My main aims with teaching art to primary grades can be broken down to the following points:
a) Experimentation (teaching them to overcome any fear of unfamiliar materials) b) Imagination (teaching them that the mind has no limits, allowing them to dream) c) Individualism (teaching them to think ‘ outside the box’ ) d) Freedom of expression (teaching them to not be afraid to show feelings and to do it in their own personal style) e) Problem solving (teaching them that there are no mistakes in art; that any error can be fixed if you go about it cleverly) f) Self-esteem (teaching them to be proud of their work and to never insult the work of others) g) Sharing (teaching them to share materials and ideas with the rest of the class) h) Recycling (teaching them to use, re-use and recycle objects one would normally throw away) i) Patience (teaching them that no good work of art can be rushed and that one has to follow a process and see it through to the end) j) Respect (teaching them to have respect for the teacher, their classmates, materials and the opinions of others)
My aim is to try and create a disciplined space for the children to work in. Art is often a subject that requires the teacher to allow the children a certain amount of fun and freedom, however, fun turns into chaos if it has no ordered structure and discipline.
I try and allow the children to follow their own instincts, so the result becomes secondary to individual expression. I do not believe in “paint by numbers”, nor do I force the children to follow a formula. There are formal elements like colour, composition etc. that is imperative, but sometimes the formal elements have to be sacrificed to allow the child to freely create. The process is often more important than the end product. Through art, children learn a lot about themselves. Their inner discovery is more important than a “good” work of art.