Gifted Children and Arts Education

October 30, 2018

By Katie Sanborn, Office Manager

An article from the TED-Ed Blog titled “Why dance is just as important as math in school” (1) by Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica recently caught my eye and led me to research more on the topic of the arts and their benefits to gifted children. As a dancer, my immediate thought was, “Of course dance is just as important as math!” I know firsthand how it has positively shaped and affected my life both personally and academically.

Robinson and Aronica’s blog post is an argument for equity in educating the whole child, and the equal importance of dance and physical activity with the other arts, languages, mathematics, sciences and the humanities in the general education of every child. IEA also practices the Whole Child Approach, which emphasizes each child’s potential as a whole person, rather than focusing on one specific area of talent or ability. There is more to gifted children than high test scores and academic achievement.

As stated in the article, math is intimately involved with the dynamics of dance, and dance can help restore joy and stability in troubled lives, along with easing the tensions in schools disrupted by violence and bullying. Dance and physical education also have important benefits for students’ social relationships, promoting many of the personal qualities that employers recognize as essential in a collaborative, adaptable workforce.

A guest blog post from Oak Crest Academy on National Society for Gifted and Talented titled “4 benefits of introducing the arts to your gifted child” (2) states that the arts:

  1. Uncovers hidden talents
  2. Reinforces learning in other subject areas
  3. Provides a safe environment for mastering social skills
  4. Relieves stress and promotes relaxation

The National Association for Gifted Children also holds a positive stance on arts education for gifted and talented students (3). NAGC believes that arts education is fundamental to an appropriate education for gifted and talented learners and should be addressed through domain-specific opportunities and authentic integration across the curriculum. The arts offer students a way of thinking that is not available in other disciplines. Additionally, IEA has many Caroline D. Bradley Scholars and alumni who are dancers and artists.

We at IEA encourage students to pursue any interest in the arts and use them as a tool for a new challenge or as an opportunity to think in a different way. Check out our online Gifted Resource Center to discover more articles, media and gifted programs and services on the subject.

Do you have a gifted child active in the arts? Share any resources and/or stories of gifted children and the arts in the comments below!