Lessons from subjective sunflowers
Posted March 26, 2014on:
by Mike Wiseman
Not too long ago, my son’s art teacher told the class to draw a sunflower. Having a mind and eyes shaped by LEGO and Minecraft, he opted to draw a blocky version.
My son told me that kids who drew more literal or accurate versions of sunflowers got better grades than those (like him) who drew their own interpretations.
Perhaps I should give the teacher the benefit of the doubt if the pieces were graded on technique or accuracy of representation.
Or perhaps I should wonder if there is room in that classroom for multiple interpretations or creative expression.
I told my son that art was subjective. We had a just-in-time, just-for-him discussion on the importance of different perspectives and staying creative. I am going to follow up with a reminder that “grades are not everything” and provide him with a boost in confidence.
There are things that schooling does not teach. There are things that schooling should teach but does not. We must be aware of both.
If we are parents, we must fill those gaps in on our own. If we are educators, we must ask ourselves why those gaps even exist.