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  • Writer's pictureBrett Gifford

The Essential Role of Arts Education: Insights from a First Semester Teaching Motion Graphics at SNHU

As our world becomes increasingly driven by technology and data, the arts remain a vital component of a well-rounded education, nurturing creativity, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence. This is something I've come to appreciate deeply during my recent experience teaching motion graphics at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). It was not just an opportunity to impart knowledge but also a chance to observe firsthand the transformative power of arts education.


The Timeless Value of the Arts

Despite the surge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, the arts hold an irreplaceable role in personal and societal development. They offer a unique medium through which we can explore complex emotions, cultural identities, and historical contexts. In teaching motion graphics, I found that students were not only learning how to use software and create visually compelling content but were also developing a language for self-expression and communication that transcends traditional academic subjects.

Bridging Creativity and Technology

Motion graphics, as a field, embodies the fusion of art and technology. This blend is crucial in contemporary education because it mirrors the evolving landscape of our digital society. By integrating technology into the arts, students gain versatile skills that apply across various disciplines and industries. This semester at SNHU, I witnessed students tackle real-world problems through design and animation, preparing them for careers that demand both technical savvy and creative insight.

The Benefits of Teaching Creatives

Teaching motion graphics also reinforced for me the broader benefits of arts education:

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Every project is a new puzzle. Students learn to think on their feet, troubleshoot, and apply abstract concepts to concrete challenges.

  • Communication Skills: Visual media is a universal language. Students learn to convey messages and emotions effectively, regardless of the viewer's native language or cultural background.

  • Flexibility and Adaptability: The rapid pace of technological change means students must continually learn and adapt. These are invaluable life skills in any field.

The Ripple Effect of Teaching

The impact of teaching extends beyond the classroom. It fosters a community of continuous learning and mutual inspiration. Each class session was an exchange of ideas, where I learned as much from my students as they did from me. This dynamic environment not only enriches the educational experience but also cultivates a culture of curiosity and innovation.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Arts Education

As we look forward, the integration of arts into mainstream education will be crucial. It’s not just about training artists; it’s about enriching the educational landscape with diverse ways of thinking and problem-solving. The arts encourage a holistic view of the world, which is essential in addressing complex global issues. At SNHU, the enthusiasm and engagement of the students have made me incredibly optimistic about the future of arts education.

Conclusion

Reflecting on my first semester teaching motion graphics at SNHU, I am reminded of the profound importance of the arts in education. As educators, we are not just teaching a subject; we are helping to shape the minds and hearts of the next generation. The arts are not a luxury; they are a necessity, as vital to our education system as any other field of study. They equip students with a rich palette of skills and perspectives, preparing them to thrive in a multifaceted and ever-changing world.

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