“The arts are not mere diversions from the important business of education; they are essential resources.” (Eisner quoted in PYP: 2007:128). The Arts provide the skill base and are an integral resource, which allows students to developing both imagination and creativity. Arts education provides a platform to develop these skills, which are a key component of 21st century development. (Pink: 2005; Robinson: 2009) Imagination and creativity within the arts are interlinked with the artistic process. This artistic process provides students with an opportunity to explore, transform and utilise higher order thinking skills. This discussion paper will examine the literature and the importance of the arts for young children within the context of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program in an international school.
Numerous scholars perceive the arts to be beneficial in developing young children’s’ creativity and imagination. With the revision of Bloom’s taxonomy (Anderson and Krathwohl: 2001), creation now features as the highest order thinking skill. The ability to create a new product or point of view is an inherent aspect of the arts. The theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner & Hatch: 1989) also impacts creativity in the arts in terms of its cultural manifestation. Studies (Burton, Horowitz & Abeles: 1999: 91; Kennedy: 2006: Para 2; Saubern: 2009: 12 & 13; Smith: 2009: Para 2; Smithrim & Upitis: 2005:120) indicate that students immersed in the arts achieved highly in terms of creativity, imagination and originality.