Before Michelangelo could release David from the marble slab or Einstein could take his creative leap toward relativity, they were grounded in the fundamentals of their field. Likewise, the Bali Montessori preschool imbues its students with an understanding of the fundamental elements such as the colour red, the musical note C and the number 3 that will allow them to effectively express themselves in the world. Specific lessons are dedicated to the use of expressive materials so children have the flexibility to convey their thoughts and ideas in a manner and medium of their choosing. Some materials, like the graded cylinders, indirectly prepare students for future creative activities. In this case, arranging cylinders by size and shape not only develops visual acuity and general motor skills, but requires students to practice the 3 finger pincer grip that will later be used to write and paint.
As children enter the primary level, their awareness expands as they are exposed to different artists, mediums, techniques and forms of art. In step with this growing awareness is the number of expressive mediums ranging from drama, language and visual art to music, storytelling and cooking that can be explored. Students are encouraged to integrate any of these creative elements into their project presentations when it helps to show knowledge of their subject. To accommodate personal expressive desires, the biweekly Arts Café offers students the opportunity to share any art form, performance or skill with their peers.
CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
Creative problem solving starts with the knowledge that alternative solutions exist and ends when persistence creates a breakthrough.
Montessori Bali students are given the time and the freedom to follow their own chosen path to solutions in the classroom. Furthermore, observing those around them doing the same reinforces their awareness of alternative approaches. Children may work with the Montessori materials repeatedly, for as long as they need, to reveal the lesson enclosed, thereby learning that an unsuccessful attempt is only a detour to success.
Creative vision acknowledges what is, and steps beyond into the realm of what could be.
Learning in a prepared environment of minimal restriction is just one factor that enhances the capacity for creative vision. Future determination is nurtured when students at Montessori Bali set their own priorities, choose their own projects, method of research and means of presentation. Montessori trained guides are careful not to openly evaluate student work, but rather, prompt students to make their own evaluation, thereby internalising personal standards and strengthening their will.