Bringing Creativity Back into Education

I think one of the main things we can do as educators is to be open to the creativity that comes naturally out of the children right in front of us. In CA, I see lots of teachers, who, not having an arts education themselves are not sensitive to what is a valuable teaching resource right in front of them. I know that it’s difficult to be more spontaneous and open in the midst of top down, dictated curriculum, especially in CA, but I see lots of natural creativity in kids every day. Can we teach teachers how to be aware of this energy? Can we teach them how to identify, and redirect kids, creative energy?

This kind of turns the problem around and can become an opportunity. Are we, as teachers open to what the students offer? Can we take what comes out of them and create a pathway for that creativity in them?

This is especially true in the middle and high schools now, where technological natives are now maturing. As they grow, they will continue to change the landscape of learning on their own. It’s up to us, the older generation(s) that have to adapt to their world.

Can we be prepared in the moment and have the personal and professional tools at hand to offer them, in an instant, a way to express their creativity, the way that they are now used to.

For my projects, I went to Pinterest and typed in art and science. Pinterest came back with two categories and hundreds of projects and experiments that combine art and science.\

A couple of my own are:

Using 3D colored objects and shapes to explain science, math and art. This is a very basic skill, like playing with building blocks, but if you take it further it can be used to explain Geometry, architecture, structural engineering, etc.

One of the Pinterest projects was putting a paint brush into a compass, dipping it in different color paints and creating with it. You could also do this with sponges that you cut into shapes.

My primary, go to art/science exercise is teaching kids to draw these same shapes, and then showing them how to draw their science homework. It works really well.

Check out these links, they are very simple, more for elementary kids, but they can be expanded upon.

Another art/science exercise that connects to nature is to either create a collage from leafs that fall of the trees or by taking leafs and using them as stencils to paint with. This can be tied in to earth science lesson and the like.

There are a thousand of these types of exercises for kids to create with.