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The "artistic approach" in Art`Scool
Don Miguel Ruiz
We would like to invite you to take a moment and imagine a learning space filled with wall-to-wall varied art materials. In this space, students are free to express their own way of understanding a certain topic learnt in class as well as their own perception of their surroundings, and in this process, they are able to comprehend and convey their own points of view.
This is our project - "Art`sCool" - a creative learning space in schools, where varied content is learnt through an "artistic approach" that we are developing, which employs imagination, creativity and innovation. That is, the ability to generate ideas that yet to exist in reality, nurture and develop them, as well as to bring them to life.
We have come to this initiative through our great need as teachers and seen that many studies support our intuition and show that arts have a positive effect on the development of learners' cognitive abilities and emotional intelligence. At the moment, we are in a stage of developing in detail our pedagogical artistic approach alongside its theoretical framework.
Studies in Israel's 21st century educational system are based mainly on traditional teaching, in which the teachers' main role is to "transfer" the information to the students through a discourse consisted of the teacher's questions and short factual answers from the students. This process includes memorization, repetition, practice and tests that eventually mostly examine remembering the information.
At the same time, various arts are pushed aside, and so does the artistic thinking which is based on questioning, imagination, creativity, problem solving, coping with challenges and more and gives learners skills that are appropriate for the 21st century. This problem stems from a lack of appreciation of the importance of developing creative thinkers and a lack of creative mediums in schools.
The artistic approach we offer places learners at the center, empowering them with the ability to express themselves and their creativity through the development and enhancement of reflection and reflective thinking, which contributes to their self-formation and preparation for the after-school world by cultivating their abilities and skills and exploiting them in the best possible way.
Moreover, it asks the teacher to reflect on the learning process and gives her the tools and skills she needs to serve her students as mentor, leader and guide.
There are now two methods that are somewhat similar to the approach we offer: PBL and Maker Space. However, our method is unique in the importance and emphasis it places on art, imagination, and introspection in the development of the learner and the desire to direct the students to recognize and express themselves so that the product is not necessity per-se, but rather a means for self- expression.
We dream of a learning space of art and creativity that enables the development of creative thinkers who will aspire to entrepreneurship and innovation and lead Israel, as well as the world to a better future.