Be Kept In The Education System’s Curriculum

To Keep The Human Race’s Humanity

The problem is that art programs in the education system are being put up to the chopping block when it comes to budget cuts more readily than other programs. The “justification” for pushing the arts aside so easily is that the arts are simply not as important as the other programs within schools that help students get ready for higher education and entering the real world of the working class. This is not just a problem in the United States, this idea of the arts being easily disposable is a problem in education systems around the world. So why do we need the arts in our schools?

The biggest red flag when it comes to the arts is the stigma about careers in the field of art: they’re not real jobs. This whole concept of the “starving artist” is a social stereotype that discourages students from pursuing a career in the arts, even if that is where their dream job lies. Our society drives students to strive towards a job that is “more practical” in the real world – this would include jobs ranging from being an engineer or a doctor or a lawyer. The only way for the economy to run and grow is by the business men and women of the world, not the artists. Though some would argue that the world wouldn’t be as it is today without art, stating that art is what has given the human race its humanity. But this couldn’t be true because art does not ultimately equal humanity. What about random-acts-of-kindness people share with one another, or when efforts are put into helping those who are suffering from a natural disaster? Human being’s sense of humanity does not solely rely on art and humans are not the only creatures that create art. There have been several animals that have shown their ability to create art, like chimpanzees and elephants in captivity that create abstract works of art by their own hand/trunk. Art programs are also expensive to fund when it comes down to all of the different supplies needed for all the different art classes. Paints can range from being $xx.xx – $xxx.xx depending on if oil paints or acrylic paints are being used; there are many different types of paints that are required for different styles of painting. Paper can become extremely expensive when looking at high quality paper, which can either be bought in sketchbooks or by the sheet, ranging in prices from $xx.xx – $xx.xx. Then there are paint brushes to consider, which types and how many to provide for the classes; this would be the minimum amount of supplies to have a single painting class, with a grand total of approximately $xxx.xx for supplies alone.

Yes, it is true that the economy does not run because of the artists of the world. Looking at what an average painter makes as a free-lance artist, which is approximately $xxxx.xx a year, it is safe to say that most artists are not exactly “rolling in the deep”. Where as many business people are making somewhere around $xxxx.xx a year, which helps feed into the economy and keeps the business world spinning round as usual. The animal artists (name here), the gorilla, and (name here), the elephant, are well known for their works of art that sell up to $xxxx.xx, with all of the proceeds going towards helping the zoo they live in or going towards helping local animal shelters. Does that not show a bit of humanity on the animals part?

But something needs to be clarified between these animal artists and human artists: these animals have been trained to create art, not necessarily out of their own free will, and usually the works only purpose is to sell at auctions in order to raise money for the zoo. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that, but that is the distinct different between the two: human artists create art because humans are the only creature that has the internal desire to create art and to have art for their own. Then there needs to be a clarification of art: what even is art? To put into extremely simple terms, art is creation; anything that is created is a work of art. There has been this very black-and-white break down of what works of art are, typically this would include drawings, paintings, and sculptures. What about music? Poetry? What about simply being able to speak a language? Many aspects of life at some time or another have been referred to “the art of insert subject here”. There’s the “art of cooking”, for example: sure, everyone can cook, but that does not mean that everyone can cook well. Someone who has trained and worked hard to create delicious dishes is considered someone who has studied the culinary arts – a title that is well known around the world. Not only that, but the visual arts and the performing arts are also well known

How often do you see elephants hanging up their works of art in their pin at the zoo? Or how many chimpanzees do you see congregating together to create a musical to put on at the local theater? Probably none, unless they are trained by humans to do so. But humans hang up their art in their homes, especially their children’s art to be displayed on the refrigerator for guests to see and praise. Not only that, but humans have this desire to create art that can be displayed in other areas, like coffee shops, art galleries, and museums in hopes that their work will catch the attention of another to purchase for their own collection. Which makes artists selling their work for profit a job; a job is a job whether you’re an engineer or you’re a professional dancer.

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References:

Boucher, D. (2012, October 22). Officials say arts may raise test scores; State report finds students with more arts credits perform better. Retrieved October 30, 2014.

Channel 4 News. (2011, March 30). How much should be cut in arts? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz6bW5PpvtY.

Chew, K. (2012, December 26). 5 Animals Who Make Art. Retrieved October 30, 2014.

Childress-Evans, K. (2011). The Relationships of Visual and Performing Arts Enrollment on California Standards Test Scores in English Language Arts, 11-49.

Elmore, T. (2013, June 25). Left-Brain Schools in a Right-Brain World. Retrieved October 30, 2014.

Fang, M. (2013, August 5). Public Schools Slash Arts Education And Turn To Private Funding. Retrieved October 30, 2014.

Jackson, C. (2010, January 22). Entertainment & Culture — Museums: How Art Affects the Brain — A new exhibit explores science and aesthetics. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 30, 2014.

Marron, P. (2011, April 24). Keep arts programs in schools. Retrieved October 30, 2014.

Mucha, P. (2011, April 7). Rally decries cuts in school funding. Retrieved October 30, 2014.

Venzen, C. (2011). Effects Of An Integrated Arts Curriculum On Fifth Grade Students’ Mathematics Test Scores, 19-89.

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Oye ve…. This was pretty bad… Hopefully it wasn’t so extremely bad and off the mark…

Blog #9