Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Celebrate your own style and creativity

Over the past few days I have been trying to find some great little videos on arts, children and arts, arts in ece and so on. And as it turns out, this is quite a challenge. A lot of the videos you find on the net are 'instructional videos'. Videos that tell you how you can get a child or a group of children to, pretty much, just copy what you've come up with (well actually, you haven't even come up with the idea as you are copying a video's instructions).

Then I found this TED talk given by children's book author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka - who, not surprisingly, is also a great oral story teller. This is a video well worth watching as Jarrett touches on a range of topics that we should value highly in ece as well as in our adult lives: creativity, arts, literacy, ICTs, role models or more broadly 'important' people (he mentions his grandparents, a children's author who visited his school and commented on one of his drawings, and quite a few other teachers).

(This video doesn't display fully on our blog, so just follow this link and it will open on the TED website.)

During his talk, Jarrett talks about "the greatest piece of advice" he had been given by one of his art's teachers. He tells the story of how he was attending arts classes and had just received a book that would teach him how to draw cartoon images just the way they were supposed to be:

"And all the color just drained from his [teacher's] face, and he looked at me, and he said, 'Forget everything you learned.' And I didn't understand. He said, 'You have a great style, celebrate your own style. Don't draw the way you're being told to draw. Draw the way you're drawing and keep at it, because you're really good.'"

Celebrate your own style - so simple, but so true. And what an important message to both teach to the children in y/our care and to apply in our own lives.

If you follow this link you will be redirected to another TED page, which also contains the video of Jarrett's talk, as well as a list of 10 books he and his 2 young daughters recommend. Feel free to add more reading suggestions to the comments of our blog. Or if you would like to read more about the theory behind literacy and/or arts have a look at the resource section on our website as we list some of the books we find really useful in our practice. To find out more about Jarrett have a look at his website.

1 comment:

Lynn Rupe said...

This is a great TED video Annika. As a centre St Peters Childcare has also been very interested in children's art. This started with a trip to the local art gallery and on their return one of the children said, "We could have an art exhibition" not quite her words but the meaning is intact.
This lead to a year long focus on collecting children's art and creating pockets of thoughtful provocation to inspire children. The year of art was finished with an art exhibition that was open to the families and community, this was amazing. Hopefully this link will take you to the Facebook page that has photos of some of the artwork that was displayed.