Journal Entry#2: Open entry. Use photos, videos, etc., to discuss a topic in art education that is of interest to you. Write a critical reflections on your research, your work and field experiences. Include drawings, sketches, doodles, brainstorms, etc.
I believe the link between narrative and visual art is important for children as it expands their imagination and enables them to communicate and express themselves clearly. According to Bruno Bettelheim, a child psychologist, fairy tales help children overcome their unconscious fears, identify and express their feelings. To trigger these connections with a story, he states that it must engage and activate a child’s imagination.
In my own experience, art education in my homeland provides topics that the student visualizes in his drawings. Although it wasn’t a successful method as the majority of the class was often not engaged in this activity because of academic competitiveness as to who draws better rather than creativity, it allowed me to push the limits of expectations. For example, when instructed to draw about outer space, I started to portray a narrative of aliens capturing humans. This then led to my writing and illustrating a story outside of class of aliens capturing my brother and I in the middle of the night, and how we overcame them. This reflects my childhood fear of monsters or other evil creatures appearing in my room during the night, and visual storytelling provided me the assurance of overcoming such dangers should they occur.
In my volunteer experience, children were given colouring pages to have them engaged in an activity while their older siblings attended their lessons. The children were often bored by this. When given the opportunity to work on a blank piece of paper, they were completely engrossed in their drawings and started discussing them with each other and didn’t want to leave when it was closing time.
I believe that art education should encourage younger students to create stories and tell them to better communicate their feelings or fears and identify interests through imagination and creativity, keeping creativity as the main focus.