Statement from SDEA (Singapore Drama Educators Association) about the Value of Arts Education

For immediate release (23 May 2017)

Students who enter School of the Arts and their parents must know what they are in for. Choosing a secondary school is an important step and most parents are likely to do the research and be aware of the curriculum and culture of the school so they are able to make good informed decisions.

School of the Arts grooms upcoming and budding artists by developing their artistic dispositions, critical thinking and equip them with skills that heighten their creative awareness. These skills are not only the purview of artists, it is transferable to all facets of life.

Having enrolled at 13 years of age, it is only natural that very few students know for certain what they would want to do after graduation at 18 years. Students will only understand the full measure of their strengths through experience and self-development and knowledge about the other options available to them.

The association firmly believes that the process of studying art and making art inspires and shapes people who are imaginative and creative thinkers, able to respond with empathy and sensitivity to the world they live in.  These dispositions should in fact be nurtured in every student in any institution and it is our job as artists and educators to help students on this journey.

Self-development cannot be measured as a KPI - the work is intrinsic and personal to the lives of the students and this is true whether a student develops through learning through the arts or any other discipline. The aim of attending an arts school or a specialised school such as one in maths and science or sports, should not be to churn out numbers to meet an industry need that we may not even be able to project accurately.

The true value of arts education, or any education, is an individual's self-discovery and what he or she will do with it to contribute to society. It is personal and it has an impact that no one else should determine or comment on.

SDEA’s mission is to advance the profession of the drama/theatre educator and advocate for the practice and value of drama and theatre in performance, education and community.

For general media queries, please contact:

Ms Ayda Noor

Communications Executive

Singapore Drama Educators Association

Tel: 6345 6997

Click here for pdf version.


The association was quoted in The Straits Times as saying that 'an arts education will develop artistic disposition and critical thinking, skills that are "transferable to all facets of life"'. (Debate over art school's purpose, ST, 31 May 2017)