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No, I don’t.
Children should be taught the basic skills to function in life and for being productive members of society.
Art like music or athletics is something that is an entertainment and not necessary for making one’s way through life.
It is also a skill that requires a certain aptitude that many don’t have. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body and to subject me to a mandatory art class would have been torture. Now shop class? That’s a different story. I excelled at building things. So much so that I became a precision aircraft mechanic specializing in custom modifications. I like to build things.
So the arts need to be something that is an elective only for those who have the desire to learn that discipline.

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I think art is great in the context of history. I regret not taking these classes because I felt I didn't have the inherent talents. I think good teachers can teach people to use the tools they have. I do believe art, music and sports help people be better learners even if they don't excel in these areas.

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The only thing that Geezy can draw, is Flies. 
One time in home ec, Big Earl and his gang of misfits BBQ'd a raccoon.
I betcha couldn't do that now. 

You may be right.

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In the elementary years, I think it's good to expose children to the various arts. This way we can see if any of them might resonate with students. I personally loved my art and music classes and elected to take them in later years. 

Mandatory? Like you need so many art credits in order to graduate? No, this should not be the case.

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  • 4 weeks later...

In your early years art class is natural. I think things have gotten way out of sense where no one can excel if everyone cannot be equal. There are no winners. All you have to do is see how a society ultimately fails when there is no incentive to reach for something as an individual. Humans naturally want to shine and are not happy being invisible. It is the exception and usually comes from trauma and unhealthy degrees of isolation due to bad experiences in childhood.

Part of that inspiration comes out of finding something you are good at. Recognizing a need and filling it. These are things based on each person being unique and not exactly the same. We also learn differently. One size does not fit all. Some people need to visualize, some hear, some are hands on, some are conceptual, by natural inclination. But we also need be encouraged to explore. It is natural but things tend to discourage it as we get older until we become old fuddy duddy sticks in the mud set in our ways. Being a kid is a time to experiment an explore and have fun. It is not the time to be thrust into competitions where all the fun is taken out and it becomes some imposed task geared more to some adult's benefit than the kid's.

Art class is a healthy balance to other academics. I wish art was approached more like math or science in later years though. That is the shock to many college art students. They have been coddled by parents and teachers and believe they are far better than they really are. Much of art can be studied, examined, dissected and taught more like math or science. The results would show many more are inclined to be good and at least far better than they ever get in the current system's approach. People believe art is for the talented and gifted at birth. That is not so. Many more of these talented gifted in art types fail and are passed up by pther student who learn to work at it and who don't believe they already are something too special to need to improve. It is a matter of recognizing things like shapes, forms and many billions of color variations and then training your eyes and mind and body to do things with this information. 

Same goes for athletics. I for one have never been good at sports but I understand how it is important to participate in it at school. It is part of life. There is more to get from it than only if you happen to be good at it. It is healthy. Look how exercise has become the thing to incorporate in adult life. Look at all of the gyms. Look at what your healthcare system promotes. It is not something which should have ever been made an option. We all began doing some sport activity in school. You don't have to make a team. All of my grades had some portion devoted to athletics. Then it gradually became minimal and you could graduate from college only having taken a single class of physical education. Once out of school you would eventually be faced with encouragement to be more physically active, exercise and follow a healthy diet. It is included in a "healthy" lifestyle. It never should have been reduced to an option. We all need to recognize that physical activity is essential to health. You can even cite the popularity of computer gaming as a sign that even the nerdiest uncoordinated bookworms enjoy athleticism (albeit physical or mental or emotional or all of these) when they find the outlet that suits them. Gaming is as much a form of sport as any traditional sport.

Edited by Another Meat Head
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