Question 1: Discuss the role of art education and the outcomes of a quality art program: Why is art education important in our schools? And what are the outcomes of a quality art program? When deciding to implement a quality art program into a school, we need to look at what importance and the role art education plays in the development of students. The Constitution has set out important outcomes that learners should achieve in general. These outcomes will guarantee that learners gain the abilities, knowledge, qualities and values that will allow them to contribute to their own success as well as the success of their families, communities and the country. The outcomes in general will help students with problem solving, decision making, organization and communication. When we use these outcomes in the teaching of Arts and Culture, learner’s academic achievements will improve by them realizing their full potential, and the will to succeed. Learners at the Intermediate and Senior phase should be given opportunities to discover their potential and talents.
Learners should learn to make adequate decisions, and to plan for their future. It is also important at this phase for students to focus on critical and creative thinking skills and their role in the society. Respect for self and others, training and life skills and self-expression are all important aspects that students at Intermediate and senior phase will need to learn. Only being exposed to art, will students gain above skills. The Early childhood news shared: “By almost every measure, children who have the opportunity to study the arts are happier, more self-confident and more likely to academically outperform those who don’t.” By being presented to art and culture students will learn to think for themselves and search for answers. Mostly students are set with the idea of listening for instructions before doing, but students need to be encouraged to discover and find meaning through art exploration. Students need to be given time to explore, this will enhance their ability to do self explorations and searching for the answers.
Open-ended and child-centered environments invite learners to explore and experiment with materials, stretch their creative imaginations, and practice mental growth. An expressive arts environment encourages children to learn without the pressure of producing a predetermined product or action and is basic to creative art experience. Developing learner’s senses is important in Art education. Every child learns more effectively when the senses are involved. By using their senses, students develop awareness and become more open to learning. The senses are one of the most important parts of any human being, by stimulating the senses through art, learners develop sensitivity. Through art, the student will start organizing and managing oneself. Have a better understanding of the world. Through involvement in quality arts education, learners are able to connect and empathise with others and themselves as they understand and appreciate their cultures.
The arts are a way of changing children’s perceptions and stereotypes of people who are different from them as they are exposed to different societies and cultures through their arts. They learn to respect and appreciate the differences and become more tolerant of other people, as well as accepting and respecting their own culture. Young people will be able to collect, analyse and organise information, communicate ideas and information, plan and organise activities, work with others in a team. Within quality arts programs each of these skills is developed and so, by involvement in the arts, children, as tomorrow’s leaders, are being comprehensively prepared for the competitive and creative arena of the world of work. The outcomes of a Quality Art program is important, because it guides the teacher and covers the skills learned. This includes that artworks should be created from observation, memory and imagination. This will help students developing their own sense of decision making and self-awareness.
Through self-expression in the arts, children learn focus, self-discipline, innovation, creativity and emotional expression as well as verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Learners will progress through stages of symbol formation and elaboration. If learners get stimulation from a quality art program they will start growing and developing themselves in stages. Learners will also develop an understanding of art as a means of expressing ideas, feelings and ideals. During the progress through stages, the students will start using their own ideas and feelings as they get comfortable. The learner will learn about a range of world cultures through the study of artworks and cultural values. The learner will then learn to appreciate his or her own cultural heritage and many distinctive groups of South Africa and other countries. By using this outcome, we help grow a bright future for our country. With students growing in their abilities to make decisions, the learner will develop preferences for some types or styles art.
The learner will learn how art expresses cultural values and in turn influences society as he or she will investigate ways in which the visual art are influenced by the context of their creation, such as psychological factors, political events, social values. By expecting this from students the first need to learn to use self- expression and think for themselves. They need to get a brief understanding of what the world consist off and how they can be a part of it. The learner will also be able to uses sources of discovery. They need to get informed about the sources first and how to use them in order for students to achieve this outcome. In many South African schools there is not enough recourse for students to use and learn from. Lastly, the ;learner will also get involved in the very nature of art including issues surrounding the making, display, buying and selling, and interpretation of works of art. By this, learners can develop their entrepreneur ship and realizing what their art and ideas can do for their families and society.
Question 2: Define the concept creativity and discuss the characteristics of a creative or artistic person: Some people might say that only a few of us are creative and to be creative you must be a real artist like Leonardo or Picasso. But Linderman (Linderman & Herberholz 1975:9) states that creativity is “a special way of learning, thinking and perceiving – your own life style”. We are all creative in different ways and creativity can be learnt and developed. A 2012 Adobe study on creativity shows 8 in 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth and nearly two-thirds of respondents feel creativity is valuable to society, yet a striking minority – only 1 in 4 people – believe they are living up to their own creative potential. The concept creativity can be defined as the process of perceiving a problem and solving it by using unique ideas and using imagination.
The creative solution to a problem is always a personal solution. The creative solution for a problem could lead to the finding of a combination of processes that the creator never realised they possessed. Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Hendry and Luckenbach-Sawyers (1984:94) defined the creative experience as follows: “It is characterized by an intensity of awareness, a heightened consciousness. It is usually accompanied by feelings of joy or elation, a mood that goes with the experience of actualizing one’s unique personality and potentialities.” We can also say that creativity is a quality of uniqueness, originality, newness or freshness which an individual voluntarily contributes to the origination, improvement and development of an idea. Therefore, creativity goes together with the way we think.
We can categorize creative thinking into four types. Eisner (1972:220) identifies the four types of creative thinking; Boundary pushing- is the ability to attain the possible by extending the given. Inventing- is achieved by creating a new object through reconstructing the known. Boundary breaking-can be seen as where the individual proceeds to develop new premises which contain their own limits. And Aesthetic organizing- is a type of creativity that is characterized by the presence and organization of objects into a framework noted for its high degree of coherence and harmony. When a child develops he or she goes through stages and processes. When a learner develops his creativity he or she needs to grow through stages of creative thinking: Orientation is where the learner examines the problem and then defines the limit. The second stage is preparation, to gather and organize raw materials. Analysis by selecting different ideas and seeking possible solutions. Incubation stage happens to ensure time lag for the mind to synthesize possible solutions.
Lastly, the evaluation process happens for putting the pieces together. Creativity is the Most Crucial Factor for Future Success. For learners to develop creative characteristics the teacher needs to make opportunities, give encouragement and training; keep motivating learners, and most of all -practice. Of all human activities, creativity comes closest to providing the fulfilment we all hope to get in our lives. Creativity is a central source of meaning. Most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the result of creativity. Creative people tend to share many characteristics. Creative people are perceptually extremely aware, which is why they are very observant of their environment. They are extremely aware of their senses; listening to sound around them and they are aware of the way things feel, tastes and smell. Creative people are builders of their ideas.
They are very interested in constructing things with the use of different materials, and rearranging old ideas. They like to experiment with various approaches and media and they like to try out new ways to use things. They prefer to manipulate their ideas and solve problems with challenges. A creative person always seeks to push the boundaries of their thinking. Creative people like to explore new ideas. They are very original in their thoughts to invent new ways of saying and telling things. A creative person would say that dreams do come true and there is no limit to dreams, they search for new possibilities. We can see that creative children also like to imagine and play pretend. Another remarkable characteristic of a creative person is that they are flexible in their approaches to situations.
They think for themselves and like to be independent. They are outwardly expressive about what they say and do not feel shame in what they say to express their feelings. To investigate the nature of things, and to search for the meaning of things are another characteristic. Creative people like to question things and usually ask questions like “why?” and “what if?” They like to enquire into unknown quantities and discover new relationships. Lastly, creative people are sensitive to aesthetic stimuli which are why they are sensitive to the beauty in human beings and nature. They appreciate beauty and have a feeling for harmony and nature. An art teacher should take the above mentioned, and use it to students can discover their inner creativity and to value art in their own way.
Question 3: Explain the importance of artistic excursions (trips) for the motivation of learners and their aesthetic awareness: Students learn best by doing and by being active. Initial motivation is essential for learning through art experiences. Learners learn best by being actively engaged in their work, and fieldtrips are especially engaging to them. By becoming visually literate, that is knowledgeable about art and its value as a human activity, forms an important part of a child’s development. It is therefore important to develop aesthetic awareness in learners, because it assists in developing learner’s sensitivity to perceptual, intellectual and emotional experiences, thus enabling them to derive a harmonious totality from these experiences. Aesthetic development and creative development goes hand-on-hand. It is tied to growth and influenced by our environment and individual personalities. Aesthetic awareness is the awakening of sensitivities and sensibilities and the consequent enrichment of our human experience.
Teachers can stimulate and encourage all students by establishing environments where students have plenty of time and opportunities to explore the arts in ways that are meaningful to them.
Memories of school Educational trips are among the most prominent of the formative years, largely because they are a welcome break in the routine for both students and teachers. While their purpose is essentially to educate, they can also be a fun bonding experience for everyone involved
Hurwitz, AL & Day, M 2001. Children and their art: methods for the elementary school. Belmont CA: Thomson. Nel, J. Odendaal RM. University of South Africa, Pretoria. Study guide 1 for PST210G. Helen D. Hume. The Art Teacher’s Survival Guide for Elementary and Middle Schools – November 24, 2008
Nancy Beal, Gloria Bley Miller. The Art of Teaching Art to Children: In School and at Home 2001 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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