Interested in discovery: Do I encourage children to discover new way of doing things? Yes. What do I do with their discoveries? Hopefully encourage them to share with others and continue working on the process. Can I let go of my version and allow for multiple ways? I sincerely sincerely hope so.
Takes risks: How often do I allow children to take risks without intervening? Not sure in terms of my classroom, but with my children I would say I’m pretty good about it. Good to the point that we’ve had some definite bumps and bruises from risk taking, as well as permanent marker on the carpet and glitter paint on the dining room table. Oh, and the twins’ coloured bellybuttons (compliments of Crayola and H. ) “I wanted them to look beautiful” How can I argue with that?How do I think about and react to failure? Who’s failure? My own? My student’s? My child? I will leave this question for the moment, as it requires more mulling. How do I support the notion of risk within my class? I hope the answer is as simple as being supportive. Allowing my students access to materials, time, and judgement-free trial and error.
Unexpected and surprising response: Much of the creative process involves surprising outcomes that are not predictable. Can I let go of my own notion of the end product and really hear and see what the children are doing and be curious about their thinking? Again, I think so. H. often moves beyond what I am expecting of a simple created birthday card, and I have to readjust my thinking and build a bigger envelope. He has recently begun creating “musical cards” where he draws a drum inside the card and when the person opens the card he shouts “DRUMMA! DRUMMA! DRUMMA!” which sounds a lot like “DRAMA! DRAMA! DRAMA!” He is so pleased with these musical cards, and although he realizes (I think) that he is the one providing the so-called music, he is indifferent to whether or not he is present when the card is opened, since he is confident that the music accompaniment will be there.
Original Responses and Ideas: How do I encourage the children in my class to come up with original ideas? Regarding visual art, allowing them time and access to a variety of materials. What kind of tasks do I give them that are open ended enough to make room for their ideas and responses? I’m not really sure. At the moment, my mind is blank.
Challenges assumptions: Am I willing to let a child hang on to his/her theory even if it is wrong? how much do my right answers count over a child’s own ideas? I’m going to answer this in terms of H. I’m pretty willing to let him hang onto his theories, although right now I am trying to convince him that ladybugs don’t necessarily pee on your hand when you pick them up as was told to him by a little girl at the park. I’m not sure why I feel the need to disprove this theory of his, but I do. Perhaps it’s so that he will go back to having an appreciation of ladybugs instead of saying “Yuck!” when he encounters one, either in books or in real life. I guess it’s not the end of the world to let him hang onto this theory. Maybe we’ll just have a ladybug free summer and return to being their admirers next summer. And as for erroneous theories, I guess my ultimate answer is “as long as it isn’t harmful, who cares?”