Art Facilitating Character Education
The goal of Wise Within is simple:
Encourage students to find a role model that will inspire them to be a better person.
The assignment for students is to paint a portrait and quote of someone who truly inspires them. In doing so, the student makes a closer connection to that person – and what makes that person special – than they ever could by just reading about them in a textbook or encyclopedia. The student takes ownership of their inspiring individual through their personal interpretation of that person’s image and words. And, for virtually all of the students in our pilot project, that sparked a deeper interest and a deeper exploration of the subjects and their lives.
We saw young people engaged in the project in a way that only a personally meaningful experience can capture them. And we discovered a few other fascinating side effects, such as a discernible gaining of confidence brought on by their own ability to express themselves in this way. Students strutted around showing their paintings to various teachers and finally, with great pride, their families.
Whether the confidence was achieved by surprising themselves with their own artistic abilities or just through the freedom to express in a non-judgmental environment, it is undeniable that a little confidence can go a long way. And these students discovered more than a little of it over the course of this project.
Wise Within is an art project at its core, but it touches on so many other areas, including citizenship, media literacy, philosophy, history and language. In doing so, it has the power to spark a deeper interest – and renewed confidence – in these areas of learning.
Here are the kids' paintings. It's quite amazing who they picked.
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I have been steering the branding and communications for 2 years now... We launch the piolet this summer, 2020 !!! woodfieldcampus.org
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