Why drawing should be taught in schools

"I can't draw!"
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I have just read an interesting article about drawing in schools.
Here are my thoughts. ..
All children love to draw and the joy of early mark making is universal. Humans have always used drawing as an expressive art, and for historical records. In our modern world, however, as we grow older, we start hearing criticism.
We're told things are not the right shape or colour, we are disappointed when others don't see what we see in our creations. We are busy - or easily distracted, and slowly the joy is chipped away.
In primary school, art is squeezed into tiny time slots, for example, children can decorate, or illustrate a piece of work if they finish their writing on time, or may add pictures to a poster.
Drawing skills are devalued when used as a time filler.
Art lessons are readily dropped from an overly packed curriculum, in favour of training children to take tests. The government seems to prefer an education system where it can assess a school's ability to teach to tests: this results in  assessments based on binary data - right and wrong tick boxes (phonics tests, rather than reading in context; regurgitating technical grammar terms rather than engaging their reader). Schools are under pressure to 'perform' in these areas, and cannot be blamed for how they are forced to prioritise their time.
Art takes time. Drawing needs time. Time to look, to observe, to reflect, to understand what you can see and to find a way to interpret that on your page. It can't be rushed, and it can't always be assessed by simple tick boxes, and so, drawing is rarely taught in school.
Children may be told to draw a particular item, but not how to do it. And when some children are more successful than others, this is put down to natural ability - or lack of. Sadly, the most long lasting thing children tend to learn in art lessons is that they either can, or can't draw.
In any other area of the curriculum children who need help, or are not engaged, would be encouraged. They would be given steps to success, a scaffold to support their learning, they would have the opportunity to make progress - not have a negative belief installed or reinforced.
Drawing opens your eyes to the world, to details others certainly miss. It's a time when we focus on just one thing. It is a way of practicing mindfulness.
Drawing is also important in many areas of employment.
In manufacturing, labels, packaging and posters need to be designed. The TV, film and theatre industries need sets, costumes, story boards, CGI, and characters.
The construction and motor industries need engineers, designers and architects.
Plumbers, electricians, carpenters need drawing skills.
Doctors, surgeons, vets, biologists, zoologists, meteorologists, chemists: all need drawing skills.
There would be no mine craft or Pixar without drawing skills.
There are specific skills which can be taught - form, tone, texture, perspective, proportion, even the seemingly impossible horses' legs!


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