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Saturday Art Class
Social Emotional Learning through Art
Sir Ken Robinson, Educator
Mumbai’s government schools serve 3.11 Lakh children from low income backgrounds, who are likely facing adversities and are in need of holistic education
- Children from low-income communities in India, often grow up witnessing realities that no child should. This includes (but is not limited to) large amounts of violence, strife, unhealthy conflict and lifestyles, illness and may even take on financial burdens. These external and internal stresses leave a significant impact on the child’s ability to grow and negotiate life.
- Schools do not help children to deal with these stresses, make decisions or negotiate the real life challenges that lie before them. While Academic Education is addressed, we feel skills to negotiate “real life” or Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a major void, in a country with more traditional pedagogy and curricula.
- The above problem is compounded by developmental delays due to poverty. Children growing up in poverty are known to suffer from poor cognitive abilities (e.g. find it difficult to pay attention in class), poor information processing (e.g. find it difficult to comprehend information taught), poor emotion regulation, neuropsychological difficulties and behavioural issues. These issues are characterised by W.H.O. as the “failure to thrive.”
- To combat the effects of their adversities and developmental delay, children need to be taught specific skills to help them cope with situations, make decisions, process and retain information and respond to peers. SEL facilitates precisely these skills in children and prepares them to better absorb their academic education and respond to internal/ external challenges in their life outside of the classroom too!
Thus, in response to these issues, we developed Saturday Art Class.
Saturday Art Class is a school based intervention working to fill the void of both Social Emotional Learning and Art Education that exists in government and affordable private schools (APS) and shelter homes. Saturday Art Class programme has found a way to marry critical learning outcomes from both these domains to deliver holistic education to children from low income communities, through a medium that all can relate to and express themselves in i.e. ART.