Art for the Montessori Primary Teacher
In the summer of 2018 I gave the culture lectures for the first AMI primary (age 2.5-6) teacher training course in Morocco. My friend Lhamo Pemba was the director of training. We had already worked together in several countries, even visiting her family in Northern India, and had become good friends.
Culture—physics, botany, zoology, history, geography, art, and music—is the foundation for the Montessori work in the primary class. It is through these subjects that the children learn about the world and the culture of the local community and the family. Each area of culture incorporates specific practical life and sensorial work, and makes the language area of the class very rich and interesting. At the elementary level these areas are again the foundation as the student at this age uses not only the hands, but the imagination, reaching back in time, out into the universe, and into the future.
I have been asked for art ideas from many parents and teachers. So, throughout this post I am sharing pictures of these creative students during our memorable “art” day.
There are more details of the other culture subjects at the blog post “Dreamtime in Morocco”
Click here: Morocco Course Culture
Mindfulness and Concentration
With this art work, I really wanted the students to experience what their own young students will be experiencing when they become teachers—being deeply engrossed and concentrating on a project giving the mind and the hands purpose as they together, letting go of judgement and competition, releasing the past and the future and all ideas about what one is supposed to be thinking and creating. This kind of “mindfulness” is the very essence of Montessori practice at any level.
They were asked to experiment, creating in with paper and scissors, glue, and colored pencils, with objects (such as a potato) from which to make prints, and with paint—combining them in a personal, open-ended variety.
Here is a quote from the “Morocco Dreamtime” post mentioned above:
The only requirement was that they use all of the materials (drawing, painting, print-making, cutting, gluing) and that they draw or paint at least one bird, and at least 5 flags.
Who is in charge of a person’s artistic creation?
At the beginning of the afternoon I made a suggestion to one students, “Why don’t you try combining print-making and paper cutting? Or combine this lovely drawing of a bird you have made with a design cut from colored paper?”
Her response was, “What? We can do that!!”
“Yes, today this is your art material, and you can create combining anything.”
How early in life we often get programmed to believe that we much paint the sky blue, and leaves, green, and so on and so on. Even today, as an artist, I often have to remind myself to let go of expectations from others, and to repeat in my mind, “This is my canvas and my brush and paint, and I can create what I like!”
This book was a direct result of these Montessori teacher-training course lectures. It is now available from Amazon, and other online sites, around the world. The print version is printed and delivered locally in Australia, USA, UK, Italy, Germany, and perhaps others. I contains details, not only of art, but all of the other areas of culture for the Montessori primary class—physics, botany, zoology, history, geography, and music.
Click: The Red Corolla
Main website, click here: Susanart.net