«We are challenged by a task of utmost importance – to actively develop the children’s fantasy, which is the driving force of the future.»
Being engaged in creativity is not simply an enjoyable process, but also a life philosophy. Will a person be able to find a creative business solution at the age of 35? This is highly influenced by the fact whether such person was allowed to find unconventional solutions at the age of 5. That’s why the importance of creative component in raising a child can be measured as 10 out of 10.
How can we develop a child through art and creativity, why do we have to pay so much time to this aspect and what secrets are applied at CISC camps and CISC_Weekend School – answered by the Head of CISC_Kyiv Extracurricular mode of studies Ms. Aliona Plys.
- Why is the role of art and creativity so important in the process of raising a child?
Nowadays, our Planet requires unconventional solutions. Eco cities are created, robotization is under way, the technologies are moving forward at full speed, AI is being developed. Development of unconventional thinking is vitally important for each person, since the machines will never be able to fantasize as humans can. We are challenged by a task of utmost importance – to actively develop the children’s fantasy, which is the driving force of the future.
The art helps us do so. Since it is the art that helps shape one’s tastes, individuality and independence from social background. The art develops speaking skills, imagination and fantasy. It is the guarantee of progress!
One of the objectives of CISC Extracurricular modes of studies is the creation of conditions in which a child can imagine, fantasize and become the creator of a whole world. That’s why we have built a modern and creative space where the children can fulfill their ideas.
I would like to give you one of the examples: at «I am a Writer» course our campers usually explore a certain topic, and then write their own stories, make illustrations, comics or even authentic books on the basis of the knowledge received. And they are so proud of their works..
- Please, tell us about some productive methods of education through art, culture and sports. How is it done in CISC camps or CISC_Weekend?
A child goes to a camp or to CISC_Weekend for a quality communication, development and active rest. Project activities pass through all camp shifts and Saturday activities. For instance, we worked on a 3D project recently, and it still stands in the middle of the hall because the children don’t want to hide it away. It is a 3D model of a prehistoric society.
Each group of children worked on making a cave, and then these caves were united into a single model, and we received a big and colourful model of a society which the children planted with trees and shrubs,inhabited with humans and animals. It was a joint project, a big teamwork, with each component connected with another, that’s why in the process the children learned to make agreements. And this project was also a game through which the participants could study the world and interact with it.
In order for the children to master the new knowledge with interest, we mix the intellectual component with game methods.
In the process of a game the child studies the topic deeply, develops critical thinking skills, learns to listen to others’ thoughts and opinions, to work in a team and find creative and, most importantly, own decisions. Such creative «tricks» are vitally important, they bear a deep educational meaning.
- Some advicer for the parents – what aspects should they pay attention to when selecting a camp for their child?
They should pay attention to the camp atmosphere.How can we check it? For example, we have an opportunity of visiting the Weekend School format, it is very much like camps. The parents can come and see the conditions in which their child stays, and what knowledge the child receives after the classes, how the educational and entertainment process is organized. Our students’ parents have often said that the atmosphere in camps is very friendly, and that the students perceive the tutors as older friends, and that the children are extremely proud of their camp achievements
Of course, the parents have to ask about the program. A camp is a vacation, and the child has to have a nice time, having fun and obtaining new knowledge. That’s why a balance must be kept between entertainment and education.
CISC camps are unique in that sense because a child can try different directions at once. You can find all the things beneficial for a child’s development in one place. That’s why I think that this is one of the main criteria why the parents select us as an amazing project for the children.
- What values is the CISC camp life built on?
Development. We teach the children to be independent, we give them knowledge on the basis of which they can make their own decisions or suggestions.
Creativity. Through creative projects, we stimulate the children’s unconventional thinking, teach them to find unusual solutions to problems. This, for example, is how the process of shooting an advertisement video occurs in a camp: in a game form, the children are organized into groups that work on ideas, make the algorithms of actions and write the script. During such work the children must agree on the means of organizing each process. The teacher explains the technical aspects, but the children must make their own conclusions and creative decisions.
Respect. We always talk about respect. Before the start of each shift we have a meeting to get acquainted and discuss the rules. And after the classes we often discuss the matters of interaction. The children come to the new group with the purpose of obtaining quality communication, and it is not possible without mutual respect.
It is important to mention the respect of a tutor to a child. Our tutors are not educators, but older friends. The parents value such approach, they like the friendly atmosphere in our space because it allows the children to feel free.
Responsibility. In the process of working on projects, team competitions or other activities the children feel their own responsibility. For example, when we work on creative projects, we distribute the zones of responsibility between the children so that each and everyone could feel the importance of his/her work because it will affect the result of the whole team.
- From your experience, what main skills do the children obtain at CISC camps? In what way do they change?
It is very interesting to watch the children expand their horizons, remebre new facts, master the knowledge and use it. when you see such progress, it is very precious. In a camp, the child is completely revealed – actively participates in all events, communicates and find friends. We really manage to create an atmosphere where no one is afraid of revealing and manifesting themselves.
Sometimes it happens that the children never cooked food for anyone, and now, at the camp master class, they made something nice and tasty. They are so proud of it, they show it to their parents and ask to repeat it at home.
Or sometimes the parents ask what paints do we use at our classes because the child liked them so much and wants the parents to buy the same for home use. The children discover some new lines of development in camps, which they want to engage in at home.
In camps they become more confident, not afraid of making a mistake, trying something new or fantasizing. At camp shifts the children firmly establish their personalities, and the progress is remarkable.
- Many children visit CISC camps and the Weekend school for more than one year. How do you manage to make each program unique and fresh, and to attract the interest of the young participants? Are there any secrets?
I would like to mention the people that help create such an amazing atmosphere. It is a great professional team of teachers and tutors whom the children like and enjoy the time spent with them.
As concerns the programs, the process of their development always requires creative inspiration. I am really assisted by the previous experience, art direction and culturology studies, work at children’s centres, experience in organization of children’s events and holidays. That’s why I have a strong and formed background and an aspect view for creation of such programs.
I am constantly interested in the things that are interesting for modern children, and I think that each topic can be demonstrated in a new way. For example, the popular Space topic may be regarded in many different ways: go on expedition to Mars or have a peek at the dark side of the Moon, or explore the stars.
Both the intellectual and fun components are important in the process of making programs for camps or the Weekend school. We take a profound scientific topic and spice it up with the things interesting for the children. This way they obtain the knowledge in a soft and non-intrusive manner while having a great time.
And we also don’t have to avoid being inspired with ready-made ideas. All ideas float in the air and are within our reach. We just have to supplement them and make something new. The most important thing is to be in constant search for the unconventional.