Sunday, July 6, 2008

Home and School

My Mom is visiting from Israel this week. I our conversations we turned to the importance of home environment to the development of visual art. The discussion started from my comment that Itai my youngest (2) seems to enjoys visual art activities (sometime on inappropriate surfaces such as counters, tables and the inside of my car). Art was never emphasizd in our house (though my sister became a musician) we visited museums but were not really encouraged to be actively engaged in any art form. In her comment I am not sure if my Mom meant that Itai will not really ever be an artist because we at home are not ourselves very artistic... This got me thinking about breaking the cycle of non-engagement. Since the home is so important in determining the disposition and capabilities of students, can school change any of that? This is true with language, literacy, and of course art.
As parents I can encourage Itai (and the rest) to be engaged with art, to feel safe trying new forms of expression and seeking out art. As educators our role is to provide the same experiences, environment, attitudes, and expectations that will support a relationship with art and literacy regardless of the home environment. We do need to understand though that our actions cannot erase all differences between home environments... there is too much to overcome.
And in reality exposure to rich experiences in different domains in our home and community is what makes us diverse and different contributing to the rich tapestry of society.
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