Art: the basis of



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Questions and Answers

In the book, we have tried to cover a wide range of the relevant aspects—theoretical as well as practical—of child art. Despite this, I have experienced that whenever some serious discussions were held with teachers, either at the teachers training institutes, in Sevagram or in other centres in the country, many questions were asked on specific points. Similarly, in the workshops held on the subject with participants from the educational field, some stimulating questions and doubts were raised. Parents and guardians of children also often expressed their feelings by asking practical questions.


In this chapter, I shall try to present a number of questions with brief answers. Wherever practical, I have given the reference of the section of the book where further clarification on that particular question can be found.
1. There are some children in my class who are not able to tell stories clearly and by using adequate words. Will these children be able to express themselves more clearly through drawing and painting?

Yes! There are some experiences that can be expressed better through the medium of art. The first language children acquire is of visual forms. Hence, art is a very effective medium for self-expression.


2. In our school, the art teacher keeps a leaf or a ball in front of the children and asks them to draw it. Is it a good practice?

No! It is not a good practice

3. May we ask children to draw from memory?

It is good to do so. After all, whatever children draw on their own is always based on their memory.


4. Generally, children do not have the sense of third dimension.

Their pictures do not give any indication of distances or the third dimension. Is it not desirable to give them this sense?

It is normal that children do not have the sense of "perspective". But they do have the sense of distance in their own way. Their sense of "perspective" is mental and not visual. Although at the age of eleven or so they are ready to receive suggestions about the third dimension, it is not good to coax them into it. They will grasp it easily when the time is ripe. (chapter 7)
5. Do you allow visitors in your class? Is it not distracting to children?

The presence of visitors does create a disturbance. If it is unavoidable care must be taken to prevent the visitors from interacting with children, and be sure not to make them too conscious about the presence of the visitors.


6. Does each of your classes consist of children of the same age group? Can children of different age groups work together in the same class?

Yes, it is practical, provided the class has an atmosphere of freedom. However, one group can be of children of upto eight to nine years and the other of older ones. (chapter-7)




  1. What does it imply in terms of mental growth, if a child of five draws like a child of eight years of age? Is it abnormal?

If a child of five draws like a child of eight, by general standards, he should be considered above average. It could either be on account of the environment the child lives in, or he has been taught to do better than others. In case because the child has not been taught, his being above average need not be abnormal. If the general standard of a particular social group is comparatively low, there will always be some children from that group also, who would do better than others, (chapter 3)
8. Is if good or necessary to shift a child from the medium of expression in which he or she is well versed to another medium?

No, it is not. However, it is good for children to have experience of as many mediums as possible.


9. Some parents often want their children to paint pictures as adults do. They even try

to force them to go in that direction. How can these children be protected from that kind of situation?

This is the task of adult education. Parents have to be made aware of children's natural ladder of growth and their real aesthetic needs, which can be fulfilled only by letting them reach their full and healthy development, (chapter 3 and 4)




  1. My three-year-old daughter splashes colours on sheets of paper. Is it all right? Should we not make her aware of the shapes of some articles or animals, which she can try to paint?

What you think is "splashing colours" is in reality her painting activity. Those splashes are her "articles and animals". If you will allow her to grow naturally, her splashing of colours will develop into the process of painting "things" and "animals". But if she still continue to do it something has to be done to help her get out of that habit. (chapter 7)
11. Upto what age should children be allowed to paint as they wish?

There cannot be a hard-and-fast rule about it. Some children feel the need for help at a rather early age. There are some who go on doing their own work happily and successfully and they do develop well.


12. Is it wrong to ask children to make pictures of specific objects?

Sometimes it does become necessary to make such suggestions. Children who go on repeatedly painting the same picture, have to be helped in getting new ideas, (chapter 7)


13. My four-year-old son always comes and asks me to draw an engine. He does not leave me unless I make a picture of a train for him. Is it the right thing for me to do? What impact would it make on his own pictures?

There is no harm in doing that occasionally. But you should encourage him to make his own picture of a train. If possible, ask him to make one before you make one for him.


14. What do you think of the illustrated books being published today with gaudy colours?

No doubt children like colours, but to put colours indiscriminately and label the book as children's literature is totally wrong. It corrupts children's taste. The question of children's literature is a separate issue by itself. But in the context of your question I can only emphasize that children's books should be made with good aesthetic sense. (appendix three)


15. There is a notion that books on alphabets in many colours make them attractive and easier for children to learn the alphabet. Does it make sense?

Teaching the alphabet and making books colourful and attractive are two different subjects. Although our subject just now is not of teaching alphabets, I must emphasize that the notion that books for teaching alphabets should be colourful because it makes them easier for children to learn is unscientific.


16. There are three children in my class who do not make their own pictures. They always copy from other children. How can I prevent them from doing so?

True, educationally, copying is not helpful. It is wrong. We should try to prevent children from copying, but very gently and cautiously. It may help to give them different seats in the classroom, though that too is a sensitive matter. These children should not feel that they are being punished for copying. Teachers have to realize that some children do have less imagination or inclination to look for new topics for their pictures. Although copying is harmful for healthy growth, it is also true that some children learn, or can learn, only by imitating, at least at the beginning stage. (appendix one)




  1. Some children, who generally make their own paintings, also copy from one another occasionally. Is that wrong too?

There is no harm in it, as long as it is a matter of mutual exchange.


  1. Sometimes, I am unable to catch the idea of children's paintings. Is it wrong to ask the child to explain it?

Children like to describe the contents of their pictures. The story the child tells about the picture is another effective means of self-expression. Some children also like to write about their pictures. There is nothing wrong in asking a child about his picture; but you should not be insistent about it. After all, the child has already expressed what he or she wanted to communicate through the picture. He will respond to your question only if there is something more to communicate. Teachers should try to understand the mind of the child. The more experience the teachers gain about children's minds, the more they will be able to grasp the meanings without asking the child artists. Psychologists try to understand not only the meaning of the pictures, but also try to go deeper into the child's personality.


  1. Is it advisable to give several colours to younger children at the same time? What kind of brushes should be given to them?

It has been observed that children use only a few colours at a time, even if they have many available. It is therefore advisable that they be given five or six colours at a time. Brushes which are ordinarily available, are good enough. Very fine (thin) ones are not good; using such brushes does not allow the child to be bold enough. Ordinarily, the middle-orange-size brushes are adequate, but when making large pictures, thicker brushes will be required.


  1. What should we do if a child leaves a picture incomplete and does not want to complete it in the next class?

Children should complete the picture they have started to paint. You ought to encourage the child to complete it even after a gap of more than one period. Leaving work incomplete is not a desirable habit. However, it has been observed that children generally do like to complete their pictures, (chapter 7)
21. Which is more important for the teacher to have: art techniques or the knowledge the mind and mentality of children?

For giving art experience to children it is not essential for the teacher to be an expert in the technical aspects of art. In fact, my experience has convinced me that a teacher who understands the child, and is sympathetic to his needs, is better suited to help children in their art activities, than one who might be a very good artist but does not understand childhood, (chapter 6)


22. What kind of impact do book illustrations make on children?

As far as providing certain kinds of information is concerned, book illustrations can be, helpful, but generally these, being made in cheap taste, can be a bad influence on the child's aesthetic taste. In such cases, a good teacher will try to convey to the child the message that there is no relationship between his own art work and the illustrations in their books. To my mind, a better solution is to use children's art work in illustrated books. And, better still, encourage them to write and illustrate their own books. (chapter 2 and appendix three)


23. Do you sometimes ask children to make drawings of particular objects?

Rarely! Do it only when a child is unable to think of a subject on his own. I do not insist that children make pictures or models of things that we, the adults, see in front of us. (chapter 7)


24. Some children splash colours without having an idea or intention to make pictures. In such a situation will you not ask them to stop splashing and draw pictures?

Splashing colours is not unusual. The child does it to acquaint himself with the material, in this case, colours and brushes. If this activity lasts a bit too long, it may be due to the child not having fresh experiences which he would like to communicate to others. Carefully made suggestions should help, or better still, provide him with some direct experience to stimulate his imagination and motivate him to paint.


25. What is the harm in copying good pictures?

Copying is wrong for children. Copying good pictures may not be as harmful as copying pictures with cheap taste, distorting the child's aesthetic taste. Moreover, it is difficult, if not impossible, for an average teacher to be able to discriminate between good and bad pictures. (appendix one)


26. Why don't you allow children to learn from the work of great masters?

We should accept the principle that the influence of adult art destroys the natural quality and spontaneity of children. They have plenty of time to learn from great masters. They will start learning from them in a healthier manner from the time they enter the world of the adult. It will then be more natural and helpful. I am not denying the need for children to be exposed to good work.


27. Do children feel satisfied with their own pictures, even though they are not realistic?

Works of child art are never realistic. The child almost always feels happy with his work.


28. My child is quite intelligent, but his paintings are not that good! Would it be wrong to say that the more intelligent a child is the more beautiful his picture will be?

Yes, it would be wrong. Intellectual and artistic faculties, in other words, logical skills and creativity, are two different qualities. It is a common observation that "some less intellectually inclined children" draw better than many with high intellectual skills. The reality is that people take different paths to reach their goals of life.


29. Do art activities-provide contentment to the natural instincts of children?

Art expression is the outlet to most natural instincts and internal needs in a sublimated form.


30. Children of poor families do better in art compared to those of the rich. Why?

It is not always so. However, we should realize that on account of their circumstances, the poor remain closer to nature. Hence, their art expression is more natural and spontaneous, That makes the difference.
31. I am a class teacher of children of seventh grade, who have been with me since they were in the fourth grade. I have observed that as these children have grown older, their pictures have been gradually losing their liveliness and spontaneity. What have you to say about it?

At the time of entering adolescence, children start looking at the world as adults do. It is the time when they move from childhood to adulthood. To a great extent, the confused state of aesthetics in today's society is responsible for giving a defeatist attitude to the adolescent in regard to his art expression. If the necessary perspective toward the education of the adolescent can be developed, the so-called "stage of crisis" during the changeover from childhood to adulthood could prove to be a very creative period, (chapters 3 and 4)


32. Why are parts in children's pictures larger than they are in reality? For instance, in most of their pictures the head is almost as large as the rest of the body.

Children do not paint the objective reality. Their pictures depict their inner reality. They paint what they know and not what they see. The subject and size of objects in children's paintings depends on the importance they attach to them. The item that attracts them most becomes larger in proportion. Isn't that the same in many of the old masterpieces? For instance, in the paintings of Ajanta, the Buddha is painted many times larger than the ordinary people.


33. Do you prefer to give various mediums to children in the same group at the same time, e.g. painting, clay modelling and pottery etc.?

Yes, generally we do. I have observed that different children like to do different activities at a particular moment. Some like to paint, some like pottery, others like to work with some other medium. There ought to be the freedom to choose from the various mediums available in the art class.


34. When is the time for children to start painting in a realistic manner?

Generally speaking, children start feeling the need for it on reaching the age of twelve. But to make it a hard-and-fast rule would be a mistake. Some children reach that stage considerably earlier than others, and some later, (chapter 7)




  1. When should the teaching of perspective begin?

At a later stage, when the child feels its need. It should be started with tile preliminary understanding of the third dimension, (chapter 7)
36. Don't children copy those paintings you occasionally display in the art class?

Children who continue receiving new experiences all the time, new ideas for their paintings, would not do it. When any of them does it, it is due to the absence of a new idea at that time or the subject in a particular picture has specially attracted him. Children who are comparatively backward in this respect, are more likely to imitate. We should not make a fuss about it. Who knows, this kind of imitation might give them an incentive to draw their own pictures in the course of time!!




  1. Would it not be good to teach children some perspective drawing? It might help them make better pictures.

What you call a "better picture" may not be so for children. From the child's point of view, his painting without the element of perspective is "his own" work, and that is the real character of child art.
38. What is the flaw in the idea of encouraging children to draw realistic pictures?

Just imagine what kind of harmful effect it would have on the child by not allowing him to live in his own world. Making the child paint like adults would mean imposing on him the world of the adult, which would be against his natural growth. Making the child paint like the adult would be as bad as trying to mould the child into adulthood before he is ready for it. Painting realistic pictures is a part of the nature of the adult, not of the child.


39. What do you mean by saying that art should be an integral part of all the activities of the child?

It only means that all the activities of the child should promote creativity. Art and aesthetic sense should be the outcome of all his activities.




  1. If children are not taught the principles of perspective drawing, will they master it by themselves in due course?

When the time comes, in its natural course, they start feeling the need for the knowledge of perspective. If at that time they receive proper help they will find it easier to learn it. (chapters 3 and 7)


  1. Does every child feel the need for learning perspective?

Not necessarily. If the general aesthetic standard of a community is high and the taste of the people is good enough, the presence of perspective will not be an essential aspect of a good painting. Most of the best paintings of the classical periods in all the cultures do not indicate that. If our approach to art education is correct and the taste of the adults in the society is formed on the foundations of great art, children will not necessarily be inclined towards realism or achieving the three-dimensional character in their paintings. They may, most probably will, eventually learn the science of third dimension, i.e. the technique of perspective drawing, but that would be an integral part of their education as a whole, (chapters 3 and 7)
42. Do children get joy in your class? Do they get the necessary entertainment?

If that had not been the case why would they come to the class with so much enthusiasm? Haven't you seen that they start their work as soon as they enter the art class?


43. Does art help children in the other subjects?

Art is related to our visual experiences. Mental imagery is an essential part of the thinking process. Visual images are closely related to mental images. Art makes these images more clear and concrete. The experiential aspect of art helps one go deeper into the other elements of life. (chapter 7)

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44. Do children have some kind of competitive attitudes within their group?



Today competition has become the second nature of man. It affects children also. Competition is not a gift of nature to children and they should be protected from it.

45. Is it good to have a fixed time for the art class? Will it be better if they have complete freedom to go to the studio at any time they like?

The best thing to do is to give them total freedom. If the educational atmosphere is endowed with creative imagination, as it is supposed to be, children will surely like it and gain much sensibility, a sense of proportion and responsibility. But, in the present situation, it is better to devote a good amount of fixed time for art education rather than not have it at all. (chapter 7)
46. Which size of pictures do children like to make? Large or small!

You cannot make a rule about it.


47. If the sense of colour is natural in man, why then should there be any disharmony of colour in the work of most adults?

Today, there is disharmony not only in the art work of adults, there is disharmony in every aspect of their lives.


48. What do you do when a child, cannot think of a subject for his picture?

Encourage the child by giving suggestions, by telling a story or by giving some concrete experience, (chapter 7)


49. Should children be given the best quality tools, brushes and colours etc.?

It is not necessary at all to go in for expensive material. Nevertheless, they should be appropriate. All the material you give to children should fulfil the needs of their art expression. Tools made by the teacher in the class can be as good as those bought from the shops dealing with school equipment (chapter 7)


50. Should you instruct children to correct mistakes in using colours?

What do you mean by mistakes? Is it when they spill colours on the floor or their clothes or face? If that is what you mean by mistakes, you should surely discourage them. But if they use colours according to their scheme, how can you call it a mistake?


51. Don't children sometimes ask for help from the teacher?

Children who are below average or have some physical or psychological problems do ask for help. A good teacher will give them support, which should not be in the form of teaching them how to draw or paint. What they need is support, trust and recognition.


52. Is there difference between pictures made by boys and girls?

Yes, there is. It is generally found that girls like to do more ornamental work than boys. But that could also be on account of the age-old conditioning.


53. Is there any correlation between art and other activities in Nayee Talim schools, such as agriculture, crafts etc.? Are all the activities considered complementary to each other?

In a truly correlated educational programme, all the activities will have to be complementary to each other. Art should become the lifeline of all the activities, (chapter 5)


54. Art gives expression to the child's imagination. Does it also stimulate and enhance his power of imagination?

Yes, it does. (chapter 2)


55. What should be done if a child continues to paint the same picture over and over again?

A child in my class has been drawing the same objects for the last one month. He starts drawing from the top left-hand corner of the paper something which looks like a flying bird. After filling up half of the sheet with similar images in about fifteen minutes, he switches on to some other kind of play. What am I do to help him? His continuing to repeat the same picture for a long time is because he is not getting new experiences. In such a situation, it is important that the child gets some striking experiences. New pictures will come out from his head only after being impressed by something fresh and powerful. Put the child in a situation that will make a strong impression on him. That should help. (chapter 7)


56. It has been accepted that at the age of fifteen or so, children's creativity weakens, disappears or changes in character. What kind of activities can take the place of art?

At that stage, children should be given opportunities to use different art mediums and encouraged to take up creative crafts. It will depend on the future inclinations of the child, especially in regard to the choice of profession, (chapter 7)


57. Do you put clay work in the same category? Does clay modelling have the possibility for self-expression?

Yes.
58. What is the difference between making objects in clay and in wood? Can carpentry be considered a means of self expression?

Each medium has its own character. Objects made in a medium will imbibe the character of that particular medium. Tools used are different for different mediums. Hence there will be a difference. No doubt, carpentry has great potential as a means of self-expression. However, small children find it difficult to use carpentry tools. They could also be dangerous.
59. In your class I have noticed children doing alpana. Can they make the same kind of decoration on paper?

They do such decorative work on paper also. But alpana on the floor has its own relevance, (chapter7)


60. You do arrange exhibitions of great masters' work on the walls of your art class. Does it not influence the work of children? Do children look at these painting with interests?

Small children do not look at these paintings as paintings put up to be exhibited. If they see something interesting in them, they spend a little time looking at them, otherwise they go back to their own creative work. Some older children may get influenced by them.


61. Is it preferable that the children paint their pictures on the basis of personal experience and imagination? How can you prevent children from being influenced by the work of adults?

Children should paint from their own experience. It is not easy to keep children free from adult influence, particularly as most adults today do not understand Child Art, and they try to force their own ideas on children. It is, therefore, a matter of adult education. The first thing for adults to understand is that, for their natural growth, children should be encouraged to paint as expected from them, as children. Adults should not judge a child's work by their own standards. If that happens half the battle will be won.


62. From which stage should children take to activities such as lino-cut and stencil work?

Start whenever the child is able to use the tools for these activities, (chapter 7)


63. All the teachers of our school have read your article entitled "illustrated books for children". Do you think that such literature can be produced on a large scale? If it is possible, for which age group will it be?

As far as possible, children's literature ought to be related to the local culture and situation. Children of older groups can produce such literature for the younger ones. If such a tradition can be formed, the school itself will be producing enough literature for children. Literature produced at such a level will prove to be more effective and economical. Many more good pictures will be available for the selection of book illustrations. This kind of literature should be available for all age groups, (appendix three)


64. It seems you are visualizing a time when literature prepared and illustrated by children will replace children's text-books. How useful will that be?

In Nayee Talim, we do not have things called text-books. Nevertheless, there ought to be an ample amount of literature for children. As many books as possible should be illustrated. And, the more illustrations made by children are used, the better it will be. It does not mean that all the literature prepared for children should be made by children. Some will have to be prepared by experts. The use of good photography and the works of great masters are also recommended. However, I give the greatest importance to literature prepared by children themselves. (appendix three)


65. My eight-years-old son thinks that my painting of a house is better than the one he made. He thinks that his mother's work is good and her lines are neatly drawn. What should I do about it? How can you say that children like the pictures made by children more than those made by adults?

Generally speaking, children have a sort of hero-worship for their mothers. It may also be that your son has been influenced by adults' approach. It is very difficult today to keep children free from that influence. However, if adults have a genuine regard for the child's work, and if the child is confident that his mother likes his paintings, the work done by you will not create harmful influences.


66. Whenever my two children get a chance to see a train, they observe different parts of its engine very carefully. After returning home, they make pictures of the train engine. They discuss each other's pictures and suggest corrections. It is true, though, that they do not see every part of the engine very carefully. What is the reason behind it!

Children see only those things which attract them, and they make pictures of only those things. They discussed may be the differences which they must have noticed in each other's pictures. If you think that their not drawing those objects which you might have noticed carefully is a flaw in their pictures, it is not their mistake. It is your mistake to think in that manner.


67. A child made a drawing depicting a man being put on gallows to be hanged. What do you think was in that child's mind? What could be his feeling behind it?

That thought must have made a deep impression on the child's mind. It was probably an outlet for his aggression against someone or a feeling of pity or fear. (chapter 2)

68. Is it all right to allow children to draw such pictures, e.g. of hanging? How do you prevent it?

Yes, let children draw such pictures if they wish. If their aggression or fear does not get an outlet in this manner they might find some other manner which may be harmful. Such self-expression is useful for liberating the child's mind from stress, (chapter 2)


69.Should we make suggestions of ideas or objects for painting to a child if his power of imagination is weak?

Yes, it is sometimes necessary, (chapter 7)


70. Is it advisable to encourage children to discuss and compare their work among themselves? Do you think that the kind of art classes that schools generally have are harmful for children?

Yes, mutual criticism of their pictures is helpful. Those classes you are referring to, if not harmful, are certainly useless, for the simple reason that they help neither aesthetic growth nor the art skills of children.


71. At which stage in life is it recommended for all the educated people to start learning to draw correctly, according to the principles of perspective drawing?

If people receive the right kind of art education from early childhood, the skill you are talking about will be imparted in the natural course of the individual's development. If an adult is unable to draw in that manner and needs to do so for his work, it is highly recommended that the process of learning should start right from today!


72. What is the relationship between the arts of children and adults?

For practical purposes, none.


73. In general, people do not have any regard for pictures made by children. Why?

Leaving aside the question of children's art, just tell me how much regard are children given as individuals?


74. Can parents help in their children’s art activities?

Yes, they can very much help by encouraging them and by learning to respect their work. (chapter 7)


75. Children hesitate to paint on large sheets of paper. How can we liberate them from this hesitation?

Slowly, gradually, and with lots of patience.


76. Some children like to do ornamental work e.g. pattern making. Should they be totally free to do that kind of work?

If it is due to the child not getting new ideas and experiences, it is surely not desirable. In that case the child should be encouraged and helped with ideas, without making him too conscious about it and creating some kind of complex in his mind. However, there may be some children who are particularly talented in ornamental work. They should be helped to further their skills in that field.


77. When do children ask you for help in drawing pictures?

They ask for help at the early stages. But when they realize that I do not give direct help in painting their pictures,

they stop doing so. They realize that they have to learn to be independent.
78. Is it recommended that children should first practice to draw with pencil only?

No, it is not recommended. Children are very close to nature and need to experience every aspect of it —colour, form and movement—right from the beginning.


79. Do you classify children according to their age or their skills?

Classification should be done on the basis of skills and mental growth. However, if there is a big age gap, older children should not be placed with much younger children.


80. Wouldn't children learn by imitating pictures published in journals?

No. they will not. In fact, it will be harmful.


81. Some children's books published in the West have line drawings, in which they are expected to fill up colours for practising to paint. Do you recommend them?

I do not encourage it at all. Although nowadays many children like to do it, they do so on account of their parent's ignorance of childhood and its real needs. Children ought to be encouraged to paint their own pictures, (appendices one and two)

82. According to you, children should not be taught art. Instead, they should be allowed to paint as they wish. Would it make the teacher's work easier?

Instead of becoming easier, the teacher's task will be more difficult. "Teaching" generally implies: Show how to do it. Hold the child's hand and direct it according to your plan. And you think you have taught the child how to draw pictures. But the method we believe to be the correct one requires the teacher's attention at every stage of the child's development, without giving directions about "How to do it", (chapter 7)


83. I see many difficulties in this method. Where will you find such sensitive and skilled teachers?

If such teachers are not available, we should train those who have interest in this work. They should be given relevant knowledge and experience about childhood. If you are unable to find such teachers why do you, then, think and talk of education?


84. How do you examine children's work?

Who are we to examine them! There is no sense in using the system of examination papers. Children's day-to-day work itself is their examination. If they are happy and engaged in making new pictures they are successful.


85. You have said that the child should be allowed to do art work as much as he likes. This is not possible in the school time-table. What then shall we do?

The school time-table should not be mechanical. It should have plenty of flexibility, (chapter 7)


86. A child makes a picture in which there is no meaning. Do you think we should ask the child about his thought behind making that picture?

There is no harm in asking the child this question. In fact, it is good to do so, because it might help in his thinking process. But you should not be insistent about getting the answer.

87. If a child uses wrong colours, for instance, mauve or red for trees, should we not ask him to correct himself?

The tree in nature is different from the tree of the artist's imagination. The real search is for joy and not for so-called correct imitation of nature. It is his poetic imagination. Who can correct it! (chapter 3)


88. Is it not a possibility that the child might be colour blind?

By and large it is a rare phenomenon. Until now, I have had only one such case. But it is a possibility.


89. Do you give more importance to the intellect being predominant in art work?

No, I don't. There are two types of artists. One is intellectual and the other intuitive. There is no hierarchical distinction between them. The child's work is not intellectual.


90. If the approach on, and practice of, art of all the schools becomes as you suggest, will we have more artists in our country?

Rather than having a large number of artists in the country, it is more important to assure a fuller and balanced personality development of the average citizen, which is possible only if all the schools give art is due importance and practice its teaching honestly and efficiently. It will make the public at large more understanding about art and the artist.


91. Everybody will not become an artist, but will it produce more and better craft-persons out of those who had the opportunity of working with clay or wood, etc. during childhood? Will everybody be able to learn good craftsmanship?

It will build the spirit of good craftsmanship which we miss so much today. The average person's capacity for using tools and gaining skills will be enhanced. The kind of art education we are asking for will also help in developing a technical approach among the population.


92. Will proper art education help the child to understand his natural environment?

It will not only help to understand nature, but will also give the spirit and capacity of feeling along with it. Today, the process is just the opposite. The older the individual grows, the farther away he shifts from nature. Art education will reverse this process, (chapter 1)


93. Yesterday, you had mentioned that a large proportion of adults do not have awareness of many things around them. Does art education create awareness in children?

One of the most important aspect of art education is awareness. It actually means identifying oneself with the environment, (chapter 1)


94. Is embroidery a. part of art education?

Yes, it can be.


95. Is the aspect of rhythm common to both music and paintings?

To a very great extent.


96. What do you do when a child wants only to copy?

I leave him alone that day. Children should be given a chance to realize that copying is of little meaning or importance. It is only then that he will start thinking.


97. Does this kind of art education develop good taste in children?

Yes, it does. We assume that the child's educational environment is charged with good taste. Hence, the art education we are asking for will be considered of the right kind.

98. Will the creativity of the children be long lasting if he received the right guidance from early childhood?

We hope that it will not only last longer, but also be of enhanced quality.


99. If a child continues having the opportunity for art expression from early childhood, will he automatically develop the sense of proportion?

If the development of the child has been according to the principles of his natural ladder of growth, he will automatically imbibe the sense of proportion.


100. Do you exhibit the work of children in your art class? Do you display all the good and bad pictures? I try to exhibit all the good ones and make sure that every child has his or her picture(s) on the wall. I do not leave

any one out.


101. If a child has made a very good picture, should we make a point of showing it to all the children?

All the children of the group should see everyone's pictures, but no child should think that he or she is considered specially good.


102. How and when do you help the child who you find to be weak in creative power?

By telling stories, giving descriptions, and by showing good examples of art objects. More importantly, by giving assurance of my respect for his personality.

103. How can we improve the taste of people in whose houses we see pictures made in bad taste hung on the walls? Throw away all those pictures and replace them with good ones.
104. What can be done to improve the taste of adults?

Start the treatment from early childhood and introduce this kind of art education in every section of the society. It is the task of adult education.


105. Do you find the creativity of the child manifesting itself in the craft work which he may do in later life?

If the child's creative spirit and skills are nurtured properly during his growing years, it should have a lasting impact on his craftsmanship.


106. Isn't joy the greatest outcome of the child's art activities?

Not only joy but also the fuller development of the child's personality.


107. If children are taught reading and writing from the very early years of their lives, would it come in the way of their artistic activities?

As you know, according to the principles of Nayee Talim, children should be encouraged to learn reading and writing only after they are six years of age. Teaching reading and writing at such an early age becomes a heavy burden on children, even if they do not realize it themselves. Naturally, it would be a greater strain on them if art activities were also forced on them in addition to the compulsory reading and writing.


108. Children like to show their work to adults and want to hear their praise. Do you think we should admire the picture even if it is not good?

According to the principles related to child art, it is not a mistake to tell a child in a supportive spirit that it is not as good as he thinks, (chapter 6 and appendix two)


109. Do you try to change the habit of left-handedness?

What is wrong in using the left hand?


110. You must have experienced that not all the children want to do art work. They would rather go and climb trees. What do you do with them?

That is not my experience. But whenever some children want to go and climb trees, I let them. This, by the way, does not happen very often. I wish all the schools had lots of trees in their compounds.


111. Should there be a blackboard in the art room?

More than one if you can manage it. And also coloured chalk, so that children can make large pictures, (chapter 7)


112. Teachers may not give practical help to children for their drawings, but their support and sympathy should always be available. How do you do it in practical terms?

By making adequate arrangements for art material and extending all the possible facilities; and by expressing respect and sympathy towards them and their work.


113. The task of education is to keep children on the right path. If you do not correct their mistakes, how will they learn?

When you say that the task of education is to keep children on the right path, you are implying that children, by nature, take to wrong paths. The real error is in that very attitude. What we need today is to understand that children, by nature, tend to choose the creative path; and therefore, the effort of education should be to keep all the creative faculties of children alive and active. The path of childhood is that of fearlessness, truth and promptness. He expresses all these in his art activities, but we call them errors. They are, often, their ornaments and not mistakes, (chapter 7)


114. Suppose the teacher does his work on these very principles, and children's art classes operated in an ideal manner. What impact would it have on the other twenty-three hours of the child's day?

The task of education should encompass all the twenty-four hours of the day. Wherever it is not possible, and today it is a rarity, having only one hour would have a proportionate effect on the lives of children. We should be thankful for it, as it is better than having no time at all available for art activities. If that hour is spent correctly and creatively, it will have some good results.


115. If the child is to be given all the possible creative opportunities, is it not crucial that the education of the parents and teachers receive more attention?

No doubt, it should be so. But we cannot wait for the parents and teachers to be adequately educated before taking up the question of child education. Both the efforts should go on simultaneously. One of the centres of adult education should be the education of children.



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