Dr. Ragini | Fine Arts teacher, Sunbeam School, Varanasi
Dr. Ragini has a PhD in Fine Arts (Applied Arts) and has 15years of rich experience in teaching fine arts to students. She has also written multiple articles which have been published in various magazines and journals. Dr. Ragini has received multiple awards and recognitions during her career, which include 2018 IARDO Award for Best Teacher of the Year by IARDO & Gurukul Institute of Engineering and Technology, Kota, 2018 Shiksha Gaurav, National Teacher Award by CED Foundation, New Delhi, and 2018 Drona Award, Honoring the Educators by YS Group, Hyderabad.Dr. Ragini is currently a PGT, Fine Arts teacher at Sunbeam School, Lahartata, Varanasi.
When a child is tired at the end of the day, it’s too easy for them to watch TV or get caught up for hours on social media. Well, sometimes it’s important for a child to go through some brainless activity, but this makes them feel more empty and bored. This is where self-care comes in. It’s all about feeding your soul. For me, its art and teaching. For you, it might be something else. Whether you consider yourself creative or not, kids are creative by nature. As we are all creative, when kids feel out of balance, creative acts can help. Art has been shown to have a calming effect on the brain.
Many of us must have done some kind of repetitive drawings after finishing our science or commerce paper during exams. It’s actually one of the main ways people use art to slow down mind and body, or when they feel anxious and upset. I also enjoy doing this when I’m calm or simply for the joy of making something. A person need not have to be an artist in order to benefit from art. By using colors, lines, shapes, symbols and textures, we can tap into the more creative, imaginative side of a child in order to more effectively solve problems and gain perspective.
Creating an image may be an experience that is relaxing and the images that children choose or create are often their right brain’s way of communicating information like a dream. Through art, children use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills and increase self-esteem.
Art practice requires knowledge of visual art (i.e. drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms) and the creative process as well as of psychological child development. Art helps children develop fine motor skills as they use their hands and tools to draw, paint and sculpt. Art teaches children about cause and effect. ‘What happens when I mix yellow and red?’ Scribbling and drawing form the foundation for later literacy. As young children progress through the stages of scribbling, they learn to make all the shapes in the letters of the alphabet. Art helps children develop problem-solving abilities as they explore new ways to use art materials. ‘How can I build this sculpture taller without it falling down?’ Art is one of the languages of the world. We live in a visual society in which much of what we interact with and learn from, has to be decoded visually. Art can be an effective tool for learning other school subjects (just as verbal and written languages can be ways to learn). Open-ended art is linked to creativity. The ability to think in new ways and to create something new is an especially important skill for the 21st century. Art gives children a voice and allows them to communicate what they are thinking or feeling in a safe way. Art helps hone special skills, including an understanding of pattern and shapes, which are important in other areas of learning. Art encourages observational skills and helps children notice details in the world around them. Art is fun. A child who is having fun is an engaged and happy child, which in turn helps him learn better.
A highly effective art teacher is the one who commits to being a lifelong learner. Stay informed about innovations in arts education by reading arts education magazines, periodicals, journals and websites. When our administration sees that we are implementing the latest approaches, backed by research, they may be more likely to approve professional development opportunities for us.
Art education provides experiences that are unique in education. Not only do students learn about art they also learn about perception and another visual world, about our cultural heritages and about mastery of skills. Perception is perhaps the most important part of visual arts education. It’s concerned with changing and shifting viewpoints. Through art experiences, we learn how to see the same thing in different ways and from different perspectives. With practice, we can learn to broaden our perception, look more widely, take other things into account, and be more open to possibilities and choices. We, art teachers, make a difference by guiding students in creating, interpreting and evaluating visual forms. We embark students on a lifelong journey of enquiry and forge multiple pathways for appreciating the natural and human landscape. Along the way, we challenge students with many opportunities to reflect on their journey. We make a difference by planning meaningful learning experiences that balance formal, expressive and thematic content. Based on assessments of needs, we map the most effective routes for mastering artistic skills. We identify essential questions and design artful problems that require students to look closely at the world around them, analyze visual qualities, consider traditions of artistic accomplishments, and make informed judgments about the visual forms they encounter every day. We make a difference by unifying art learning with the daily life experiences of our students as well as with other disciplines. When we compare works of art by focusing on human commonalities, we reconcile cultural and underscore the value of art as an essential human experience.
This article was originally published in TheTeacher.in magazine in the month of February, 2019.