In previous posts, we’ve provided information about the nature of a Real Montessori Classroom, and how it emphasizes cooperation and community over competition.
At the heart of this approach is the firm belief that emphasizing the process of learning is more important than being motivated solely by an outcome. Such a tenet also translates directly into the role of art in the Montessori classroom.
In most Montessori classrooms, there is an art shelf or corner readily available to the students daily. Children have the option to work on creating their own art pieces, or work on projects related to themes also being discussed in other areas of the class.
There is often the misconception that if an art project is predetermined, than the outcome will be an assembly line of identical-looking art pieces. Not true. While children are encouraged to seek out and create their own art regularly, the option of working together or on carefully chosen projects often yields surprisingly unique results.
Why? Because children have a way of putting their own creative stamp on their work – especially if they’re already familiar with the materials. Also, to work on something shared within the classroom, but still identified as their own unique creation, teaches children about the importance of community.
The benefits of consistent art creation in the classroom for children are unparalleled: freedom to express or relay thoughts, finding a creative outlet for their own intuitions, feeling a sense of accomplishment in completing something solely their own.
In a fundamental way, this process allows children to really see the world, to gaze upon it as something interpretable and vibrant.