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Emphasizing Visual Thinking through Art in the Classroom

5 Aug

Visual arts are one way of enhancing visual thinking, the use of thinking by pictorial or visual images in your mind, as one can utilize the image to express oneself. This provides a natural and easy way of understanding and extending ideas, since the pictorial image becomes the extension of your thinking process.

Albert Einstein once said, “The words or the language as they are written and spoken do not seem to play any role in the mechanism of thought.”

Have you ever tried to solve a molecular or electrical problem by words alone? This is because we generally think visually and then convert to verbal forms later. The diagrams help form the idea in your mind first, then it becomes verbally reinforced. That is why visual thinking is the foundation of our thought.

There are three different kinds of imagery – seeing, drawing and imagining. These three work together in various ways to promote the thinking process. Seeing facilitates drawing and drawing invigorates seeing. Drawing stimulates and expresses the imagination and imagination heightens the material for drawing. Imagination directs and filters seeing, while seeing provides the material for imagination.

Drawing works in a similar way as imagination. Drawing is more than a recording of an event and more than an expression of one’s ideas. Drawing is a form of thinking, understanding and communicating. Drawing is seeing, seeing is an observational tool and when one draws something, it understands the object better.
Drawing helps you understand people’s feelings, since you begin to see people’s expressions, which show signs of the emotional state of the person. It brings vague inner images into focus and acts as the reflection of the visual mind.

When making a work of art, usually you draw it out and this process of drawing and thinking are frequently simultaneous that the drawn image appears almost as an extension of the mental process. Almost everybody can learn to see more fully, to imagine more productively and to express their visual ideas by drawing.

One of the primary ways that visual thinking is used in the classroom is in art class. Art is where visual thinking can thrive and actually does in the primary years, but once students get older, art loses is appeal for many. So its important to stress Art in the long term.
We’ll see why in the next step. Part 2.

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Education through Art

3 Aug

Haliburton School of Arts

Truly edcuated men and women know that art is an essential part of education. Since modern men and women spend most of their time in a self-made enviornment, they are being educated through in and about art whether or not they realize it.
This is where the responsible educators will see to the provision of effective art programs that prepare students not only for their self-made environment, but also for the fullest enjoyment of that enviornment which is nature’s work.
The basic purposes of art education for my students is:
1. The development and coordination of the senses
2. The enrichment of the imagination
3. The development of the power to communicate
4. The acquisition of the means of transforming experience and being creative
5. The giving of order to the relationship between the emotional and intellectual parts of their nature
6. The preparation of students to be thoughtful and productive members of society, capable of making a contribution to the well being of their neighbour through the right uses of their talents.

Storytellers – Mariella Bertelli

8 Jul

Davide Bardi Italia and Mariella Bertelli Canada

Mariella Bertelli is a storyteller, she’s Italian but has lived in Canada since 1967. She runs a Public Library in Toronto to be able to do her storytelling. She has worked often with italo-canadian kids, to help them understand the stories of their land that they left (like me telling Canadian stories of the wilderness to the boys), and the stories of great Canada where they live. For her, stories are a way of integrating themselves to the new world.

I like storytelling and I always read to my children at night all sorts of stories. Now they are big and one loves books, the other hates them. Maybe I told too many stories, took them to too many museums, too many trips. But stories are great to listen to. Now Giuseppe is making his story – L’anima nella montagna, which will knock the world off its feet.

foto supplied by Raccontamiunastoria www.raccontamiunastoria.com