Designing curriculum remains one of the most difficult, complicated aspects of the education system. In public schools across the country, figuring out which subjects deserve the most attention continues to complicate the school day. While America has finally moved into a modern ideology with STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) it is also important to include other aspects of life in the educational process.
Physical education, of course, is important too. Students who have a healthy body will sleep better and that means they can focus better. Students who are physically healthy tend to also perform better in school. This is a principle that can largely translate to the life of a working adult. Fortunately, many schools offer intramural or division sports which allow students to participate in football, volleyball, tennis, soccer, wrestling, basketball, softball, baseball, field hockey, and track and field after school and on the weekends.
But there is one area of education that is often overlooked and even omitted when budget crunches force programming cuts. These are the arts.
Despite several studies that show, for example, music education can improve mathematics test scores, music is one area of study often first cut. Similarly, creative writing, drama, and choir all have unique benefits for students but are not taken as seriously as those courses in the STEM curriculum.
Rightfully so, there are probably more jobs available in the STEM fields; and these job openings continue to grow. Thus the main focus of education should probably be on courses in the STEM fields. However, many advocates argue that courses in the arts are still important and schools should find a way to incorporate them.
Fortunately, the students in the Sedro-Woolley School District, in Washington State, will be able to take advantage of a new initiative. Music classes have not been available for elementary school students but district officials have heard the cries of parents and students and are making the school day longer to accommodate them.
These band and music classes will take place before the regular school day—which means students have to get up earlier and parents have to put a little extra effort into getting their students to school—but this is an action that continues to remind that a well-rounded education is not just about the workplace; it is about culture and creativity too.
And for the students in Washington State’s Sedro-Woolley School District, that culture and creativity will continue to be cultivated, even if it has to be in the wee early morning.