Smile Foundation, organized a unique One day workshop on 17th January 2004 on Teaching 2004 on Teaching through Art & Craft as part of their Quality Education Program. The workshop was attended by 50 teachers of 20 NGOs working with different communities of the National Capital Region.
The aim of the workshop was to introduce teachers to a range of educative and innovative ideas/practices on Arts & craft for children, and how to integrate it with mainstream curriculum subjects (such as Math, English, Science, Geography, History). Thus advocating a holistic and inter disciplinary approach to learning that is not compartmentalized but inter-related.
The workshop was intended to reinforce the message that hands on activities enhance the learning process. As children comprehend and apply knowledge better after participation in hands on learning activities and they develop new behavior and socialization skills as well and equip teachers with skills so that they make learning a joyful experience thus inspiring students to accomplish goals, take pride in their achievements and persevere in their learning.
Anchored by Mrs. Kiran Puri an Educationist with 25 years of teaching and training experience, the workshop was attended by Sai Kripa, Efrah, Anurag, Vidya, NDS, Nav Srishti, Sankalp, Adhaar, Amba foundation, Swashrit, Nav Srishti- (Faridabad), SMK, Literacy India foundation, Sahyogita, Health And Care Society, Project One, Caring Foundation, Sankalp Welfare Society (Gurgaon), Rajeshwari Center, Ambedkar Society.
Says Mrs. Kiran Puri, "Through hands on craft students develop both a greater appreciation for and understanding of what they are learning. Hands on projects help to make aspects of what the students need to learn more visible and explicit in a way that abstract conceptual learning rarely does. Crafting is a hands-on experience. If the children live it, they learn it and it stays with them forever."
The workshop explored the various forms of art: pictorial, decorative and performing as a viable media of self-expression, emphasizing on discovering the child and recognizing his capabilities. Thus enhancing the child's faculties of creation and deduction.
In Craft the workshop introduced the concept that crafting; can be a purposeful, creative and practical process of giving form to ideas. It fosters exploration and the application of relevant information to achieve something of value, and it can spark excitement and enthusiasm among students.
Teachers were taught a variety of drawing, painting techniques, (spray, blow, brush, candle, cotton etc) collages, paper craft, puppets (stick, finger, cloth), masks, puzzle making, gift making, musical instruments, recycle craft etc. A host of materials were used like balloons, plaster of paris, pieces of cloth, beads, broken crockery, match boxes, bottle and tube caps, newspaper, copy covers etc the emphasis was on using inexpensive and waste material usually found lying around.
The workshop was participative in nature. The concept of using puppets, puzzles, painting, performing arts and craft as means of instructions for teaching curricula subjects especially Math's was much appreciated by the participants. The teachers felt confidant that with the newly acquired ideas and skill they would they would be able to make qualitative changes in their teaching methodology, hopefully making normal subjects more interesting and student friendly.
An idea sharing session was organized towards the end where participants were encouraged to share their ideas and prizes were distributed.