Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. David Coffman

Degree Award Date

Fall 2009


Arts, Elementary Education, SOL scores, core curriculum subject, holistic education


Art Education | Education | Elementary Education


Amidst budget cuts, increased dependence on standardized testing, and the reduction of programs, school systems are dismissing the arts as an expendable luxury that is nonessential for improving SOL scores, despite their Federal status as a core-curriculum discipline. However, as both existing literature and current educators in the field of elementary education agree, the arts offer students a unique set of skills, traits, and perspectives not available elsewhere in the curriculum. While some teachers attempt to teach inter-disciplinary units in an effort to include the arts, this often leads to the arts being viewed as a method of teaching rather than its own distinct discipline. To ensure the arts' rightful place in elementary education, parents, educators, administrations, and government leaders need to develop an environment that recognizes and appreciates the arts' unique contribution to a holistic education.