Curriculum Opinions

Arts classes important to well-roundedness, needed at more schools

Anthony Cardellini ’17
THE ROUNDUP

Although many schools are decreasing funding for their arts programs and cutting down on arts supplies, Brophy is a happy exception.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explained in January 2016 that most states still don’t spend more money per student than they did before the recession. In fact, Arizona saw the biggest decrease in funding per student after 2008: a decrease of 23.3 percent.

After cuts like these, school superintendents have to make decisions on what programs to cut.

The National Federation of State High School Associations explains that superintendents often recommend cutting arts programs because they wrongly assume that these programs have the least negative ramifications on learning.

Obviously, as a private school, Brophy bypasses these federal and state education cuts. This offers us the unique ability to attend a school with one of the best arts programs in the state.

Whereas the Arizona graduation requirement is 1 fine arts or vocational credit, Brophy students need 2.5 fine arts credits to graduate. The school’s program includes 11 faculty members who teach more than 30 different classes.

Having this opportunity comes with a responsibility: Students should take advantage of the fine arts curriculum by taking wide-ranging classes as often as possible.

In the modern world, it’s easy to argue that the skills that will be most important in the future are unrelated to the arts and instead involve technology, science and math. However, learning about drawing, photography, journalism, music and ceramics, to name of few of Brophy’s art classes, teaches students important lessons about patience, diligence and creativity.

In addition to common arts classes, the Brophy fine arts curriculum also includes other fascinating classes that may be uncommon at other schools.

These classes include 2D Print Making, 2D Art Graphic Design, 3D Sculpture and various band classes.

Although these classes may not seem as important as history, math or English, they each have significant benefits that should not be overlooked.

In most classes, students move from topic to topic each day. In these aforementioned arts classes, students can stay on the same project for a long amount of time.

Furthermore, these fine arts classes allow students to work as independently or dependently as they want. Students can work with teachers or on their own, which teaches them how to ask for help if they need it.

While other schools cut arts funding, Brophy continues to offer its students a wide range of classes. But these classes are only great when the students taking them understand their huge importance.