Art: the basis of

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Methodology of Child Art

Wealth is a golden cage in which the children

of the rich are bred into artificial deadening

of their powers. Therefore in my school,

much to the disgust of the people of expensive

habits, I had to provide for the great teacher—

this bareness of furniture and material—not

because it is poverty, but because it leads to

personal experience of the world.1

One of the most exciting and imaginative experiences for the teacher is to discover his or her own methodology. It makes it more exciting because there is no ready-made methodology related to handling child art in our country. I doubt if there is any standardized method of imparting art experiences to children anywhere in the world. Therefore, every teacher who wants to pursue the approach we have been discussing in this book will have to be a kind of pioneer in this field. After all, when Poet Tagore started his school at Santiniketan or when A.S. Neill Started his Summerhill School in England, there was nothing that they could follow to work through their ideas except their own vision, which was original at that point of time. The same would apply to teachers who wish to work for the world of child art to expand.

The thesis discussed here is: Art should be the basis of education. It is a comparatively- new concept in the modern educational world. Although some institutions have started holding exhibitions of children's drawings, paintings and models, there is hardly any school or institution that has taken child art seriously. Before the arrival of Franz Cizek on the scene, people, including teachers, used to laugh at the idea of children being artists. Today, the situation has changed. Some significant work has been done on this subject in a number of countries, especially in the UK and the USA.
It has now been well understood that the urge for self-expression among children is inherent and, when opportunities are provided, it finds outlets in various ways. It is similar to the desire of the cave dwellers to express their feelings, joys, fears and dreams or what have you, by drawing them on the walls of the rock shelters under which they lived.
The teacher who is supposed to, or wants to, help children with their art experiences has to understand the basic fact about the nature of the child's need and potential for drawing pictures and/or making sculptural forms. A keen teacher can learn a great deal from the work and experience of pioneers like Franz Cizek and others who have been innovative and successful in this field. But before going further into the subject, I want to repeat what has already been emphasized. As teachers, we must make sure in our minds that understanding and acceptance of the general philosophy behind Child Art is the primary requirement which should be fulfilled before dealing with children. It is only on that basis that a sound methodology can be built. Here, we can only give a few suggestions that might help teachers to work out their own methods for handling art activities for children. These suggestions should help in comprehending the problems involved rather than in solving them, which each teacher has to do himself or herself.

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