CREATIVITY – An Impeccable Virtue in Schools

Robert Kiyosaki, a well known author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ in his book titled “Be Rich and be happy”, highly condemns the negative programming an education system does to the young minds as such system focuses on bookish knowledge. He further argues that such knowledge taught in school for children is futile where applications in practical affairs of life become totally obsolete.

He further re-defines and urges all schools and educationalists to re-engineer their education systems that will prepare their children for practical life success financially, socially and emotionally.

The enigmatic truth about his new way of thinking of educating children are experienced only in rare schools for instance, The Yenepoya School, (though it may not be the only school), that pioneers and initiates such innovative methods of learning from Montessori 1 until grade 10.

A child who’s educated at such a school does not view the world like a child at another traditional school. He or she thinks differently i.e. thinks outside the box. This means that that the child’s thinking is original, creative, imaginative, artistic, innovative and of resourceful nature.

Let me illustrate this point, and you as a parent of a creative school may openly discover when you just compare to another friend or relative of yours whose child may be educated in a traditional school:

· If your child is at Montessori level or even a little higher class, give your Montessori child the plastic Fun dough clay and, also give another child from another traditional school the same clay too. Your child will surely astound you with excellence in a unique and unbelievable creativity and variety of thinking he has applied and, he could easily mould the clay into anything you ask or any vegetable, fruit, animal or anything with a great combination of colours in a few minutes. Unfortunately you may not see the same result with the other child though the child may be equally capable and intelligent.

· Similarly, a child going to a creative school will outcompete in creativity of drawing and colouring in such a unique and original pattern that will enthrall you to a large extent.

· Another notable characteristic of creative students is the ability to write creatively. When asked to write a story from grade 2 onwards, students come up with fascinating stories with their own original characters and settings with a great beginning and ending. However, the less creative ones will come up with re-written stories in their own words of a story they have already heard or read somewhere.

· Also at such creative schools, we don’t teach about money to lower primary students just verbally and in writing but also we create small shopping centre in our campus where each child plays a role of either a shopkeeper or customer, and then FEELS the practical transaction of money using dummy currency notes and coins.

· Let’s take another instance, of the theme “Day and Night” in teaching science to lower primary students. When this topic is being taught, the learner must first observe the day sky and night sky so as to know what is seen in the night (for e.g. stars and moon) is different from the day sky (for e.g. the sun and bluish sky).

Also when we teach about the revolution and rotation of the earth, the learners have to come forward to do an activity such as role play or enactment of one student(say A) as Sun, another student (say B) as earth and another student (say C) as moon.

So, by enactment of the motion and movement i.e. the rotation of the earth around its axis and the revolution of the earth, the subject matter about the solar system especially sun, moon and earth becomes clearly imprinted on child’s mind to the extent that he could even define the scientific terms correctly using his own language.

Such schools also facilitate the learners with regular Yoga, Swimming, Karate, Dance, Drama, Music, Arts and Craft Classes along with regular field trips to bring out the hidden potential and sharpen skills of each child in every area so as to shape them into a great and a beautiful personality to bring in individual success in his walk of life.

This kind of multitude of learning experiences in such schools integrates and caters to all types of learners as put forward in the ‘Theory of Multiple Intelligence’ by Howard Gardner, an American developmental psychologist and a professor of Harvard University.

When such pedagogy is implemented, learner is not only curious but also there’s maximum absorption and gaining of knowledge wherein the learner need not at all depend on bookish knowledge through memorization.

I strongly believe every school through out India and across the globe need to implement these teaching strategies as rare schools as suggested by Robert Kiyosaki or Gardner by building and nurturing the creativity within the child, and make learning an enjoyable experience thus mould students into great creative individuals no matter which path they choose to opt for later in their life so as to achieve life success in all areas.

Choosing Elementary School Photographers – Part I

If you look on the wall of any mother’s home you will find cherished memories framed for every year. No matter how silly the photo, school photographs are remembered for a lifetime. Like most things that have a deep rooted tradition, technology has made elementary school pictures much more exciting. Many schools go with the traditional school pose for their fall program. But did you know a lot of schools use spring pictures as a fundraiser and have fun doing it?

Things to Consider when Choosing an Elementary School Photographer

Before you can think about how school photography can be a great fundraiser, you first have to choose the right photographer. For school photographers in San Diego, most decisions are made by the administrative staff, while others are left to the PTO or PTA. However, with school staffs being spread so thin these days, many schools are leaving the decision to the PTO.

There are so many school photographers available today that the decision to choose a school photographer can be a difficult one. A school photographer in San Diego is going to have a different program than a local company in a small town.

Listen to word of mouth. Good school photographers will have people talking about them. They will also have a good selection of experienced, professional school photographers to run your school picture day. It is always good to take a look at the company’s website to see their overall philosophy.

Something else to consider when choosing a photographer is who is actually taking the school pictures. You might want to ask for sample pictures taken by the actual photographers who will be at your school picture day. Many schools ask to meet the photographers who will be working at their school, which isn’t a bad idea. You want a photographer who will allow the kids to relax, because when kids are relaxed they take better pictures. This in turn leads to parents who are satisfied with their school pictures.

Another consideration when selecting a photography company is how much work will be required of the school. Many companies provide all the staff needed for picture day and require no volunteers from the school. When a company takes most of the work off of the school they are well valued.

Other photographers prefer teacher and parent volunteer involvement on picture day. There is a rational explanation for this, that the parents and staff know the students better. However, if your photographer is experienced in taking elementary school pictures, the kids will warm up to them very quickly. Plus, parents are not experienced in running a school picture day, that should be the job of the school photographer.