The Possibilities of Art in Socio-Emotional Learning: Curating Young Learners’ Well Being

In 2019, Muskan, a young poet involved with Slam Out Loud (SOL) while performing at the TEDxGatewaySalon Platform shared how she was often told by her parents and teachers that “the Arts are for people who are not hardworking.”

Much like Muskan, most of us, are no stranger to the narrative that art has no ‘real’ value and should at best, be indulged in as a hobby. Both research and recent shifts in pedagogical techniques however, argue otherwise. Through brain imaging technologies, neuroscientists across the globe are now able to show the physical changes that occur in the brain when one contemplates over or indulges in art. For instance, did you know that a creatively inspired brain depicts lower levels of cortisol which is the biological indicator for stress?! Educators too, have noticed radical changes in student behaviour and performance on integrating art and Socio-Emotional Learning (SEL) for children. The Economic Development Quarterly offers an insight that children who received art education showed an 80% increase in creativity and levels of social skills. The ‘National Endowment for the Arts’ observed that students partaking in arts courses had higher grade point averages and were five times more likely to graduate compared to their peers.