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Lesson Plans

Re: Decreased Creativity in Young Children?

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kprs (kprs)
Sun, 24 Aug 1997 08:35:18 -0700

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CMechlingB wrote:
> Greetings Fellow Teachers!
> For a couple months, I've attempted to get a message on the board, so if
> this is a repeat, please excuse.
> I'm a Kindergarten Teacher, where as you may suspect, A LOT of hands-on Arts
> & Crafts activities take place. Having been a kgn. teacher for awhile, I've
> observed the lessening of creativity, and original thinking, in young
> children. To me, this is due in great part, to the increased "visual"
> learning stimulation (TV, Videos, Computer games, etc.) and ready-made "toys"
> of today's lifestyle .
> What are your thoughts on this, being Art Teachers...??
> I'm gaining GREATLY from your ideas and suggestions!!! We had no Art Tea.
> this past year, and who knows what budgets will allow for this yr. I'm
> looking forward to improving the quality of my Arts & Crafts teaching,
> bringing in much higher level of activities. In visiting the Fogg Gallery in
> Cambridge MA this summer, gave me inspiration to get my students into the
> local art galleries more, too.
> THANKS to you all, for your great BB!!
> Caral Mechling Bennett
> Washington, D.C.

I teach high school kids (which has a fair amount of "couch potatoes"
and kids with headsets growing out of their heads), and I would say that
it is dangerous to make a blanket statement about kids losing their
creativity to tv and music. "dangerous" in the sense that if we say it
we might believe it. I think the "creativity" is in there, but they are
intellectually/creatively "lazy" in that those "muscles" (for lack of a
better word) are not being exercised. BUT, and here is where I may
differ, everything you do, and listen to is being stored in your
computer (your mind), and can be called into play aesthetically when you
know how to use it properly. So, for example if a student makes a
thesis statement prior to doing a painting on the roles of women, he may
choose to use images from their TV viewing days, everyone from The Dick
Van Dyke show, past the Partridge Family, including others like Lucille
Ball, Marlo Thomas in That Girl, and Mary/Rhoda. If he were a reader
then he might pick women from books, such as Edith Wartons "Custom of
the Country" or Henry James "Daisy Miller", and if he were muscially
inclined, then the women's image in rock and roll could be explored.

We can not change what kids are interested in, but we can change how
they use that which they are surrounded with. One of our jobs as
teachers is to give our students a different view of what they know, and
help them find within themselves the evaluation tools to be able to
critically evaluate all the stimuli they are being bombarded with.

San D

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