Entry 43: Standardizing
I have a soft-spot in my heart for my younger brother, Chris, because even though he might drive me crazy with his alien sounds and calls, I still think he is a hilarious person and I have grown accustom to his nonsense
He used to not perform well in school, however, so at times I would wonder what would happen to his academic career if he continued on this path.
What happens when he starts trailing off with grades or procrastination gets a hold of him? What if his grades affect his outlook on his performance? Will jobs not looks his way because of his test scores? What if he loses hope in himself? I often thought about these things when I was in school, so I have sympathy for my brother.
Thankfully, he does a lot better and he even did so well in school last year that he received eight college invitations. Eight! I don't think I even received one! I may have been jealous...
Anyways, today I sat in on a Senior Thesis reception that addresses those who suffer from this academic dilemma. Their main objective was to reinstitute the arts back into the learning world. By introducing art into test-taking and studying, teachers found out that students performed 15% better on tests. Using art as a learning tool reopens the creative side of our brain that taps into learning, in the same way a child learns from playing with visually colorful blocks, shapes, and toys.
The best example this Senior Thesis group provided was about a small child who was terrible at school. The mother thought her daughter was developing slower than other children, so she enrolled her daughter with a special teacher. When the teacher was interviewed and hired, the teacher put the child alone in a room with a one-way mirror, turned on some music, and watched behind the glass with the mother.
It wasn't long before the child began to perform ballet, which she had practiced in front of her cats. The teacher said to the mother, "your daughter doesn't need help with school because she's a dancer." This child later became one of the most famous ballet dancers in the world.
Even though creativity may help students perform better in a school setting, it isn't always the best place for them to excel. My brother is one of those individuals. He loves to learn and is exceptionally smart, but tests and homework are difficult for him.
When I told one of the members of the Senior Thesis about this and how my brother is a quick-witted and intelligible person, she recommended that he should try debate club or writing. It was a relieving feeling to know that students like my brother are not given up on. I have always enjoyed his company and I look up to him for creative ideas and a spot of humor.
This Senior Thesis group is attempting to create a learning environment through the means of art, and so far their workshops at local high schools were well received. They posted an outline on their school's art blog, which covers the major points of their goals.
In the end, never give up on students and young ones because even though they may not have great test scores or seem unmotivated, but instead, help guide them and each other in a positive direction with creative endeavors.