Saturday, August 28, 2010

How to be Creative?

I have a question to ask... an opinion of sorts.  I remember my sister telling me about her eldest son's kindergarten teacher telling him how to draw a person.  She told him that the head looks like "this" and the body looks like "this,"  The legs look like "this," and so and and so forth.  My sister's argument was that you need to let the child use his or her own personal creativity to draw the picture.  How does he or she think a person looks? 

Here is what happened to us.  Hoss and I volunteered yesterday (Friday) in Little H's kindergarten class.  We were helping them decorate gingerbread cookies.  It was fun.  Many of the kids asked me how they should decorate it.  I told them to use their imagination.  I said, "How do you think it should look?"  Then they would start putting on the allotted candies etc.  After the cookies were decorated, we went in to help the kids get settle down to eat their creations.  While half of the class was decorating their cookies, the other half colored a picture of a cutout of a gingerbread man (then they would swap when the first group was finished with the cookies).  Okay, here is where I find the conflict....

I went in to see the teacher instructing the kids on how they have to color their gingerbread man.  She said, "Remember how I colored my gingerbread man?  Put his eyes right here (she pointed to where they go on the head)...."  She proceeded to tell the kids how his clothes should be, and exactly where every feature of the gingerbread man should be.  This is where I was concerned.  Just like my sister.  I don't want my child to grow up thinking that art has to be "a certain way."  It is your creation, so why not own it!?  

I love art.  I paint, and I use other forms of medium to create art.  Is it wrong to tell a child how exactly to draw something...not letting them express themselves?  I am seriously wondering if I should mention this to my child's teacher.  Any time Little H has asked how to draw something, I have asked her how she thinks it should look?  Then I usually prompt, "well, does it have a head... eyes... nose... mouth?"  I let her choose where to put any, if any of it.

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  1. I think your idea makes a lot of sense. The children should be allowed to think and choose for themselves. It will help them develop creativity.

  2. It did bother me when his perception was altered because I really liked the cute little men my oldest boy used to draw. Looking back I don't really think it was an art lesson but a creative way to teach more about the human body. And then there is the part where the kids have to learn to follow directions and do things in a certain order because that is the beginnings of learning mathmatics, reading, and writing. I totally understand your feelings but once I realized the bigger picture I was totally okay with it. (Because you know there were probably kids who didn't know where to put the eyes and what not.)

    Anyway, good read. Sure love ya!

  3. Yeah, I can see where you are coming from. I will not be rash.. I try to not be (it does not always work--I am usually immediately rash in my mind). I will have many opportunities to volunteer, and I am sure I will understand more of the lessons that are planned.

    It is still bothering me a little bit. I have always been a bit of a rebel. When I was supposed to make something a certain way, I would, and do always change at least one thing to make it different. I'm not sure where I got this hard-headed need to prove myself. :)


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