Teaching the young

by Sayraphim on July 28, 2009

So yesterday was my second day of doing a Grad Dip in Primary School Teaching. I want to become an art teacher for kids. I’m really looking forward to it, every time they talk to us about curriculum in the lectures, my eyes widen at the thought of teaching this to children. I love it! I love the idea of helping them learn all of these subjects. But closet to my heart is art.

The Grad Dip is a general course, teaching the 100 or so students how to be a regular Primary School teacher, teaching all the usual subjects, maths, English, science, humanities, so I figure that I just have to do some extra curricular studies to keep pace with what I’m learning but from an art related angle. So yesterday I took out a couple of books from the library about being an art teacher and what to teach and I’m reading them every chance I can get.

One of our assignments for Humanities is to go on excursion with a couple of other students to an excursion venue of our choice. Then we come back and during Expo Day we make a stall and report on it to everyone else who in turn have gone to other places and will tell us all about it. We’ve chosen Soverign Hill, which I haven’t been to since I was a child. As well as the photographs, teaching resources, posters and fliers we’ll bring back from our day into History, I also want to plan out a couple of art related activities you could set the children. As an art teacher would teach across all years, I want to come up with a couple of different art-related tasks that different ages could do.

There is lots of teaching related learning (how to be a teacher, how to teach) and a number of these are obviously across the board techniques, so they’ll stand the student teachers in good stead whether they want to be a PE or art teacher or a general Primary School teacher. One of the things we were set as homework to do was read this article by Sir Ken Robinson. It talks about how creativity is neglected in society and especially in education, and how that needs to change. He wrote a book about it, which I went and bought from amazon. The link in down in a new section called Teacher Resources on your left.

When I first thought about going into teaching, I went and looked for blogs to let me know what it was going to be like, and dishearteningly, I found very little out there. It seems that a couple of people wanted to keep blogs as to what it was like

I think that he’s right that the education system doesn’t seem to foster or even appreciate creativity as it did/does subjects that are more ‘intellectual’. It does seem to me, however, that Robinson uses ‘creativity’ and ‘artistic’ interchangeably and I don’t agree that they’re the same thing. Creativity is about thinking outside the box, coming up with new ways of thinking about things, and that has applications right across the board. To invent new things, come up with new ideas and theories, you need to think creatively about a problem. You can’t invent something by following the same path as those who have gone before. Somewhere you have to turn left or right and forge a new path. And that requires creativity.

It’s a huge change but it’s really exciting!

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