In the course of teaching students with diverse learning needs, in both elementary and high school, I discovered that various art forms engaged students and helped them express emotions and ideas, which then allowed them to have more confidence in themselves and their ability to learn. Because of the aims and vision of the McGill Faculty of Education, and my experiences, we have united in bringing about the P. Lantz Initiative for Excellence in the Arts and Education.
We live in a world focused on the sciences, mathematics and technology. It therefore becomes increasingly important to bring in the arts to develop, as a counterbalance, empathy, tolerance and compassion. Two of the world’s greatest geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci, scientist, artist and inventor, and Albert Einstein, scientist, violinist and pianist, saw great value in the arts. Einstein told a friend “…the gift of imagination has meant more to me than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge.” Only humans can create art and have always done so, beginning with cave paintings, carving flutes and other musical instruments, making tools and using art to record their culture. I am pleased that DISE is contributing to the expanding world view of art by supporting the arts in education. Having read the letters from the Award recipients, I am confident that the arts will thrive in their classrooms. Art is an inspirational way to experience the world and we must not neglect it.
-Pauline Lantz, Donor