Gabrielle Garcia / Staff Writer
It is all too often that a student will receive information, memorize it and then regurgitate that information for the sole purpose of doing well on an exam. This seemingly incessant cycle has existed in the educational system for decades – most evidently through the predominant pedagogy of “banking.”
In the second chapter of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire discusses the detrimental effects that banking, a method of teaching, has on the educational system’s students. Freire describes students as “containers, ‘receptacles’ to be ‘filled’ by the teachers.”
Furthermore, Freire explains how education has become a depositing act “in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor.”
Although many, if not most, degree programs have specifically constructed curriculums pertaining to the specific area of study, the arts hold transformative and progressive value to any academic experience. Arts as transformative education breaks away from the banking model of learning and fosters creativity in students.
The arts provide alternative ways of thinking, speaking and existing. Beyond the classroom setting, the arts initiate a realm of forward thinking and challenge students to think not outside the box, but as if there is no box at all.
Art, whether culinary, visual, performed or written provides a person with the opportunity to see how modes of expression transcend beyond formal settings and that in itself renders any restrictive paradigm.
The arts allow for exploration of history and the realms of the sociological perspectives that have grown and evolved over time. The arts allow for people to develop inventiveness, visual learning skills and adapt to the challenges of decision-making and problem solving.
In essence, the arts are not solely reserved for those who wish to master a specific art form, rather the arts are a stepping-stone toward a transformative mode of thinking and being, which, as a transformative method of education, fosters creativity and provides an opportunity for students and professionals to immerse themselves in various aspects of a subject—there is no tunnel vision in education.
Creativity manifests itself in many ways, and the arts only enhance a student’s ability to think and to live creatively. Creativity exists in everyone. All human beings are unique, each with their own ethics, talents, emotions and aspirations.
Whether someone is the author of a New York Times bestselling novel, a doctor, an artist or a stay at home parent, a person has the ability to achieve greatness. Who says a person has to be the next Leonardo da Vinci to be considered creative?
[Image from Flickr]