education

Drawing Is A Thinking Tool

I've been thinking a lot about this phrase (meaning the title of this post) lately. Not just because I draw every day or because the bulk of my time is spent teaching students to draw*. 

In preparing remarks for parents at our annual Back To School Night (BTSN), I usually focus on the layout and flow and policy related issues of the courses I teach. I have decided to take a left turn this year now that our parents have access to my complete curriculum - including assignment comments and introductions - on our districts' LMS, Canvas.  

I have decided to discuss philosophy in a much more intentional way. 

As I feel passionately about the benefits learning about Art gives all cultures, that is what I want to hit hard upon. I mean, we as a species have been drawing in one form or another for thousands of years, and long before there was written language to use as a communication tool.  

Why? 

Excellent (and unanswerable) question. Which is kind of the point.  

When somethhing is, truly, hard wired into your DNA, why deny it? You don't have to pursue it as a career or even feel like you are "good" at it - which is a very relative descriptor anyway. But you can learn a lot by learning how to see; by learning about how culture and history and art have always inter-influenced each other; by developing a deeper sensitivity for creation and process and product.  

Truth be told, drawing is always an easy way to access creativity, and when the top business leaders in the world are after more and more creative hires, why not start at the beginning, and give life to ideas visually. Who knows, maybe it will lead to much more than a piece of paper. Maybe it leads all the way to the development of a new sports car or layout for an app. Just think about the possibilities.  

 

 

(Note that teaching is not about teaching what the title or subject of the class outwardly appears to be, but is much more; which requires much further investigation later.) 

So making art increases resilience, reduces stress, and increases brain activity.

That sounds like as good a note as any for the first blog post on this new-ish site.

 

As an artist and educator these things seem so obvious to me, but I know so many even in the field of education that wouldn't even think about it this way.

What with all the "You need to take another AP class" and the "You won't get a job without STEM classes" chatter that does nothing but increase every year.

 

I know that emotionally and psychologically you benefit from creating something and thinking about something from a different perspective. It also helps to struggle with something and be forced to have a "do-over" and to work on a project that takes a significant amount of time to complete. These things are all good.

I mean, being able to "undo" something is a lifesaver (and by life I mean time), but the thinking and process and time involved in the physical going over something or remaking of a thing is so valuable.

Anyway, I just saw this great article (that has plenty of science and research to back it up) that Gabe Bergado wrote on .Mic titled Science Shows Art Can Do Incredible Things for Your Mind and Body