Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Are our kindergarten robbing our children of creativity?

As an educator and an artist seeing posters like this in a KINDERGARTEN room breaks my heart ... this was shared by a parent in a group on Facebook with a parent questioning her child's kindergarten teachers use of this chart and sending home coloring and art work with 'star' ratings on it based on following these 'rules'.

 In my opinion when we draw/colour/paint we follow our heart and do what we are feeling there is no right or wrong with art ... it is not something that should be pass or fail or 'graded' with stars unless one is older and taking a professional 'art class' and has already developed a strong sense of artistic expression and is looking to take a class that critics and takes their art to next level professionalism!

Staying “in the lines” is developmental skill and children will be motivated to do that and increase their fine motor skills on their own with practice there is no need for “shaming” they by awarding star points to their efforts! There if you've ever watch a sun rise or set there is not 'right' color for the sun it contains ALL the color spectrum's!

Sometimes I am feeling angry and I just want to scribble or throw my paint around when doing art and that’s OK it’s still art and self expression!

All preschool and primary school teachers should be required to read this story during their teaching practicum before being thrust into practice and REMEMBER what it means to explore ones creativity in mediums like colouring and drawing and painting! 

While I totally get that in certain circumstances you need to be able to have your pupils show understanding of 'true' when it comes to representational depiction or retelling of a story it is not developmentally appropriate curriculum to expect all children do this and 'grade' them with stars accordingly in KINDERGARTEN - what a way to turn children off learning as well as artistic expression when we use ART mediums to test this. 

It is one thing to have a 'goal' for children to be able to color within the lines, to show their understanding of colors and to follow directions when creating HOWEVER it is another to 'test' them on it or publicly make charts that shame them if they cannot yet do it.

As educators I also get that FAR TOO OFTEN our administration sets out expectations for us that are not 'realistic' however I guess I am one of those educators who would do my damnedest to 'educate the admin on developmentally appropriate practice' verses embracing what I know to potentially do more damage than benefit to children in my charge ... so sure I am going to encourage children to practice fine motor skills so they can master staying in the lines and sure I want them demonstrating understanding retelling of popular stories but there are BETTER ways that THIS style chart! 

When we KNOW better we should DO better ... it is time for educators to look past the way we 'used' to do things like these behaviour reward charts and focus on teaching to the child, meeting them were they are at and inspiring them to be life long learners who want to build on their skills and knowledge because it fills their internal cup not for some 'external reward or fear of punishment' system! I challenge us all when we come across these 'old school' practices to question and dig deeper about is there a 'better' way to seek the outcomes we need to meet admins demands while still keeping children's love of learning and creative expression alive? 

I love this second imagery someone shared in response to this first one  in the comments - kudos to the original teacher hopefully more will follow suit! Be the change in education we want to see!


Be inspired
Live well, Laugh often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life