NPR recently featured a story called Coloring Books and Worksheets: What’s the Value of ‘Staying in the Lines’. It’s a great listen/read if you’re interested in learning more about art education, and the value of giving children the space for creative expression. The following quote stood out to me:
…art education isn’t just about teaching kids how to draw or paint or sculpt. “Part of what we encourage children to do through art is to construct meaning and synthesize their understandings of the world. To engage at a deeper level.”
Or, to put it in coloring book terms: Don’t stay in the lines. Create your own lines.
At St. Thomas, we definitely don’t stay in the lines…in fact, we don’t even stay on paper! Here’s an incredible art experience that Ms. Searfoorce created with our preschool and kindergarten classes earlier this week, turning the physical environment around our school into works of art. When it started raining, our 4-year-olds decorated the covered front walkway. The 1st and 2nd graders extended the art on the back sidewalk, using water and paintbrushes to blend the chalk and experiment with different shading effects.