Why Teach Art? I began to teach art since I was a freshman in college. At that time, I worked in an art studio in which focus on helping teenagers get into the top art schools in China. There, I taught them some drawing, painting and some designing. It made me really happy to teach art, because I love art and love to help others making art. The reason was so simple at that time, but after reading and learning about art education, I started to think more deeply and found that to teach art is a more important and meaningful thing than I thought. I think what makes teaching art more important especially the education of visual art is the visual culture in 21st century. As Martin Heidegger said, there’s a “world picture” in the modern age. “World picture” is not the picture about the world, it means the world is composed and visualized as a picture. There’s a pictorial turn taking place in human’s life. So the visual culture is not based on the image itself, it depends on the trend of visualizing. It is obvious that we get into a visual age, our life is full of images. So in this situation, teaching visual art has critical importance. Through learning VTS, I found more about this. When using VTS to teach art, kids have a chance to watch an image for a long time, and discussing the information from the image. In this way, they can get better understanding the language of visual art, develop the ability of observation, and even use this way to think about other images appear in their life, such as poster, magazine cover, advertisement, artwork in museums. And also they may start to know how to create art language to express themselves by reading images. Art can help people to do critical thinking and even change the way of people’s thinking. Critical thinking is the power of innovation, it is meaningful to the whole society. And art can do a great help to this point. In learning art, people will know one problem can have several solutions and one question can have many answers. They will look at the world in a different way. It develops their creativity and imagination. Here I have to say, an important reason why I want to teach art in China is there’re many people, their thoughts are controlled by the government, they still think what government said are always right, they don’t do any critical thinking and do not have their own ideas. So I think art education could make a great change in my country. (Since we had little art education before, and even if there are some art classes, the way of their teaching is not good.) Art is a good way to learn communication. As I mentioned, art is a language. In the world of art, people can communicate even from different cultures and backgrounds. It is like a bridge to connect the whole world. People will learn to listen to others, respect others, and they will feel everyone is equal and won’t have racism. This language can also help us to express ourselves. I think other courses like math, chemistry, physics are important, but they are all about something else, we can hardly create something and express something by ourselves. So art class is a good chance to speak the voice in your heart. Art language can say something that cannot say by other languages. It is a unique character in art. I think it let art education
more important in China. In a country that doesn’t have the freedom of speech, people can still express the ideas and communicate with others through art. It is like a precious present that art gives us. It is really a long way for me from just love art and finally found I want to be an art teacher and teach more people in China how to teach art. I know there will be a hard journey to realize my dream, but I will keep working on it and enjoy it.