Being Artistic by Nature

Being Artistic by Nature

This is a very insightful number of The New Leam, dedicated to the importance of art in every day existence. It is an anthology of writings by educators, teachers and thinkers exploring a new vision of education in its many dimensions – be it classroom pedagogy, curriculum, psychology, philosophy or a deep reflection on many contemporary issues and challenges. Art manifests itself in several forms like painting, cinema, theatre, poetry and through diverse spiritual articulations too. Art is an integral part of our existence; it makes even a routine, mundane life rhythmic and lyrical. But today we primarily confront a very narrow discourse on art that visualizes scientific technology as more relevant to the development of human society, and Art is reduced into an object of entertainment or a recreational pastime for the leisure class. Moreover, it is seen as ornamental, superficial and largely an unnecessary pursuit lacking rigor. Today an adherence to scientific technology is part of the mainstream thought process and I see it as an endowment of neo-liberal, market-oriented societies. Yes, these inventions were all made to make human life easier and comfortable, but to what extent they have made us enslaved and killed our individual creativity is a matter of collective concern. Look at our classroom, there is a smart-board, a CCTV camera and all kinds of technology to help children learn easily and safely. But there is no laughter, no quest and no art. Are these techno –equipment able to cultivate the imagination of children?Amidst this highly mechanized and surveillance oriented structure is art really important? We should rethink on the possibility of art. We need to open our eyes and see around. Art exists everywhere. To introduce art in classroom is far easier than generating creativity through the smart board. A teacher needs to be artistic; they can teach in a creative and innovative way. A pedagogue may simply teach mathematics in a much better way if she chooses to be artistic. If it is a trigonometry class then students can learn from the structure of the classroom itself, the corner walls of the room may be intersecting at 90 degrees and the students will enjoy discovering it. Similarly, if it is the concept of Integers that is being taught then a simple yet artistic demonstration will do the magic, a single back step is -1, two steps backwards is -2 and on the other hand, taking one step forward is +1 and taking two steps ahead is +2. Do we need any equipment? All that we require are two feet and zeal to teach with creativity and art! Similarly, what is needed is to ask your students to see the dancing leaves, to listen to the sounds of birds and to touch a tree. You will not get an instant result but it will arouse the imagination of the child. And believe me, your student is going to remember this lesson for a life time. We just need to be artistic. And teaching is the most important art. And of course we should not look at art as merely a means of leisure; all we need to do is to be imaginative. Because a true artist doesn’t need elaborate tools and an expensive canvas to paint, she is capable of producing a masterpiece with even a few broken crayons! Kindly read this and send us your important reflections.

– Vikash Sharma


This article is published in The New Leam, FEBRUARY 2017 Issue( Vol .3  No.20) and available in print version. To buy contact us or write at  thenewleam@gmail.com

 


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1 COMMENT

  1. At a time when the ‘real’ society wants us to be ‘hard’, ‘pragmatic’, ‘calculative’ and ‘technical’, it is pretty refreshing to see this editorial that pleads for art–art as a mode of living, art as grace and reflexivity. Possibly something innovative happens in life only when we dare to do things differently. In this editorial I notice this courage and conviction. After all, to live meaningfully as a teacher, a mother, a farmer, a doctor, a football player is to do one’s work with creative zeal, joy and warmth. And that is art. With art the mundane becomes sacred. When we lose this beauty, grace and meaning we become ‘smart’ and ‘clever’; but we miss all the miracles–the sun rising, the moon illuminating, the whisper of trees, the birds flying, the child laughing without reason, the eternity in a cup of tea.

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