Bridging Cultures

Art and science are generally considered totally separate disciplines. Science encourages objective observation, measurement, and precision through rational thinking, while the arts encourage affective engagement and participatory learning, “celebrating the life of feeling and imagination.”

Visual art is underappreciated even in the educational community. It is often the first subject cut in a budgetary crisis. In contrast, maths and science are always thought of as necessary to strengthen an individual’s capacities for competing in the employment marketplace for which education prepares them. Rational and measurable, the sciences appear to be more relevant in our assessment and accountability-driven world in which teachers find themselves. Accessing the imagination no longer seems relevant in the classroom and aesthetic experience of little or no importance, largely because it cannot be measured. The shortsighted fallacy of such thinking must be opposed and educators must take a leadership role in this arena. The visual arts can significantly contribute to the enhancement of learning in many disciplines, including the sciences.

“Art enables human beings to realize their spirit
and their destiny in the actions and products of their imagination”.

Arthur Efland - Professor of Art Education The Ohio State University