Advocacy & Policy

NAEA Position Statement on the 4C’s (Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity)

[Adopted March 2022]

NAEA recognizes that the 4C’s – Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity - are fundamental to visual arts education. NAEA believes that it is important that all learners leave school prepared with the skills and knowledge to address the challenges that await them. The 4C’s are frequently included in local and national educational policies as important skills to develop for post-secondary education, future employability, and active citizenship. NAEA believes that participating in a visual arts education provides opportunities for all learners to build their skills and capacity for the 4C’s as part of a complete 21st century education and to shape their human potential.

NAEA believes that a comprehensive visual arts education is integral for success in college, the workforce, and beyond, as stated within the NAEA Position Statements on the Impact of Visual Arts Workforce Development:

  • Visual arts education develops skills of deeper understanding and divergent thinking while also playing a vital role in cultivating collaboration, communication, critical thinking, curiosity, innovation, and problem solving, additional key competencies desired by employers. Visual arts education also develops emotional intelligence, the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.


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