Sunday, 8 October 2017

Art Creates Equality

Over the holidays I have been putting my students art on their blogs for them. As I was doing this it dawned on me that the art I was looking at was so special and different for every student. I also recognised there was no right or wrong in their art. How can you judge a child's art? What makes one painting better than the other?

The art below is inspired by either sunrise or sunset on the ocean. The children used crayon and dye to create their paintings.We looked at many designs and I modelled a few for the children. The first is from a student who is sitting well above in all curriculum areas.

The next is from a student who is struggling in all academic areas....apart from art!

The next is from a student who is right where they should be according to National Standards. 

When I look at these paintings there is no top, middle and bottom. There is just beauty. This is why I firmly believe that artistic expression is so important for students. It lays the very foundation of creativity, to allow children to think outside the proverbial box.

If children have practice thinking creatively now, it will come naturally to them in their future careers. For young children drawing, painting or sculpting in class helps develop visual-spatial skills. I have seen it bring out perseverance in some students who were challenged and frustrated but I would not let them give up. Funnily enough I noticed the students who find the core curriculum subjects the easiest, were the ones who got the most frustrated. These students had their confidence tested, whilst the students who struggle daily with Reading or Writing managed to cope more calmly with the art assignment. I loved seeing their confidence shine through. The smiles on their faces. The look of pure joy when it came time to share their art and talk about it.

I understand that the art my Year 3 students are doing is modelled by myself first, so there are similarities that cannot be ignored. However, every student always manages to bring their own uniqueness to their work. Watching my students focus, some with tongues slipping out of their mouths, made me smile. To be able to focus is vital for learning in class as well as doing a job later in life.

As we do art in class I often play classical music. At first I got laughter and giggles from my students, as they tend to like rap and hip hop. But after awhile the music took over and a sense of calmness would wash over the classroom. I would explain that the music they are listening to is art in their ears. This would bring many laughs, but one day I hope my students look back with fondness on their time spent in my classroom and remember all the artistic expression I tried to introduce to them.

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