ReflectArt is an educational resource that links visual arts with emotional, social, and creative education. It proposes work divided into three interrelated and consecutive stages organised around one -face-to-face or virtual- session in an exhibition hall addressing the specific objectives of the Botín Foundation’s Responsible Education programme, integrated into our Social and Emotional Education project.
The application of this resource helps teachers and students achieve:
- An inclusion of the aesthetic experience in the learning process: Meaningful, emotional, and expressive learning.
- A contact with the work of art and its understanding in both a didactic and playful manner through both the personal and collective observation and discovery of different concepts.
- A development of attitudes and emotional and social skills such as empathy, identification of emotions, active listening, respect for other opinions, assertiveness, and creativity.
ReflectArt is designed to help students holistically develop their identity by discovering and voicing their emotions, feelings, and opinions through the knowledge and confrontation with artistic practice. It also seeks to stimulate and promote their perceptive, expressive, and creative abilities as well as the visual and formal analysis and critical sense of the realities presented by today’s world.
Within a creative artistic experience, students develop their ability to question (themselves) and find answers, discover new ways and analogies, restructure and find new relationships between symbols, signs, meanings, and emotions.
This educational resource aims at generating creative and reflective spaces. It also helps all participants (teachers and students) because even though creative expression and ability naturally exists within us, it requires a specific development framework in order to be manifested with full strength and autonomy.
Many of the conflicts in people’s lives resist the conventional ways we address them and require “creative solutions:” Just by practicing creativity, we achieve productive and creative solutions!
At our school, the ReflectArt project is currently developed in the 3rd and 4th Primary school grade.
It is also a very powerful tool for the field of Plastic Arts Education. Since the beginning, we have built increasingly more complex and interesting projects each year. We have worked with different forms of artistic expression, painting, photography, installations, short films, comics, and music. We always have the same goal: That our students understand, investigate, and interpret different works of art and their authors by delving into the fascinating and captivating creative process of the artists and themselves. First we ask ourselves: Why do we think they made this work? What did they want to convey? What do we feel when we see it or hear it? Then, the students wonder: Why have I made this work? What did I want to communicate? What did I feel as I created it?
The possibility of finding an interesting and meaningful educational resource to strengthen a subject is marvellous, but having the freedom to break barriers and enhance those resources to raise them to something greater is what makes the whole process more exciting.
In the 2014-2015 school year we presented our work at the Botín Foundation headquarters in Madrid under a name that summarizes our entire project: “We love nature, we need nature, WE ARE NATURE.”