“A Sculptor wields the chisel, and the stricken marble grows to beauty”
– William C Bryant
Sculpting is an amazing job which needs a lot of passion and patience. There are two important sculptors in the making of a child’s life, the Parent and the Teacher. As an educationist, I consider this an opportune moment to share my experience and thoughts on some of the vital issues that have a bearing on the growth process of a child.
“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.
“What sculptor is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul” – Joseph Addison.
True to the above sayings, watching a child learn and grow is one of the most fulfilling experiences for both parents and teachers. While some children learn readily and show a steady growth, some may need more chiseling and attention by their sculptors in their learning and growth process. Sometime this difference may be misinterpreted and misjudged by the adults as deviant behaviour which can actually damage the self- esteem of children.
The most important factor that is responsible for a child to perform differently from her siblings or peers is our concept of intelligence which we view as the learning ability of a child. But intelligence is of different types says Howard Gardner, a psychologist at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He says that there are multiple intelligences which all human beings possess but in varying degree. So, no person is born into this world without intelligence.
Each person has a unique blend of intelligence and exhibits it uniquely. A child may possess well developed verbal skills which is called Verbal Linguistic Intelligence”. Another child may have the ability to think conceptually and discern logically or numerically which is mathematical –logical intelligence. There are many more intelligences opines the author, like, Visual-Kinesthetic Intelligence, the ability to control one’s body movement and to handle objects skillfully etc. So what comes easily to one individual may not be so easy for a child with differently developed intelligence.
So, the purpose of learning should be to explore one’s unique strength and skills. As parents and teachers we can help children by addressing their multiple intelligences and motivate them to develop their individual skills. Each of us is endowed with wisdom of the head and wisdom of the heart. To handle a child, we must make use of both kinds of wisdom in an integrated manner. That is where the skill of the sculptor lies in bringing out the beauty and perfection of the statue.
The poem below always fascinates me when I think of the collaborative role that is played by home and school in the life of a child.
I dreamt I stood in a studio,
and watched two sculptors there.
The clay they used was a young child’s mind,
and they fashioned it with care.
One was a teacher, the tools she used
were books, music, and art.
One, a parent, with a guiding hand
and a gentle loving heart.
Day after day, the teacher toiled,
with a touch that was deft and sure.
while the parent laboured by his side,
and polished and smoothed it o’er.
And when at last, their work was done,
they were proud of what they had wrought.
for the things they had moulded into the child,
could neither be sold nor bought.
And each agreed they would have failed
if each had worked alone,
for behind the parent stood the school
and behind the teacher, the home.
Our school true to its ideals follows effective teaching methods and offers ample opportunities for learning to address the needs of all types of learners. Irrespective of the grades and results, the school curriculum provides the platform for developing the various skills and talents of the children in an atmosphere of joy, spontaneity, confidence, friendliness, fairness and dignity.
Today, as we are all aware, the media has created a counter culture that glorifies violence in our society and in our world. Violence and restlessness in the youth are no longer a far away, nebulous concept but a stark reality that begs our attention and a serious re-examination of our social and educational system. It is up to us as parents, educators and responsible citizens to help children learn the skills necessary to navigate through the huge media influence. They should be properly guided by both the parent and the teacher to filter what is good in the media, oppose what is bad and unhealthy and use the good effectively to grow up in to responsible adults.
Dear teachers, it lies in your capacity and responsibility to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a child and help to develop her true potential and uniqueness. Dealing with the daily problems resulting from Peer Pressure, Child Neglect and Child Abuse, you are perhaps in the best position to identify those children in your classroom and ensure that they receive early intervention and counseling in order to minimize the harm done to them.
Through positive interactions and associations with your children, you can develop in children a strong self-concept, a positive body image and assertiveness in saying no to something or someone contradictory to their value system. This will discipline their behavioural patterns, friendships with peers and relationship with others and enhance their own sense of self image and self esteem.
Dear parents, children are God’s greatest gifts. They are shaped the way you mould them in their developing years. All children need love, care, acceptance, encouragement, appreciation, security and positive attention. Our anger, threats or physical punishment can deeply affect the child’s sense of safety and worth. You need to find ways to guide and discipline your children with love and empathy. What is most important for us to know is that children do what they see being done around them. In other words we have to be their role models.
It is therefore important that you provide them with the right environment, attitude and values so that they blossom into good human beings. If the child experiences positive attitude from her parents, the child is already on the right track towards positive living. Building a deep bond of love with the child is the most important task of a parent. The moral building of the child has to be given immediate priority as there is a huge decline and degradation in moral values and ethics in today’s materialistic world which is influenced by power and money.
It has to be noted that the child whose moral building is left neglected can pose a serious threat to society. Both the parents and teachers remain accountable to the character of an individual. The negligence of the parents and the incomplete role of the teachers is enough to enhance the degradation of the society. Then the next consequence would be the unleashing of barbarity in the world that gallops unbridled. To curb down a large number of social evils, the parents and teachers must play a dominant role by inculcating moral and spiritual values by their own personal example and by creating a congenial environment in the family. Only then the beautiful masterpiece of the human sculptors will emerge successfully as God, the divine sculptor willed it to be. Are we ready for this challenge of playing effectively the role of the sculptors of our society and nation?
The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. May God bless you!
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