If you’re having a conversation about schools today, you would be discussing competitive exam scores, sports and science projects. Maybe even foreign languages, field trips, and debates. It is quite unlikely for the conversation to steer towards the art curriculum (if there is one) that the school follows. It is likely that art class is that spare hour that teachers use, to finish the syllabus and revise for exams.
As art facilitators for primary and middle school, we have noticed a stark imbalance in the focus given to different subjects in the school curriculum. While academic subjects like math and science are given excessive importance because common perception is that good grades will get one through life, whereas, ironically, creativity is the only way one can survive in today’s world. Subjects like art are sidelined when they, in fact, contribute to the overall growth and development of our personality.
When is it that students begin to steer away from subjects demanding creativity, and limiting themselves to scoring marks?
This means children are missing out on basic skills of problem-solving, visual thinking and creative exploration. Ironically, it is evident that the current job market demands these very skills that are lacking in basic school education. The effects can be seen later in college graduates who are not reaching their full potential in their careers due to inadequate creative thinking skills.
Children walk into school with a natural creative instinct. When (and why) do they lose this childlike originality and begin to adhere to the standards set by the school curriculum? How do we keep that creative spirit alive throughout school and beyond?
This got us thinking..