Art and Science

Student with magnifying glassWe see Art and Science as the two fundamental ways of understanding the world. One of them emphasizes the human, personal, creative, and cultural; the other develops reasoned, universal, exact, and evidence-based perspectives. These are not two different areas of study; they are two methods of study, often contradictory and often puzzling. By making them an explicit part of what we do as a school, we are insisting that both kinds of perspectives are important to our students and to our whole society.

Science is knowledge that comes from making careful distinctions between one thing and another. It is dispassionate and reflective, and it attempts to remove the observer from the thing being observed. The natural and physical sciences are based on a particular kind of knowledge, from measurable sensory experience and direct experimentation. A scientific attitude, however, can be applied much more broadly to any kind of activity.

Student artworkArt is skillful and creative expression that comes from the deep awareness, perception, and understanding of the individual. It does not remove the observer at all; without the unique lens of the artist, art cannot exist. Art reflects the sometimes complex and contradictory heart of a culture. It relies on feelings, impressions, and personal associations, reaching out to its audience in surprising ways. An artistic attitude can play a role in anything students undertake.

We think that human beings live constantly in both of these worlds, the world of knowledge and the world of expression. It is a mistake to think that we can separate them. Our greatest teachers have demonstrated an equal facility in both of these worlds. Albert Einstein once told us, "Imagination is more important than knowledge," and he was in a position to know, for his imagination had produced the most revolutionary knowledge of an entire century, and one with highly portentous effects on life. We hope that by balancing knowledge with a more sensitive personal awareness we can educate students who will prefer to heal than to destroy.

The Children's School of Art and Science offers its students an experience of wholeness in their learning process.