Update From Jeevan: Creating Beauty to Change Behavior
Some of you have repeatedly commented on how beautiful our whole space looks. That's very sweet, and from our side a deliberate, and often quite tedious (think garbage collection and separation!) process, which we want to talk about a bit in this newsletter.
Our children come from homes where scarce attention is or, rather, can be paid to beauty in everyday life. Once children come to Jeevan Shiksha, we try to create and maintain an aesthetically pleasing environment, because we experience that beauty affects behaviour. When children are faced with harmony in form, colour, or originality, they are more likely to exhibit involvement, collaboration and efficacy.
The whole teaching-learning process at Jeevan is influenced and inspired by this idea; here are some hands-on examples:
*During each Art class, teachers help students to equip themselves with their own means of creating beauty. Focus is not given to visual artistry only, but also to music and dance. Discovering harmonies in sound, rhythm, and movement can have a tremendous effect on children and the way they perceive themselves and their lives. It is no surprise then that many of our students would love to become singers, artists, and dancers.
*Teachers change wall displays every two weeks to display beautiful classwork of students, a great source of pride. They also create posters and concept maps that get decorated and visually reinforce current lesson content.
*Classrooms get kept neat and clean by the children themselves. Even the littlest children in kindergarten help cleaning. If things are in order, the obvious advantage is finding stuff more quickly. Apart from that, it creates a pleasing sense of belonging and perceived control, which both is fundamental for positive learning outcomes.
*For each school function, children and teachers get together to create stunning art work that transforms the campus into a place with a dazzling atmosphere. No wonder that there are always too many students that want to be part of
the preparation process. Hopefully this has helped you a bit to understand where we're coming from. It's nothing really original or new, as few things really are. However, in our polluted and violent daily working environment, it does seem special... :-)
Thanks for reading about our most recent attempts at integrating aesthetical thinking into our lives.