ELearning is a big part of Alternative Learning, however for the creative arts, the Internet can fall far short for a complete education.

Every person learns differently, so alternative education can be a great solution to a one directional classroom approach. Nevertheless, to have a well-rounded education, the arts need to be included. As John Williams, art teacher at Winamac Community Schools, tells us the Internet is not the best place to get a full education in art.

Williams shares the idea that the Internet covers just the basics of art. “It just scratches the surface,” he says. The concept that one plus one can equal three is difficult to explain without one on one interaction. “One idea plus one idea can equal a third idea. Now you have three ideas.”

There is a lot of research proving the importance of art in education. Grace Hwang Lynch writes in her article, The Importance of Art in Child Development, that art helps develop motor skills, language development, and decision-making among other skills.

A New York Times article, Art Makes You Smart, the authors explain how just visiting an art museum and learning about that art can increase critical thinking skills as well as social skills.

Onlinecolleges.net lists 10 Salient Studies on the Arts in Education. These studies include USA Today’s Study: Arts education has academic effect, by Tamara Henry, conclude that children who study the arts “are often more proficient at reading, writing, and math.” It also includes the report by The Center for Arts Education titled Staying In School. This report shows that a school with art education has a better graduation rate than one without.

Winamac Community High School implemented an alternative learning program this year called the Warrior Academy. Williams says the Academy handles alternative learning in the best way possible, with qualified teacher supervision and as part of a traditional education program.

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