Shrinking arts education is hitting science and medicine too, experts warn

The decline of arts subjects in schools is not only impacting the creative industries, but is also having a damaging effect on sectors such as science and medicine, an education charity has warned. The Stage reports.

Experts are claiming that some science students lack the “tactile general knowledge” that can be gained from creative learning, despite exhibiting high exam grades.

Education charity the Edge Foundation has published a report claiming the narrow academic curriculum offered by the government’s English Baccalaureate is “not fit for purpose to tackle a 21st-century economy”.

The charity’s chief executive, Alice Barnard, said the government was simply “paying lip service” to the importance of the arts but contracting this with policy.

Roger Kneebone, who is professor of surgical education at Imperial College London, warned the loss of creative skills among medical and science students had become a concern among his scientific colleagues.

He said: “We have students who have very high exam grades, but lack the tactile general knowledge – they struggle even to perform chemistry experiments.

“An example is of a surgeon needing some dexterity and skill in sewing or stitching. It can be traced back to the sweeping out of creative subjects from the curriculum. It is an important and an increasingly urgent issue.”

Read more Shrinking arts education is hitting science and medicine too, experts warn

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