Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Back to School and Creativity

Hi ya!

First, I want to follow up from last weeks post about the Houston Quilt Festival. I have received word that the show and the market are both a go. So, if you are headed there, I do hope to meet you! I will post more of my schedule in a few weeks. Of course, right now I'm keeping a close eye on hurricane Irma. She looks very angry....

Ok, now onto what I've been pondering this week as I've been working on "Wonderland Woods," a new adventure from me and Jules coming January 1st. This won't be a typical "Block of the Month." It is more of a textile art piece in lieu of an art quilt. We are so excited and can't wait to share more with you! Until then, here are a few sneaky peeks. ;)

All the kiddo's in my neighborhood have headed back to school this week. It got me thinking about a talk from Ken Robinson on "Do Schools Kill Creativity" that I listened to while I was drawing, designing, stitching, writing and photographing different steps in "Wonderland Woods."

Growing up and even today, I suffer from "Test Anxiety." I will know a subject 100% and can talk to you about it for hours, but make me take a test and my mind will go blank and don't even say the words "Pop Quiz!"

 Also, I'm a kinetic and visual learner. I learn by doing and seeing, not memorizing. Thus, when I write my patterns, I write step by step instructions, but also include a color photo of that step so every type of learner is covered.

Not having kids, it is hard for me to really understand this, but to me, teaching a child to memorize and learn to pass a test and compete against a million other kids for a scholarship really does kill creativity and squashes the imagination. An imagination, that if nurtured, just might create something incredible. To me, teaching to one's strengths and focusing on what kids and individuals are naturally gifted with, should be more important than rigid regurgitation of facts.

Teachers must have it really hard. I mean they have 20 + kids in a class are made to stick to a ridiculous, structured teaching methods to "pass the tests" so the school gets funded, all while getting paid next to nothing. Here in NC, a first year teacher fresh out of college with a Masters Degree (and tons of school loans), only makes $38,500. They spend a lot of there own money supplementing things for their classrooms that aren't supplied by the schools. Like tissues for goodness sake!

Anyway, here is Ken's very comical, but very poignant talk if you have time to listen. I would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you are or were a teacher. It really  made me think back to the wonderful teachers I had who inspired me and nurtured my creative spirit. I'm forever grateful to them.



RG said...

You ever have a skunk leave a scent outside your window at night? Happened here the other night - yukko! Thanks for the memories.

Cut cutout though!

School - yup - some do well, some don't. Very hard for teachers these days. I know lots of them - many very discouraged at being so fenced in on what they can/have to do. But then - when old people try to manage what young people need, what do you expect??

kc said...

Yuo, yup, and yup! All the above. Only prayer got me through school, but I still have panic attacks every time we move to a new state and think about having to take a driver's test! prep for Irma, looks like she'll spare us and head for you! :(

Createology said...

Oh my gosh! You and I have the exact same way of learning and the very same "test anxiety" issues. I am always so frustrated when it comes to learning anything. I was a teacher's aide while my daughter was in grammar school...oh the trials of teaching. I also have an older sister who was a teacher for many years and she had several very sad years due to the school and principal's rules. Now my Granddaughter has her Masters and is teaching English at continuation high school where the troubled kids are. So far she loves it.
Looking forward to Woodland adventures. Thank you for sharing this TED talk. <3

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dearest Shell!

I went back to school on Tuesday and the beautiful thing is that I see that teens and tweens (I teach at both the middle and high school levels) DO WANT to play, be creative while learning. As a teacher, I try to allow the standards and target learning goals guide me, but I also try to use creative measures to get kids to LOVE what they are doing and also to know why they are learning it. It's about putting some SOUL into the content. Yeah, some structures kill off the creativity, but kids just like adults, will find a way to burst into passion.

I am BLOWN AWAY by how shapes such as these can outline the subject so brilliantly, so perfectly. GORGEOUS! And, good luck to all in Houston!

Donna said...

I retired from teaching after 35 years as it became more difficult to allow for individual creativity and the important part of education- that of learning to learn, developing lifelong skills that support habits of mind that enhance one's life. By raising academic standards for all, we focus only on quantifiable data to the exclusion of time to develop as multi diverse and thought-full human beings. When I retired I realized that I was a human-doing and had to develop into what I had once been- a human being. I mentor a high school student and have been with her for 6 years. She is incredibly bright but I see that home and school have drained her love of learning and life by demanding academic excellence and doing projects that make her an excellent candidate for college admission. It is not enough to have good grades, one must have musical, athletic, or community involvement to prove you are worthy of the school you are applying to enter. The pressure to perform in all these arenas misses the joy and fulfillment of choosing one's passionate interests. In the rush to help students become marketable, we are ignoring the inner skills of joy in learning and being. If students have home environments that foster creativity and passion, they are more able to handle the stress that education places on students. Inner skills of persistence, questioning, time management, goal setting and many more are not meaningfully developed in schools. There is a far more important curriculum beneath academic achievement that many creative teachers strive to develop but it is not valued or encouraged by teacher and student evaluation. Thanks for posting this video and stirring up my thoughts. There are so many facets to learning and good teachers struggle to help students develop their passions and potential.

Barb said...

Your creativity has no end. I had thought to do a skunk quilt but I had a friend that yours

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