It’s been a while since I’ve done a round-up of creativity and education resources, and since a few pieces of interestingness have crossed my desk this week, I wanted to take a minute to share these great resources with you!
I hope you enjoy them and that they give you some food for thought. And if you’ve spotted any great articles that you think I should know about, please let me know about them in a comment!
Youth Arts Month
Did you know that March is National Youth Art Month? According to the National Art Education Association, “Youth Art Month is an annual observance every March to emphasize the value of art education for all youth and to encourage support for quality school art programs.”
This post on ArtsBlog from Kristen Engebretson of Americans for the Arts has some helpful Youth Arts Month links. For anyone interested in the intersection of the arts and early childhood, later this month (March 18-22), ArtsBlog will host a Blog Salon about early childhood education, and I’ve been invited to chime in with some thoughts on the the value of process over product in the early years. More on that in a couple weeks!
How will you celebrate Youth Arts Month?
Here are a few ideas:
- Sit down and make some art with your child.
- Subscribe to School Arts Magazine. If you’re a teacher or homeschooler, this is one of the best magazines on the topic. When I was a teacher, I always looked forward to finding this in my mailbox.
- If the arts are limited in your child’s school, can you advocate for more? Is there anything you can do to give the arts a bigger presence in your child’s learning?
- Set up a self-serve creativity zone in your home.
- Pin the image (above) and help spread the word that it’s Youth Art Month
- Order a copy of Jean Van’t Hul’s inspiring and soon-to-be released book, The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity
- Thank you child’s art teacher/s for their hard work and commitment toward making the arts a relevant and meaningful part of your child’s education.
- Look at real art with your child. Here are some of my favorite tips for facilitating arts-based conversations with children: 5 Easy Steps for talking with Children about Art
Stephen Round: Resignation Letter
Have you seen this compelling video of Stephen Round submitting his letter of resignation to the Providence, Rhode Island School District? Since he resigned in December, 2012 it’s gone viral and has been viewed over 400,000 times.
Round was a second grade teacher and resigned because he found that his school was so focused on standardized testing as a measure of student achievement that it missed the point of raising children to become lifelong learners, which is at the heart of his teaching philosophy. Stephen’s story isn’t a new one, but his heartfelt letter is worth watching if you care about how teachers can find their own unique and creative voice in a public school system that’s caught under the net of standardized testing.
My oldest child enters kindergarten this Fall and stories like this have me on edge about sending her to public school. If teachers like this are resigning, school boards and parents need to pay close attention.
What do you think?
Big C and little c Creativity
Have you heard of “Big C” and “little c” Creativity?”
There’s a fascinating study on creative and education that’s just emerging from the Learning Research Institute at California State University San Bernardino.
Nurturing the Next Van Gogh? Start With Small Steps
From the article:
“Kaufman and Beghetto suggest teachers should meet unexpectedness with curiosity. Rather than shutting down a potentially creative solution to a problem, explore and evaluate it. What seems like a tangent could actually help other students think about the problem in a different way.
They also note that part of incorporating creativity is helping students to read the situation. There’s a time and a place for a creative solution and kids need to learn when it’s appropriate to take the intellectual risk. They should also learn that there’s a cost to creativity; it takes effort, time, and resources and depending on the problem the most creative solution may not make sense.”
Self-Doubt Kills Creativity
This is an interesting read for any of us grown-ups who consider ourselves creative, but find that self-doubt holds us back from pursuing creative ideas. And it’s also a reminder of how important it is to encourage a child’s creative ideas without judgement.
This article from Psych Central is full of ten actionable strategies for pulling yourself out of a self-doubt funk: 10 Ways to Overcome Creativity’s Number 1 Crusher
From the article:
“Self-doubt can persuade us to stop creating or keep us from sending our work out into the world. It can be so influential that it colors how we see ourselves, ensuring we don’t pick up a pen, paintbrush, camera or other tool for decades.”
Note: There may be affiliate links in this article, but I only share links to resources that I love and/or think you’ll find useful.
Thank you for all the wonderful links! I can’t believe I hadn’t seen that video before. Had to share it with everyone I knew. It’s so frustrating to watch real learning leaving so many of our schools.
Hi Chelsey! I hadn’t seen it either and had the same thought, but then there are only a gazillion videos floating around YouTube these days! It’s so frustrating. One of the benefits of living where we do is that our schools are “good,” but testing is still an issue, even in the good schools. I just hope that my kids can be resilient to it.
Lovely! Thank you for the links. This is exactly why I love your site so much. I’ve been taking the MIT Learning Creative Learning class, and I bet that you will enjoy the readings and videos here:
Thanks for sharing the link. Although I’ve long known about the open courses at MIT, I’ve never taken one there. Isn’t that a gift?! It looks like a great class and I’m bookmarking it for when I have a little more time — it’s right up my alley!
Hi Rachelle! I absolutely love your site – we share the same passions for sure!
I have seen that video of Stephen Round.. what is interesting is that I learned about it through Trevor Eissler’s facebook page. Trevor is a huge Montessori advocate (he wrote Montessori Madness).. apparently Stephen was offered a Montessori teacher training scholarship. It implied that he took the opportunity as the post said that he visited and observed a Montessori classroom and that it was ‘a school [he] would be proud to teach in and a school [he’d] recommend to any parent..’
Off to check out that MIT link!
THanks for all that you do in sharing great ideas !
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