Art Courses Put the “A” in STEAM Education

Rich Boschetti, DPIE Academy Director
February 16, 2021

The beginning of the 21st century saw a huge uptick in the pace of technological innovation and explosion of new technology-based startups around the world. Those new companies used their advancements to generate wide-ranging product creation such as artificial intelligence, robotics, self-driving cars, stem cell research, 3-D Printers, artificial hearts and multiple use rockets just to name a few. With the expansion of new technologies educational pundits around the nation began to call for changes in curricula offered in American schools and trumpeted the need for a shift toward common core STEM education in science, technology, engineering and math to ensure that students are prepared for the workplace of tomorrow.

However, as STEM education has taken hold, many educators and employers are beginning to understand that there is a need for students to experience the creative activities like those learned in arts education and serve as the creative building blocks of a childs development. Although some still regard arts education as a luxury, studies show that there is a strong correlation between the arts and academic achievement.  Research in this area has found that young people who participate in the arts on a regular bases are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement while in school.

Art Courses Grow in Popularity

Perhaps that growing understanding of the need for creative outlets, as well as the pandemic, which has limited social activities, is why art courses offered by DPIE in the After School Program continue to grow in popularity with Dublin families.

DPIE asked Café Art owner and art teacher, Ms Julie Coching who is offering 7 different art classes in DPIE’s spring after school program about the continued enrollment growth of her courses and the connection between art and academic performance.

Q. Your art courses continue to be some of the most popular course offered in the DPIE program, why do you think that is the case and do you see a strong connection between the arts and a successful academic performance?

Over time I’ve seen a tremendous increase in self confidence and self-understanding with students who enroll in our art classes. When students enroll for the first-time, they tend to be tentative and create projects exactly like the samples we show them.  But as time goes on and they begin to understand that art is about self-expression, they become more inquisitive, take more risks with their work and begin to express themself in their work. It’s really fun to see how they grow with each new course they take with us.

 Q. Why do you think art courses continue to be popular with students even though they are being taught online during the pandemic?

You can learn a great deal about kids by what they share with you while they are working. Kids, probably more than adults, have been hit hard by the social restrictions we are all dealing with during the pandemic.  Kids learn through play and social interactions so part of the reason our programs continues to grow is that art is a very social and fun activity. Not to mention, after a long school day having fun with art is a great way to unwind. Plus we’ve had a lot of positive word of mouth from students and parents alike.

Q. This spring you are introducing a variety of new courses to the virtual program including, The Art of Spring, Famous Artists Around the World, Create Your Own Luncheon Set and Welcome to Wood Art & Ceramics. Why do you continue to develop new courses for students and can you tell us a little about them?

We have found that many of our students are enrolling in two or more classes each session so we work hard to design new courses that give the kids the chance to learn new skills and to create new projects. Our Famous Artist class will focus on art techniques used by different artists which students always enjoy experimenting with.  Kids love animals and enjoy working with Animal Art and in the Luncheon Set class, students will have their own functional set to use every day.  Each class leads to new experiences, new conversations, and a lot of creativity.  I so enjoy watching the kids work and I truly believe that I have as much fun working with them as they have creating their projects.

Every day in my classes, I hear students say things like “I love art!,”  “Monday is my favorite day of the week cause I have art class,” and “I’ve been waiting all day for this art class.  I think that says it all.

Teaching art is the best part of my day as well!

If you want to give your child the gift of creativity, self-expression and some fun during these demanding times, consider enrolling them in one or more of the 7 art courses being offered by Café Art this spring as part of the DPIE After School Program.

Click here to read the course descriptions for all of Ms. Coching’s art classes.