Here is another key to Arts Integrated Education. It is to do with engaging the senses, using more of ourselves to learn with.
First a couple simple and fun workshop questions to do with the five physical senses:
- 1) Why do we have five senses? Can you think of other senses we need?
- 2) If you were in charge of designing a human body, what senses would you include?
- 3) What is it like to be deprived of one of your senses? Try going blindfold with the help of a friend for a whole hour. What is it like? Now try going with your ears plugged…
- 4) Did you know your senses were all part of your nervous system? Why do we have nerves?
- 5) What is the biggest sensing apparatus in the human body?
- 6) Which sense is the most important to you? Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste or Touch?
- 7) How would you design a school that was a wonder and delight for your senses?
So much of our days are confined and conditioned by rooms dominated by 90 degree angles, muted colors, artificial light and hard, sterile surfaces. Many of the objects we use, the buildings we live and work in, mechanical and technological systems were designed to “make life easier” NOT to facilitate our natural human design.
Here are a few examples:
Where are the 90 degree angles in nature?
Where are the hard, angular surfaces in the human body?
Imagine putting a harsh, caustic fluorescent light fixture in a baby’s room. (This is a standard in many hospital maternity wards).
Where are the repetitive and monotonous mechanical buzzing, tapping, pounding or hissing sounds in nature?
What animals spend hours a day doing repetitive and monotonous movements that damage their muscle, bone and nerve structures?
What flora or fauna life in nature will continue to live with toxic exposure that is offensive to the ears, the eyes, the nose (and respiratory system) and the skin?
You get the idea.
- The human body and its many systems is a fluid, non-linear, dynamic, integrated, inter-connected intelligent and versatile model. And yet we force it to adapt to an environment that is not natural to it.
So to help balance the effects of this and to equip children with a greater immunity, teach them to engage and nourish all the senses often during the course of their school day.
We are not robots. We are not statistics. We are not a herd.
We are human beings equipped with the most advanced and sensitive machinery of all organic life on this planet: the human brain and neurological network.
The human body is mostly water; we are fluid, round, flexible and soft by nature. It is in these qualities that our greatest strength is found!