Pedagogy based on Art arises from the experience of the child with imagination and senses as part of artistic activity. The main goal of Art pedagogy is to combine craft and conceptual aspects. Working with Art helps learners to develop creative problem-solving skills. It presents difficult concepts in visually appealing ways, making the process engaging and easy to understand. The instructions in Art help the learners with developing motor skills, language skills, social skills, decision-making and innovative learning.
The integration of art with other disciplines reaches every student and makes learning an inclusive experience for every child. Art experiences boost critical thinking and make them more observant. A kid named Mannu (name changed) was the most quiet during the classes. He would be the most excited when around colours, paints and canvas or drawing books. One day when every child was given a set of colours and a blank sheet to draw something that was dear to them, Mannu drew his mother.
Though Art based learning makes things colourful, it also provides challenges for learners at different levels. It connects the child with his/her inner self as well as the culture. Mohini (name changed) is a little girl who enjoys colouring the walls of her mud house. Her sketchbook is full of her experiences with gender based roles. The first page of the sketchbook is the “pallu of her mom’s saree’, it is followed by kitchen, women fetching water, taking care of livestock etc. There are many kids like Mohini and Mannu who have found an inclusive learning experience with Art.
I have been working with children to develop pedagogical narratives and experiences around Art for learning. Integrating Mathematics, Language etc into Art is easy if context is given precedence. We are looking at Art being a primary source of learning for children in schools especially at the Early Childhood Care & Education and Primary/Upper Primary Schools.
TANYA KHERA (Is an Artist first and Cofounder Samanta Foundation)