When I first set out to write Being Visual, I thought I was writing about my experience seeing the way art can be used to enhance learning. But while writing and researching, I had a very profound shift in my own understanding. I, like many others, thought learning was learning and art was there as a benefit—an enrichment. As an artist myself, I had always enjoyed participating in art class alongside my other studies. But, I now realize I had grossly underestimated the power and value of art as it relates to education.
Over the last few years, I studied the way our minds process information, the source of creativity and innovation and what it takes to be fully literate. After all the research and my own years of experience in the classroom as an art student and teacher, I now see art, and specifically the ability to draw, as essential to the development of literacy, the ability to learn and the organizational structure of the mind.
Being Visual has been a journey of discovery. It’s about how our minds work, what our kids need in order to learn more effectively, the ways our test-heavy education systems are failing us, and what we can do to improve learning strategies. The arts are an essential component of improved learning outcomes and a world-class education that all our children deserve.
I hope you’ll join me in discovering what it means to be visual.