“You must train your children to their studies in a playful manner and without any air of constraint with the further object of discerning more readily the natural bent of their respective characters”- Plato
The development of a child into an adult, the simultaneous growth and development that the child is subject to in the formal educational spectrum is very important. Education, in fact, is not separable from our social policy as a whole, with this aspect in mind and holding all the other gathered information in chapters 1 and 2 one fall backs to the question of – The Place of Art in Education.
Though not ignoring the fact that a child is constantly and repeatedly exposed to the modes of art in the early stages to articulate the knowledge needed, but in the later stages of a child’s life art diminishes in a very faint manner as to not mention its actual importance. In the very initial stages of education art is proclaimed as a very profound mode to hinge into a child, every aspect of what has been taught or what has to be taught will somehow or the other rest on the beauty of art. Though when looked upon the way the schools articulate the knowledge of art it widely varies, in regard to how intensely the subject (art) has been delivered and made received (A teacher does not finish his/her job by just delivering the needed knowledge into a child but equally holds the responsibility on how each and every individual has received and dissolved the knowledge given to them.)
We live in a society, whether suitable or not, that we all possess the ability to put forth our views on the way a system has been created. Education as said is a system to nourish, groom and ‘make fit’ an individual in the space of the society we live in. Education should make a person what he/she is and at the same time chisel him/her in the accordance to the system that we all live in. With so much said and done about the society and the demands that the society and the world that we live in has for us, we need to constantly strike a balance between the society and the creative urge within ourselves. That is to say that, we need to constantly bring in life to our creative urges and growth, not to forget that we need to also contribute that little something to the society-the place that we live in.
The development stages that every individual possess throughout their lifespan varies and also converges with the others at some point of time. The dimension and the differences in the way it varies and converges make a lot of difference in the life of an individual. Every individual has a unique way of learning and constructing the learnt in their sense of understanding of what has been delivered, weather done by a teacher or a peer or by any other source, the child dissolves the ‘given’ in a way that he/she would receive and digest in their understanding. Exploring is the process that starts off at the very beginning, understanding what has been explored is a phase where the guidance makes its entry from; in any case the way the understanding takes place within an individual depends and widely varies from each individual. Like I mentioned earlier things vary and converge, its how the teacher/peer grooms this into an individual and it’s also the way the individual ‘chooses’ to understand and articulate the given, taken and the explored.
Children as subtle, fragile, delicate, mild and refined, they need the individual care and attention in the right way to make a finely tuned individual. Schools act as the educational parameters in the society. The kind of nourishment that every individual possess through this parameter is very important. It’s the early years of a child that makes or breaks a child, weather in context to personality or the psychological development that occurs gradually over a period of time, it is very important how well its been molded and received.
Education in a majority is being received by the mode of schooling, with the amount of children who get the education, most of the rural children are sent to the ‘Government Schools’. Now when one tries to introspect the quality of the education given and received is not very satisfying. Art in this place of learning is not a very important mode, though it’s been used as a threshold for the students to make their entry into education. That is to say that art is used as a medium to communicate the basics from images to lessons; it is used as a bridge to communication. However, in the later stages of education art almost diminishes and takes a back seat in the ‘normal’ curriculums that the school offers. The reason behind such ignorance can be a cause of the way the teacher’s equipment with the knowledge in art and education.
However, there are places where the training program for teachers is provided. Wherein the teachers are molded with a lot of creative energy supply and are directed and refined in the way a child has to be molded in a creative way (In simple language creative education)
• The India Foundation of the Arts (IFA)
• Goethe Institute/Max Mueller Bhavan- The advanced training programme “Kali-Kalisu” (Learning and Teaching) initiated by the Goethe-Institute/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore in collaboration with the India Foundation for the Arts (IFA), is committed to the promotion of cultural education, especially arts education in Indian schools. A series of 20 workshops will train art teachers in the South Indian state of Karnataka in art education and creative methods. [R-1]
• Bharath Gayan Vigyan- Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS) or ‘Indian Organization for Learning and Science’ is a National Organization with units in 23 states, 350 districts with 300,000 volunteers in more than 10,000 villages. Our activists are from varied background, like school and college teachers, engineers, doctors, bureaucrats, peasant, workers, youths and students, both women and men. BGVS strives to empower people for their rights through Science and Knowledge. [R-2]
• Attakkalari- Established in 1992, Attakkalari is a registered, public charitable trust formed by artistes from different disciplines to help create contexts for contemporary movement arts. Attakkalari has facilitated the development of an enhanced and extensive programme that includes national and international Platforms for Exchange and Performance; Strategic movement and Digital Arts development; Research and documentation; new performance works by the Attakkalari Repertory; a Diploma in Movement Arts and Mixed Media; and Education and Outreach programmes. As an umbrella organization, Attakkalari provides dynamic leadership and makes strategic intervention to stimulate the growth of a vibrant contemporary performing arts scene in the country. [R-3]
• Ananya- Ananya is a non-profit cultural orginazation established for promoting, propagating and nurturing the varied cultural art forms of India. It is located in Malleswara – a suburb of Bangalore known for its cultural patronage. [R-4]
These are a few places where culture and development, and other training programs are conducted for the teachers and other individuals who wish to grasp the knowledge in art and other creative development. It helps the teachers to mould (themselves) and articulate creativity to the students through the mode of education. Education in these Government Schools are provided as just a basic literacy, the above mentioned places try to blend this concept into learning and to make growing a creative process.
The next set of schools is the ‘The Private and the Public schools’ which are spread in a large number. The children who attend this type of schooling come from the middle class families; therefore a majority of the crowd goes to this section of schooling. Art education here is at its maximum swing in the early stages; gradually it takes a back seat. Which is to say that by the time the child reaches the class of 7th, 8th and 9th art is mostly conceived by the students, -that is to say that most of the art activities’ are mostly done by the child’s interest alone it is not taken as important as the main subjects it just becomes a leisure activity which is mostly by the interest of the child. Although not ignoring the fact that these schools carry out a lot of creative activities during the early stages of education. The children here are mainly driven to excel in the final state exams, they are constantly pushed to excel and shine at it. The problem lies here, where education is just taken as a rat race, where the individuals are not given a space to reach unto their creative urges and explore themselves in the process of learning.
The quality of education offered at the ‘International Schools’ vary in a great degree compared to the others. The students who attend this kind learning are mainly from the elite background, for to afford this kind of an education luxury is beyond the budget of many families. In these schools the children are undoubtedly exposed to a lot of creative activities. The subjects which are taught here are collaborated with art. The curriculum that these set of schools follow is of the international standard. Learning art here is not kept aside as a leisure activity it is dissolved into the other subjects of learning. Therefore making and giving the time and space for every individual to explore and expand their creative urges through the other subjects that they learn.
When one looks into the whole spectrum of the ‘created systems’ that ‘we’ are compelled to follow, weather by chance or by a choice is a thing to be introspected and analyzed!! With so much talk about education one begins to analyze the question of ‘what’s the purpose of this kind of a created system of education?’ The answer is simple and lies within itself, most of the people are educated to earn a living and that’s the very basic need of every individual. The kind of jobs and subjects that offer this kind of a promising job and money (in a wide sense, and a majority scale) is everything else except for the art and the other creative fields. Fine arts and many other creative fields may not give a promising job or money. Therefore education has somehow become a source of living (equating education and source of income). Education system itself has a hierarchy in the subjects they teach.
Putting all these aspects together one can notice that ‘Education’ and ‘Creativity’ are taken as two different sources and flavors in the spectrum of learning. They are not concerted to make one. Education is taken more as an investment to make money and creative fields don’t always fit itself into this group. This may be one reason for our ‘system’ to run in this rat race of money life, where creativity goes behind the scenes most of the time. The management at the schools/any educational intuitions should have at least one creative person to provoke and stir up the monotonous learning into a more exited and a creative one. This does not deprive any individual of their creative learning and helps them explore themselves.
Every individual at some point or the other of their lifespan begin to explore themselves and reason out things which are mostly beyond the empirical evidences that is offered. Creativity and creative learning has to be triggered into an individual at the very early stages of their life to make them more sensitive and tactile in anything they do. Centuries ago ‘Plato’ had stated in his thesis that ‘art should be the basis for education’, though it has not been taken into account, art has been treated as a subject of leisure.
“Children may be linked to a handful of seeds from many flowers. At first they may seem more similar than different many respects. Place these seeds in the earth and nourish them. As they grow and mature their differences become marked. Some remain small and delicate while others are large and brilliant, some bloom early and some late. One thing they may have in common: under good conditions they all bloom and have their own beauty” – Edward L. Mattil.