Art in middle school follows a sequential body of content knowledge and skills that broadens learners' understanding of visual expression. Adolescents explore, organize, understand, and evaluate their abilities in art. As they observe and discuss visual environments, they extend and deepen the basis of their knowledge of art. They learn to value curiosity and to appreciate flexibility in their thinking and decision-making. Middle school courses lay the foundation for work at the high school level by providing students with opportunities to:
- Express ideas, thoughts, and feelings
- Explore a wide variety of media
- Collaborate on group projects
- Relate art to social, environmental, and political issues
Arts experiences boost critical thinking, teaching students to take the time to be more careful and thorough in how they observe the world. The arts provide challenges for learners at all levels. Art education connects students with their own culture as well as with the wider world. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair, or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.