Science vs. arts – how do we choose which is right for our children?

The debate over which is more important - arts or sciences, is one of these eternal and never-ending battles. It will most probably stay this way since there will always be opinions on both. Today we are going to look at the “science or arts” debate from a very important point of view – the parenting one.

How do we choose if our kids should be more focused on arts or sciences? Does this choice in our kids’ early years define what they will do in the future and if they will thrive better in their lives?

Truth is that the answer is that both are beneficial to our children. Let’s dig deeper!

What are arts and sciences?

The word science derives from the Latin word “scientia” – which means knowledge. As such, science is often described as a theory of knowledge. Obtaining greater knowledge in science is done by exchanging ideas and testing different methods and theories.

Arts, on the contrary, comes from the Latin word “ars”, meaning a skill or a craft. An artist is often seen to use the application of knowledge to accentuate human expression in various different ways and using his/her own creative methods.


Are we naturally more drawn to either the sciences or arts?

There is a strong stereotype assuming that scientists are a bit rigid and less artistic than most people. The same stereotype thinking also sees artists as being less rational than the rest of us. We are also very used to believing the theory that the left side of the brain versus the right side of the brain holds all the answers on the more logical thinking and behavior versus a more artistic and creative mindset.

Neuroscience, though, has already shown that everyone uses both sides of the brain when performing any task. And while certain patterns of brain activity have sometimes been linked to artistic or logical thinking, it doesn’t really explain who is good at what – and, most importantly, why.


Why are the sciences and arts so important (for children)?

Objectively speaking, both artistic and scientific encounters are equally important for children, especially in their early development as they both provide different tools and instruments for kids to utilize later on in their everyday decision-making tasks.

Science stimulates the analytical and logical base of the brain. It tends to increase the investigative and enquiring side of the brain as well. Science stimulates critical thought and logical reasoning and thus makes us more prone to looking at the world through an analytical lens.  

Arts encourage the “aesthetic” side of the brain. It helps young people develop important leadership skills such as decision making, strategy building, planning, etc. The arts develop the confidence and identity of the children to bravely use these skills in real life situations of all kinds.


Why combine arts and sciences for our children?

Michele and Robert Root-Bernstein, international creativity experts and co-authors of "Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People", talk in this short video about their research and how innovation, scientific creativity and the arts intersect.

When referring to our children‘s early development, contemporary theories firmly say that both arts and science are equally important and beneficial for kids’ brains. What comes out as a result of using both approaches for solving a problem or deciding on a strategy, is pure magic. That exact magical spark helps children grow up as confident and capable beings and will help them to become successful and happy adults.

“The greatest scientists are artists as well”

Albert Einstein