TEACHER CORNER | Impact of Special Program in Visual Arts (SPA Curriculum)

by David A. Caballero, Jr. 
Master Teacher I
Camarines Sur National High School, Naga City

In psychology there is a proposition that human intelligence can be divided or classified into at least seven types. These are the identified intelligences: visual-spatial, bodily kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic and logical-mathematical. All persons have these seven intelligences but at varying degrees of competence.

Individuals tend to have higher aptitude in at least one of these intelligences. This concept is also known as the Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence. Howard Gardner is a professor of psychology in Harvard who proposed the theory in 1991 as a means of understanding the learning abilities of students, thereby allowing tailor-made curricula in schools.

The Special Program for Visuals Arts (SPA) is one of the skill-oriented programs in public schools, which are based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory. The SPA recognizes the need for instructions that would encourage artistic pursuits and help further improve artistic talents.

This program is focused on the visual-spatial intelligence of student but with particular emphasis on the visual arts. These include painting, sketching and graphic designing. Recruiting talented students in the SPA program create long-lasting impact on the lives of these students. The program can help them focus on their passion and make them more skillful in their craft.

In terms of impact on the lives of the students who are selected in the SPA, nothing could be overstated. However, it is safe to say that all of those who have undergone trainings under the program would have been less accomplished and self-fulfilled if they were never selected.

The SPA provides wide range of opportunities that have impact not only on the artistic skills of the students but more importantly on their sense of self-esteem and identity. Many young students in high school are unable to figure out clear direction and purpose in their lives because they do not have the focus and encouragement to pursue their passions. The SPA provides all these and much more.

Many of those who are selected as part of the SPA-Visual Arts later continue to pursue art-related careers not only as painters but also as graphic artists, architects, engineers, commercial artists, web designers, animators and book or comic illustrators, etc. Some become entrepreneurs, starting businesses that are related to art or graphic designs. Others pursue higher learning by majoring in fine arts.

It is not a matter of livelihood or job security but also a sense of worth that the special program for Visual Arts is able to impart but an overall sense of purpose for the students who are enrolled in it.