Free Math Websites For Middle School latest 2023

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Improve Your Life Through Art

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE THROUGH ART

I have taught hundreds of students over the past fifty years at community colleges, private schools, and private studios. One thing I realized is that many of us believe that people who are creative are gifted. They are born with certain creative talents and those who are not imbued with these particular inclinations are doomed to an uncreative life. Example: “I can draw a straight line!” OR “I can’t even draw a stick figure!”

But they are wrong. What I discovered is that we are ALL good at creativity. As humans, we are wired to be creative and this propensity has served us well in ancient times. Think about it. We invented spears to hunt animals for food, we invented the wheel to get us where we needed to go, and we learned about agriculture by collecting seeds, planting them to feed our families. All of these and many other advances that led to civilization as we know it today were born out of our combined informational knowledge and creative efforts: observation, visualization, problem solving, imagination, and invention. All of these creative skills have improved our survival in the present.

RICH LEARNING

The parts of our brains that developed for inventing, imagining and solving problems are alive and well in our brains today. If we recognize our innate creative abilities and adapt them to our future creative goals, we see that we can contribute a great deal to the enrichment of the human race. Unfortunately, many cultures, including ours, often demystify the power of creativity as an important global unifying factor of development, preferring more primitive and aggressive tactics like war, repression and political domination.

In the United States today, we like to think that supporting math and science in education guarantees our dominance on the education front. And, in the global community, indeed, these skills are very important to our progress. But, if only the memorization and reiteration of data propels the teaching of math, science and all other areas of learning, we are selling our students short, depriving them of the resource of creativity that will integrate them into global needs. .

If university studies delved into creative educational applications such as problem solving, design, invention, research and development, a richer learning experience would propel students more successfully into the global future. A full spectrum of learning, combining the basic knowledge required by the subject, combined with creative skills that require students to apply, those skills to investigate, invent, visualize – this is the expansion of knowledge we we need to address a deeper, richer and more compelling motivation to improve our real and future world.

MY CREATIVE EXPERIENCE

In my own life, I have experienced this creative transition, having applied my creative skills to reinvent or solve problems in various jobs. In art education. I have worked to instruct and develop this same transition in my students who come from many backgrounds including: psychotherapy, engineering, medical technicians, writers, authors, retail associates and financial consultants.

When I was a child, I drew pictures and my parents and grandparents complimented me on the little drawings and paintings I made. They said I was gifted with artistic talent. And, of course, their praise inspired me to continue drawing and painting.

My teaching experience brought me into contact with people who very early on had the same desire to imagine, visualize and create, but who were discouraged from going further. Rejection by an instructor, family member, peer, or no encouragement at all, easily destroyed their fragile and budding creative impulse. As I said earlier, we’re all wired to create – it’s the part of our brain that gives us the ability to self-progress in our lives beyond our daily tasks, past schedules, of our routines and commitments by imagining, visualizing and yes, dreaming.

WHAT I SAY TO MY STUDENTS

When my students tell me they’d like to learn to draw or paint but haven’t done anything in years because someone said they made a stupid drawing or that real learning involves memorizing facts and figures and everything creative was fluff, they’re sorry; as if their need to paint or draw was a stupid waste of time even though they had to. I tell them that their quest is great and noble because their total enrichment passes not only through knowledge, but also through inspiration. I say they already have the ability to create and it is time for them to start learning how to reap the rich rewards of their creative efforts.

This dialogue reaches a broad demographic – young, middle-aged, and older people who need to improve their lives in some way. My younger students often feel disenfranchised by a society that emphasizes rote learning. My middle-aged students feel they have missed out on something vital in their lives – that they want to create, learn to draw or paint because their work and even their hobbies have not satisfied them. Older students often feel like life has passed them by, even though they have succeeded and retired comfortably. These are the common profiles of the students I instruct and this is their main core theme for needing instruction. What they all have in common is the need to use a part of their brain that needs to be activated and hasn’t been activated during their lives and daily endeavors.

CREATIVITY IS A PLACE

Creativity is a place where we go. It has no boundaries or definitions. I know this place from my own work as an artist and I can see this place connecting in students. There is a palpable shift in thinking when this place is accessible. This place is a safe haven for inspiration, for getting to know your innate creative self, the one that connects you to your dreams, your imagination and your visions. It’s often a scary but powerful resource that feels oddly good and self-enhancing.

Much of the research and development in many fields including medicine, science, literature, computing is done through the combination of knowledge and inspiration. Knowledge alone will not build a better product, a better idea or a better world. Knowledge has boundaries, fences, and barriers that often prevent inspiration from entering to progress toward a higher purpose or need.

A student of mine once remarked after I gave my Inspiration vs. Knowledge lecture:

“OK, so I guess that means that when I write, if I correct my mistakes by checking words, it doesn’t necessarily improve my writing. So, I can use a protractor or a compass in my drawings, but that does not guarantee that the design will be improved.”

That comment has stuck in my memory over the years. Yes, knowledge is a model, but it also requires an infusion of free thought, the aquatic stuff, the primitive pond that grows new ideas that can evolve into exciting applications to improve the world.

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