Understanding the Boundary Between Education and Literacy

The Title is self-explanatory. Let’s clear our concepts first;

What is Literacy?

Literacy is the ability to read, write and express ourselves. The key to literacy is reading development, a progression of skills that begins with the ability to understand spoken words and decode written words, and culminates in the deep understanding of text.

What is Education?

I define Education as the capability to use the ability to express ourselves. This is one line definition of education. Education is the application of literacy, not just the literacy.

A person can’t say that “I am educated because I know how to read, write and express myself.”

Coming to my point, Are we really getting educated or just literate? People pursuing great degrees are still left unemployed. Students with great minds and talents are unemployed and maximum number of unemployment can be seen in engineering. Why is this? The answer to all these questions is THEY ARE JUST LITERATE, NOT EDUCATED.

They lack skills because they just know to express themselves but they don’t know how to express, why to express and what to express. Education involves whole methodology of applying skills, to foster development and exploring new ideas.

Now, coming to India’s education system, I believe that India is focussing on its academics but not in proper manner. Children here are characterized on the basis of their grades, marks and how much they know, not on their talent, skills and how much they discover the undiscovered. The children who have knowledge are intelligent but the children who discover and explore knowledge are called to be wise and genius.

Taking an example, Albert Einstein found no profit and interest in knowing history and learning those dates, left one of the best schools by giving fake medical certificate of nervous breakdown and started discovering the undiscovered, exploring the unexplored and fostering the science and technology not for anyone else but for himself, for getting inner satisfaction and peace. He is one of the best scientists who brought a new look to the era of science.

The people in India who are extremely talented and skillful, leave the country for getting better jobs and opportunities in foreign cities. Why this happens? What is the reason? What makes people and talents of India to leave such a wonderful country? Is this because of outer fantasies, glories or fame? No, the answer is, India lacks in its education system which makes Indian talents to settle outside.

India is a democratic developing country. India is developing constantly in its academics but in wrong way. We are just getting LITERATE, not EDUCATED.

Leaving a question for you;

Are you just literate or educated?

Major Goals in Art Education For Children

What goals are likely to promote inquiry in art as a child? Art makes sense to children when they experience it as a basic form of expression and as a response to life. The two modes of experience-expression and response-are interdependent. Both are essential in the goals for personal fulfillment, for studies of the artistic heritage and for studies of the social aspects of art.

In order to find personal fulfillment through art, children need to learn how their lives can be enriched by their own efforts to create art and respond to visual forms.

Children enjoy manipulating art materials and even without guidance they may produce works that have expressive meaning. The activity and chance successes are poor measures of learning. If, as the saying goes, “one picture is worth a thousand words,” one truly creative experience in art is worth a thousand aimless experiments with art media. We may experience pride and inner strength that come from shaping forms that express something about ourselves, genuine self-expression is not easy.

Art has the potential for making feelings and ideas vivid; but to function expressively, an art form must be created so that it captures the precise feeling and imagery of our experience. Only then can art give substance to feelings that might otherwise remain undefinded, unclear, and unexplored. Few children are such natural artists that they can easily express themselves without a supportive environment. In order to achieve personal fulfillment through creating art, children need sensitive adult guidance in mastering the following pivotal moves in the artistic process: the creation of ideas for personal expression, the discovery of visual qualities to express ideas and feelings, and the use of media to convey an expressive intent.

In daily life, we ”look at” much more than we truly ”see,” “feel,” and “experience.” If we are sensitive to our aesthetic responses we realize that we are “moved” by something because our senses are fully activated. At such moments of realization, we experience a kind of insight so uncommon and so exact that we are in awe of our own powers of perception.

Art deals with human feelings, beliefs, and conduct. Studies in art-like those in the humanities-are loaded with implications about the ideal life and the values people hold. If we treat art as if it were only a matter of learning facts and mastering techniques, we deny its value-laden character. In the public schools of this country, subjects that center on human values are taught in a comparative manner. As teachers, we should clearly emphasize that art can also be understood and experienced in different ways

Learn to generate ideas for expression through art. Art does involve a struggle to find ideas and that varied sources in their experience can be tapped for inspiration. Children can learn to generate ideas by careful observation of their natural and constructed environment. Subjects are abundant-people, places, inanimate objects, plants, animals, weather, the seasons, and special events. Imagination is the ability to form images in the mind, especially of things, that are not ”real” in ordinary life. Fantastic, futuristic, weird, mysterious, and dreamlike events can be a source of inspiration for art. Contemplating themes can serve as a source of motivation for art. Children can learn to express their personal feelings about such concepts as love, peace, and beauty as well as hate, war, and ugliness.Inventing the necessity. Ideas can come from problems and needs to everyday life, such as wanting to make a present for someone special.

Do Educational Toys Promote Early Childhood Development? (Developing Creativity, Part V)

Every child has within themselves the ability to be creative. It is important that parents recognize the value of their child’s creativity and pursue avenues as well as make every effort in helping their child to develop in this area of their lives. Creativity can be defined many ways but is basically the development of unique and special abilities and talents in your child. However, creativity goes beyond the mechanics of developing a skill in a particular area such as music, the arts and writing. It also involves the release of one’s individuality, uniqueness, diversity and personalization of ideas and thoughts which makes it their own.  

Creativity is essential as it provides a means for children to develop ideas and solutions for problem solving. When problems occur they do not always have an easy answer meaning that a solution may work at one particular time and although the circumstances may seem the same a new solution must be applied. Problem solving involves a creativeness that is flexible with the ability to adapt and apply thoughts and ideas resulting in a successful outcome. So when it comes to problem solving, children need to be challenged to make observations from various perspectives and to apply an array of solutions that they have developed through creative thinking.

Some of the ways that parents can help their children express themselves and solve problems through creative thinking are…

  • Be a role Model; show them first hand
  • Provide situations that provoke multiple choices, ideas and answers
  • Encourage your child to explore other possibilities
  • Allow flexibility rather than structure (what everyone else thinks)
  • Accept unusual ideas and their possibilities
  • Recognize and help them to express their individuality
  • Provide imaginative play
  • Allow and encourage spontaneity
  • Build their self-confidence through positive affirmation  
  • Show your support in their efforts
  • Unless asked, let them accomplish tasks without your help
  • Ask questions that challenge alternative answers
  • Encourage, encourage, encourage

Playing is important and the most natural way for children to learn and grow. Researchers have suggested that creative adults were most likely involved in imaginative play as children. Educational toys are an invitation to fun creative learning. They are an avenue to stimulate imagination as well as providing situations requiring problem solving. They open the door of socialization with other children which provides opportunities of how others think and feel. They provide a means of developing self-confidence as your child masters various ways to accomplish tasks which also builds their self-esteem. They are also useful in helping children discover various emotions as their self-expression bubbles forth.    

Creativity plays an important role in the future success and productivity of your child. Self-expression, problem solving, decision making, expressing ideas and experiencing an unlimited flow of endless opportunities and possibilities are all developed through creativeness. Although we may take for granted such things as an automobile, a telephone, lighting and computers, it was the creative expression of ordinary people who broke the mold of popular thinking an achieved what most thought the impossible. But isn’t that the desire of all parents, that their children become more successful and productive than themselves? So parents help your child’s creative juices flow.