Skip to main content

Amy Robinson

Program Manager, English Language Development Curriculum and Instruction


studio pathways

SCOE has partnered with Studio Pathways to provide professional learning with an inquiry-based approach to culturally responsive teaching and learning.

educators in meeting discussion- studio pathways

Visual & Performing Arts

collage of students painting, signing, acting, drawing

“Visual and Performing Arts are a vitally important link to increased academic success through the advancement of a child’s creativity, language and motor skills, critical thinking, and cultural awareness.”
                                                    – Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson

The importance of Visual & Performing Arts (VAPA)

An education in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts helps to develop engaged, creative, expressive, responsive, and artistically literate individuals.

Demystifying VAPA

Myth: Visual and Performing Arts are not related to academic achievement. 

Education in the arts has been shown to improve and enhance cognition, memory, risk-taking, higher order thinking, and creativity.

Myth: Some people have artistic talent and some do not.

Creativity and imagination are innate human characteristics. An artistically literate individual recognizes that the arts provide means for people to collaborate and connect with others in an inclusive environment as they create, prepare, and share artwork that brings communities together. Therefore, the arts-literate individual has the capacity to transfer arts knowledge and skills to multiple situations and settings, both in and outside the school environment. 

Myth: There is no time in the school day for art.

In order for students to be powerful, diverse communicators, be creators and innovators of personally relevant work, be connected to culture, history, and society, have a sense of wellbeing, and be active community members, students need arts integrated throughout their schooling. Students’ learning is enriched when they understand and experience how the arts disciplines integrate with one another and other content areas.

Equity in VAPA

The arts enable students to translate and understand a variety of abstract feelings, ideas, and inquiries. The arts disciplines offer unique ways of experiencing, knowing, exploring, and learning about the world.  Using their own experiences and knowledge, young artists can explore and express themes across all aspects of their world and interests—literature, sciences, history, environment, and personal and social issues. 

Creating a culture of thinking

The arts place great emphasis on creativity and require students to engage in higher-order thinking skills inclusive of the creative practices. Arts education fosters creativity and innovation through creative practices inherent in arts education, such as

  • flexible thinking
  • creative problem-solving
  • inquisitiveness
  • perseverance
  • problem identification
  • research
  • interpretation
  • communication
  • precision
  • accuracy

These cognitive processes transfer across all content areas.