Creativity: a Key Trait for Students in the 21st Century

Creativity: a Key Trait for Students in the 21st Century

Creativity is a key skill for anyone, and how does American School of Valencia enhance this ability?  The philosophy of the school teaches the student a wide range of learning strategies and problem resolution techniques but, there is a special day that emphasizes exploration and creativity as a whole: the Arts Day for Middle and High School classes.  This event takes place on the last day of classes before the Fallas break and the usual schedule is replaced by a series of workshops that explore multiple disciplines such as visual arts, design, music or dance.

The 11th edition took place on March 13, 2020 and among many other activities, it included painting sessions, graphic design, music, cooking or yarn bombing (a type of urban art).  Every activity showed an alternative approach to the discipline -like painting with kitchen utensils- or aimed to bring out the most creative part of each participant.  At all times, teachers invited students to “break the established rules” and search for new solutions.  Thus, in the Art workshop “they had complete freedom to choose their colors, add backgrounds, add stripes…” says Ms. Emily Baker, Middle and High School Arts teacher and responsible for one of the two art groups. “During the morning I enjoyed how they gained confidence with their skills.”

In previous editions a unifying theme was established for all of the activities, but in 2020 it was arranged so that Arts and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) were symbolically faced.  Students that were in the STEAM challenges rotated through three stations where they had to cooperate in order to solve a problem of construction or calculus. “An example was the ‘building a paper table’ workshop.  Students had four sections of newspaper, cardboard and tape, and they used that to combine and make a table that would stand the weight of two text books,” explained Mr. Joel Duarte, supervisor of one of these activities.

This year’s schedule also included an instrumental music workshop, an introduction workshop to 3D design and a culinary arts workshop which provided treats to some teachers in charge of each activity. “It has been a fun, creative day in which students have shown an outstanding engagement,” Ms. Paarhuis, the Arts  Day Coordinator, said. “Once again ASV lived a celebration of arts and the result cannot be more appealing than that,” she described at the temporary exhibition placed in the school atrium -where there were also some of the creations of students in the STEAM challenges.

The pictures for this article were made by the “Arts Day Press Crew”, a group of students reporting on the event.

Enjoy the video playlist created by the ASV Communications Area on March 13.

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