“All children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up”.
I was listening to a fascinating TED talk the other day by Sir Ken Robinson.
The topic that’s near and dear to his heart?
Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Sir Robinson deep-dives into how the schooling system we’ve inherited today was set up to prepare kids for very linear jobs – the kind where they go to work, do what they are told, take their paycheck, and go home. He argues that today’s workspaces (and to a greater extent today’s “lifespaces*”) no longer function that way.
In real life, we’re not always given clear directives on what to do.
Or how to do it.
Or why we should be doing it.
And even when we are, it’s often our job to assess if what we’re told to do is really what’s right for us.
Or for our employers.
Or for our families.
Or for the world 🌎.
That’s why we need to allow kids to flex and grow their creativity, innovation, and originality skills.
I’m proud to be part of a school that, in my humble opinion**, avoids many of the pitfalls Sir Robinson talks about.
In the Montessorispace***, we are constantly looking for ways to foster a spirit of creativity and ingenuity in our students.
In art and crafts, projects are very open-ended, and process based. Kids are given the freedom of artistic expression when our staff implements these 4 simple rules:
· There is no specific way how a project should end up looking.
· There is no right or wrong way to do it.
· We don’t correct art (how/where they draw, glue, paint, etc).
· The finished product is completely the child’s own work.
You might be asking… Can and should students learn specific artistic skills and processes?
Of course, they should.
But the end product must be theirs and theirs alone.
Think STEM topics have no room for creativity?
In all subjects, students are challenged to come up with their own creative solutions to problems. And the works are “self-correcting” (more on this in a future Moments!) too.
Kids aren’t constantly running to a teacher to see if their creative solution is on a “path” toward solving the problem.
They can discover this on their own and adapt their solutions as needed.
*(Did I make that word up? Lifespaces?? Well, I like it 😉. I think I might patent it)
**Ok maybe I’m a bit biased. Come check it out for yourself and you can be the judge 😏
***All right, you got me, that word is 100% made up.