Interview Excerpt from The Artful Parent

I was recently interviewed by Jean Van’t Hul of the website The Artful Parent. I’ve admired her site for a long time and celebrated her successes as an author. When she reached out to me for an interview I was over the moon! Here’s one of my favorite responses, she had some challenging questions for me!

JEAN:  Why do you believe creativity is important to foster in our children?
REGINA:  Wow. This is a loaded question!

You would think that as someone with a computer science degree I’d say, it’s not. We’re living in an information driven society, why do we need colored pencils, paint or music in our classrooms — shouldn’t we just focus on building competent computer and information literacy skills?

I feel just the opposite. Even if you push aside the joy, pleasure and the intrinsic “humanness” that results from creating something with your hands, above all art fosters creative thinking. Approaching a problem with an open mind and finding creative solutions is a required skill set for any job. Even a computer programmer could benefit from “outside the box” thinking skills.

7cd08-dsc_09154So many academic programs today are focused on the end goal of standardized testing and the classroom experiences of today’s children reflect that. Worksheet after worksheet does not a happy child make! I was lucky to teach in a school where art was not only taught but celebrated throughout the curriculum.

Confidence is built when you share something all your own with your classmates. Having it respectfully received is a result of thoughtful art appreciation lessons which should go hand in hand with art class. You don’t have to like every genre of art (or dance, music, ect) but appreciating and respecting the creativity and technique that went into it is a must. Now THAT is a lesson that can carry over into every content area and character development goal.

Read the whole interview here:

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