In Education

Christine Alfery

Posted on April 12 2021

In Education

Featured image: The Scale

In education a great deal of emphasis seems to be placed on the value of objectivity and acquiring the correct answer. There are specific methods that dictate how we learn and how we find the right answer. Take art education as an example. Art critiques are part of the curriculum, and a student needs to understand the elements and principles of art in order to participate in a critique. The student is left with the idea that the elements and principles determine what makes a “good” or “bad” work of art. Art teachers can purchase pre-printed charts explaining things like color, value, line, shape, texture, form, contrast, repetition and pattern, emphasis, movement, rhythm and unity. The value placed on these charts and the corresponding elements and principles of art is objective. It can be measured and evaluated.

What is often missing is creativity, thinking differently. The principals of art create a foundation but creativity balances these objective values. In art especially, we should value thinking differently. 

I am an excellent example of someone out of balance with traditional educational objectives and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Creatives, like me, struggle to function within the existing system. Creatives, like me, think differently and solve problems differently. When I was in school, there was no place for me, even when I went back to graduate school. Because of this, I struggled to defend my PhD. There was no balance. Even in art, there was logic, curriculum, and direction. I remember taking a multiple choice test and thinking, "Multiple choice in art? One right answer? But there are so many possibilities . . ."

As I creative, I just didn’t fit the box. I eventually realized not only was that ok, it was something that I valued. I did not want to become one of the many. I did not want to seek sameness.  I wanted balance – a symbiosis of subjective creativity and objective theory. 


The Scale, The Machine, The Natural by Christine Alfery

Our world cannot be defined solely by the objective. External values can be manipulated and controlled. The unique individual soul is lost when it's governed only by the external. Defining your "self" only by concrete, measurable, proven foundations of knowledge makes all of us monotone. It makes all of us the same. This “sameness” does not encourage difference. Difference exists. We must respect difference because it offers uniqueness, innovation, new ideas, objective and creativity. It offers balance.

For us artists, we realize that as a creative we are giving balance to our culture. We are showing the value of differences as we respect the concrete while also honoring the unique treasures within each one of us. We must not let the world lose this balance. Our culture cannot afford to lose creative individual souls.
I am a creative. I continue to create. I honor the treasures and jewels within me that are shouting to emerge and be present in today’s reality. I am a creative. I exist to bring balance to the world

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