At Eden School, the Visual Arts are taught in the same way as Music or Maths.
When teaching Visual Arts we must put in place a learning system that addresses the discipline as such as well as the interdisciplinary and trans-sectional nature of the arts. The artistic production is circumscribed in the creative process: the child becomes an active participant in a journey of exploration towards the expression of original and divergent ideas.
In our school, we have programmed regular ART days. Class teachers are accompanied by an artist-teacher from the Ecole Supérieure d’Art Annecy Alps, to enable them to meet the levels required for our project.
1. Learning the Disciplines
It is about making the children aware of what is considered “artistic”, to allow them to live this relationship so that they may approach “what in art a is a reason to restate the questions, for invention and for innovation, that gives meaning to the transformations of ideas and of society “.
It is also about making them understand the difference between art and a representation that would only be an imitation of reality, something that goes beyond what is figurative or non-figurative.
Plastic elements and means: lines, shapes, colours, materials, structures and space. These basic elements, in limited amounts, open secondary fields of knowledge. Thus, the idea of colour implies those of primary, secondary, complementary, hot, cold … etc. The notion of space implies two-dimensional or three-dimensional space, literal or figurative, empty or full, inside or outside, real or virtual…
These notions appear interrelated, in synergy with others in a piece of art: matter-colour-space (materiality and texturology by Dubuffet) or matter-space-structure (series of “achromous” by Manzoni). Content is constructed in close relation with the meaning of the pieces that are produced and linked to the child’s deep experience with symbolic imagery.
Any sequence of the visual arts involves an artistic culture. The latter includes World Heritage works of art. Understanding the frame of reference builds upon any previous learning. By affording credibility to its productions, we allow the child to build a strong cultural identity, and take an active role in constructing his thought processes.
The child acts when confronted with materials and tools; he manipulates, draws, cuts, tears, folds, glues, attaches and nails; he experiments with the possibilities and will actually construct technical learning. Manipulating materials and tools lead the child towards the objective that was planned by the teacher.
2. Interdisciplinary Learning
Learning a discipline is a means of gaining access to a deeper form of knowledge. It provides a structure, rigor and coherence to the thought process. It allows for the development of creativity and provides the ability to make connections between seemingly unrelated facts.
If we consider the various disciplinary fields as possible ways to lead the child towards this polymorphic knowledge, we must then question the nature of these relationships between these different disciplinary fields.
Visual arts sequences that involve a series of productions are related to the skills needed to apply mathematics. In choosing installations of this type, in a linear repetition of objects that are almost identical, the rhythmic dimension of the work is highlighted, as are the relationships between the fundamentals of writing and the notions of time and space.
The rhythmic dimension reveals itself in music, sports and science.
Language skills are at the heart of visual arts compositions. When works of art are analysed (explained, compared, defended and justified) are all opportunities to build the oral language skills. On the other hand, visual arts are associated with written productions (illustration, description, structure, creation of meaning and poetic use of the language).
3. Constructing Cross-sectional Concepts
The multiple points of view and their attributes (symbolism, artistic expression, science, history) make it possible to give learning an essential coherence.
«When welcomed and integrated in a classroom, the child matures as he develops his personality through relationships created with adults and peers. He thus affirms his identity and has others recognise him, as he recognises the identity of others. »
Self-awareness and the Construction of Personality
The creative process engages the whole child. It requires a physical, intellectual, spiritual and affective involvement. Leading a child towards a creative process allows him to register his work in a deeply personal way. It allows him to respond in an individual way that is, at the same time, a response to a collective collective appeal.
Learning to Live Together
Collaborative work leads the child from an egocentric perception of the world towards the possibility of taking into account other points of view. It involves listening, paying attention, respecting, sharing and commitment. During the visual arts sessions, the child uses all his skills (to move, act, build, use different tools and mediums… He must anticipate, dream, choose, communicate, evaluate, clean and tidy up). The child will deal with situations that arise from group life that will give him the opportunity to find his way towards self-reliance and personal and group responsibility.
When attempting to explain any artistic approach, there will be plenty of opportunities to highlight the skills of the artist and make relevant, careful choices when developing their work. The student is then able to develop methodological knowledge, to be coherent and organised, to concentrate, listen, to take a step back, to evaluate and to manage space and time.
The child develops dynamic capabilities such as curiosity, intrinsic motivation, open-mindedness, willingness, perseverance, originality, initiative and self-confidence.