Thursday, February 22, 2007

Montessori and Art

Jane brought up that I haven't really discussed art. And no, I haven't. Part of this is the kids are so self-directed when it comes to drawing, painting and colouring, I just don't think to mention it. I'm not an artist, so there's little that I would plan to do with them. However, I do have a few books to guide them, we take books out from the library a lot and they just have their own desires. I did use some of The Art of Teaching Art to Children in the past. I just have not initiated much in the past year.

At the elementary level, I'm not sure what Maria Montessori would have expected in the classrooms. I know art materials would have been freely available. Many of the modern Montessori elementary schools, unfortunately, have 'specials'--specific time set aside for kids to go off to things like music class, art class, etc. Maria would not have approved of this, but sometimes that's the only way to make it work. I suppose ideally there would be somebody in the school who has an art specialization, kind of like Sudbury Valley, where they could go ask for a lesson if they wished. Or the head guide in the classroom (Montessori classrooms almost always have a guide ("teacher") and an assistant) would have enough art skills to be able to provide lessons. I recall one book where a girl in the class reminded the guide of a promised lesson on painting landscapes. What they would specifically show, I'm not sure!

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