Arts and creativity experiences for educators
Africa A+ Schools has introduced a new implementation support activity this year – arts and creativity experiences for educators. If we want our schools to nurture children’s creativity, critical thinking, innovation, problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills, we must first ensure that the educators enjoy and appreciate the value and possibilities of arts and creativity in human development. This can only happen if the educators have actively experienced creativity and the arts themselves. When educators are in touch with, enjoy and feels confident about their own creativity they can use the various arts as an effective teaching tool to realise curriculum outcomes.
The educators from Rainbow ECD Centre visited the Clay Cafe in Hout Bay on the 13th May to spend a morning painting ceramics. This outing was extended in June to a clay workshop at Rainbow where the educators used clay to create before generating ways to use the clay to teach basic mathematical concept to the children. Some of the ideas generated by the Rainbow educators were:
- make balls and shapes from the clay and match them to number and shape cards
- use the clay to realise concepts such as big and small, long and short, fat and thin, straight and curved, smooth and rough
- make a pattern – use the clay to make a repetition of two or more elements in the same space
- introduce fractions by cutting the whole ball of clay into half and quarters
The educators from ABC Pre-primary visited Iziko, Cape Town’s National Art Gallery, on the 10th June. The theme for the visit was portraits and expression. The educators observed how each artist conveyed emotions and told stories through colour, position, shape and line. After the visit ABC and the A+ facilitators gathered in a room provided by Iziko and workshopped how they could use the visual arts in practical ways to teach children language, life skills and mathematics. The visit inspired and excited the ABC educators.