Earth’s new colony on Mars is thriving. So successful is it that babies have been born; the first generation of Martians. Our attention now turns to the education of these children. An opportunity exists to critically assess existing models and create a new curriculum for a new planet.

Looking at the focus of our current education models shows an increasing emphasis on goal orientated teaching; the desired outcomes are to produce people for the workforce. However, while a job is necessary why is there an increasing imbalance between external wants and internal needs? Why are bullying and mental health problems so common amongst our young people? It seems that this job centered focus falls short of satisfying our emotional requirements.

Evidence points to the Arts and in particular Art without emphasis on performance to offer solutions. However, Art Departments are notoriously undervalued, as employment in the Arts is considered unreliable. We need to understand the difference between mental disposition and mental states; what emotions are, where they come from and how to cope with the outcomes of our belief driven desires through learning the skills to express expression. If Art creates forms symbolic of human feelings, then our education systems need to increase their investment in imparting emotional knowledge.

If we value emotional knowledge and the enrichment this brings to all facets of people’s lives, then the Arts need to be elevated from their current status of ‘optional extras’ in our curricula. After all, with an increase in emotional awareness comes greater empathy for ourselves and others and accompanying caring for all creatures, great and small.