/educators/how-to/advocacy-essentials/workforce

The Key to a Strong Workforce

What educators and employers need to know about arts education

Overview

America’s schools are filled with bright, creative children who will be tomorrow’s health care professionals, engineers, software developers, and political leaders. One thing we know for sure: Students who have rich learning experiences that include the arts develop the technical skills and knowledge that employers need to advance their companies. Simply stated—the arts help students develop the thinking, social, and motivational skills needed for success in school, work, and life. Here’s how:

Communication

A curriculum that provides rich arts experiences will result in future workers who are able to communicate effectively in verbal and written forms. Students develop strong listening skills through their work with theater directors, musical conductors, and peers. These listening skills help reinforce the verbal and written communication skills used in the workforce every day. 

Collaboration and Creativity

By learning in and through the arts, students learn ways to collaborate, persevere, concentrate, and set and achieve goals. The arts foster individual and collective creativity while teaching students to build understanding and respect for others. These students have the ability to be flexible and often excel at managing multiple priorities. They are more often high-performing members of the workforce, and have the ability to work effectively as part of a team. 

Innovative Thinking

Businesses are looking for workers who can assess a challenge and then creatively combine the skills and knowledge they possess to solve it. In an era of increasing global competitiveness that rewards progress and discovery, our economy requires this kind of ingenuity and innovation.

In addition, savvy business leaders employ the ideas of creativity and innovation in their branding, marketing, and mission. In 2001, researchers from McKinsey & Company conducted a survey of 6,000 executives. This study revealed that one of the toughest challenges businesses will face in the future is finding employees able to “make good decisions in times of uncertainty…adapt to new opportunities, and respond creatively to change.” 

Joining Forces

Companies clearly have a vested interest in supporting arts education: It’s good for business. Corporate leaders are influential, wielding power and access to resources. These individuals shape public opinion, and many have a track record of supporting education. Engaged business leaders share a concern with teachers: They are interested in dynamic schools, communities, and a future workforce that is prepared and engaged.

A learning environment that includes the arts will better prepare students for a competitive workforce. It will help them succeed and be fulfilled in their lives, including being active members of their communities. If more students’ learning experiences include high-quality arts education, then our businesses will be filled with smart, self-confident, and creative leaders.

Credits

Writers

Christy Farnbauch
Original Writer

Editors & Producers

Katie Freeman

Sources

Armstrong, K. (2000). The war for talent: Department of Defense and private sector battle for survival. McKinsey & Company, LLP.

Email Print Share

Text:

- +
Email a link to this page
Cancel
Share This Page




Cancel

SUPPORTING INDIVIDUAL NEEDS

Use this collection of resources and articles to devise an approach for supporting individual needs in the classroom: from English Language Learners or students with disabilities, to conflict resolution and giving feedback.

ARTSEDGE ON FACEBOOK

ARTSEDGE ON TWITTER

© 1996-2017 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts  

ArtsEdge is an education program of

The Kennedy Center 

with the support of

Department of Education



ARTSEDGE, part of the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, is generously funded by David and Alice Rubenstein.

Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

Kennedy Center education and related artistic programming is made possible through the generosity of the National Committee
for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.

The contents of this Web site were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not
necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal government.
Unless otherwise stated, ArtsEdge materials may be copied, modified and otherwise utilized for non-commercial educational purposes
provided that ArtsEdge and any authors listed in the materials are credited and provided that you permit others to use them in the same manner.

Change Background:

Connect with us!    EMAIL US | YouTube | Facebook | iTunes | MORE!

© 1996-2017 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts  
    Privacy Policy
| Terms and Conditions

Close

You are now leaving the ArtsEdge website. Thank you for visiting!

If you are not automatically transferred, please click the link below:
http://absoluteshakespeare.com

ArtsEdge and The Kennedy Center are in no way responsible for the content of the destination site, its ongoing availability, links to other site or the legality or accuracy of information on the site or its resources.

Cancel

Close