Arts education and career opportunity: embracing creativity to foster whole minds
By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
What do educators mean when they talk about cultivating a “whole new mind?” According to author Dan Pink, such a mind is one in which the traditional building blocks for success – left-brain skills like logic, analytical thinking and linear assessment – are balanced with “big picture” right-brain skills, such as empathy, holistic thinking, creativity and invention. Pink’s book,
A Whole New Mind, contends that
can no longer be relegated to the sidelines if today’s students – tomorrow’s college graduates – are going to have a fighting chance in the changeable workforce of the future. Of course, critical thinking and analytical perception will always be necessary skills for success; but as the professional landscape evolves, students with the flexibility to look beyond those skills alone, and to marry them with creative talents, will be in ever-higher demand.
It is with this demand in mind that many independent schools have tailored their curricula to achieve a greater balance between the arts and more conventional academic programs; and overall, this approach has yielded great success for current students and graduates alike. At Francis Parker School, we too adhere to this “whole mind” educational philosophy: and we pride ourselves on standing apart from many other institutions by virtue of our comprehensive arts program and it’s role in complementing and enhancing the college preparatory student experience. It is our goal to prepare Parker graduates for a lifetime of global citizenship, social engagement and creative thinking; and as experienced educators, we believe that a thorough arts education not only serves this end, but in fact plays a vital role in making such engagement a reality for each and every one of our students.
Arts at Parker: where academia, aesthetics and creativity collide
Parker students begin their introduction to the arts right away, with Lower, Middle and Upper School classes all enjoying the benefits of our diverse arts program from the day they join us until the day they graduate. By uniting visual, performing and dramatic arts with academic culture and media studies, and giving students the opportunity to explore their individual interests through a variety of theatrical productions, student exhibits and unique class offerings, we offer a premier arts education that simultaneously enriches and complements our other academic programs. At
, we keep in mind that the pursuit and creation of art is essential to the human endeavor – and that no civilization has ever come to be without it. By instilling an appreciation for and understanding of global arts in our students, we promote both creativity and curiosity, aesthetic valuing and open-mindedness, empathetic reasoning and objective assessment: and as a result, our students are not only prepared for advanced arts courses at the university level upon graduation, but also for any number of opportunities and challenges thereafter.
To learn more about the arts at Francis Parker School, or to inquire about other components of our
curriculum, contact us online: