“I would have a workshop attached to every school, and one hour a day given up to the teaching of simple decorative arts. It would be a golden hour to the children”.
Oscar Wilde (first spoken on May 11, 1882 probably*)
Almost 140 years ago, Oscar Wilde understood that art and the appreciation of practical handicrafts was an essential part of children’s education.
Most Early Years settings value creativity and imagination in young children, encouraging practical activities.
However, there is a worrying trend that children should be ‘catching up’ on literacy and maths that they’ve missed, rather than the opportunities for the arts.
Maybe there should be an increase in access to dance, music, visual arts and handicrafts instead.
Or maybe we could consider another of Oscar Wilde’s wise insights, from the same lecture, that art is a ‘necessity of human life’.