Author Archives: Resurrection Christian School
Plenty of folks have purchased one of those little chores charts that were originally only a sheet of notepaper on the fridge when you were a kid but are now laminated and brightly colored. Before you give your elementary school child that gold star sticker to put on their “I swept the floor” spot, think again. Using rewards as motivation might not be the healthiest habit to foster in young children as there tends to be a lack of self-discipline as they grow older. However, using rewards to produce good behavior is still considered a very effective psychological tactic. It goes by the name “operant conditioning,” and it’s essentially instinctual. The idea is, obviously, if you reward a behavior, then it’s more likely to occur again. Whispering “good kitty” when the cat eats it’s food and offering the dog a treat after performing a trick is the exact same thing. People use it on an everyday basis for themselves because it works. But is it good for you?
The Main Problem
The problem with the operant conditioning system is fundamentally why and how it works. What this does is foster entitlement. While there’s plenty of intergenerational finger-pointing over who is the most entitled, it doesn’t really matter because it still exists and we all exhibit this rather poor behavior. Every time someone used operant conditioning on you as a child you learned to expect a reward for a good behavior, not enjoy the reward from the behavior. Thus, if that person stopped giving you that reward for the behavior, it’s likely that you stopped the behavior altogether. That means that to get that behavior to start up again, you’ll have to start rewarding them for this simple task, which will eventually turn into an expectation that simple task accomplishment deserves minor rewards for their time. The other unhealthy part of teaching children is that when you ask them to do something in the future that might be considered a favor or a good behavior on their part, they’ll ask you that dreaded question “what will you give me for it.” Suddenly, you’re negotiating their price for cleaning their room and you’ve given up your authority over your 10-year-old.
The Intrinsic Value Deficit
Perhaps the most concerning result of this practice is the undervaluing of intrinsic motivation for children. If everytime they do something good they get a chocolate bar or some form of physical (extrinsic) motivation for exhibiting a certain behavior, they won’t develop any intrinsic reward for themselves. That means that when they perform some empathetic task and are kind to someone, they won’t get that warm fuzzy feeling that makes you feel like you did something good. An extreme example of this behavior is, of course, if children are motivated by physical items to motivate themselves for schooling. Learning will eventually become a thing that is only based on receiving rewards for themselves and they’ll never become lifelong learners, or develop a taste for knowledge at all.
This hypothesis that’s entirely rooted in common sense was displayed in one of the more famous studies surrounding the topic by a couple of researchers who asked some college students to work on a puzzle in a lab. The researchers informed half of the students that they would be paid for the completion of the puzzle while the others were told they would not be paid. After working for some time, the researchers instructed the students to take a small break and left the kids alone to do whatever they wanted, including work on the puzzle if they’d like. In support of the theory of intrinsic value, the kids who weren’t being paid worked on the puzzle through the “break.” The researchers concluded that in most cases, the extrinsic reward depletes the intrinsic reward involved with anything.
It’s Not Just College Kids
Researchers, of course, tested this on elementary students as well. Specifically, it was pre-school aged children that the researchers presented the opportunity to do a fun drawing activity. They could use a set of nice markers if they wanted a certificate with a ribbon and gold stamp. The other group of children were given the markers to play with and were given the certificate as a surprise in the middle. The children who received the certificate as a surprise returned to the drawing while the children who drew for the certificate stopped drawing with the markers after they’d received their certificate. Since both of these studies were conducted, there have been hundreds more with similar circumstances testing the same thing and finding the same answer. A physical reward completely removes any emotional reward.
This doesn’t mean that you should never reward your children with physical items, after all, we live in a material world. Instead, we suggest that you have a strategy behind providing them physical rewards. If you’re trying to instill in your child a value or behavior that you want them to hold for years to come, an extrinsic reward is probably not the key to the castle you’re looking for. When it’s something like learning or obtaining knowledge try explaining the joy of learning and try establishing learning goals that are an accomplishment in and of themselves. Promote the inherent value by encouraging reading fiction and general self-improvement that teaches kids to feel good about themselves for doing something good. There are other forms of intrinsic rewards that can even go with punishments. For example, if you’re attempting to instill honesty in your child, actually follow through on the promise of not punishing a child if they tell the truth about what they’ve done. They put intrinsic value behind telling the truth because they avoided punishment.
Fall is nearly here and there are opportunities to enrich an education everywhere you look. Encouraging your child to find something to enjoy and building happy memories in every season as the year progresses is a great way to combat the seasonal depression that nearly everyone becomes a victim of in the middle of January. Keeping the family active and ensuring that they enjoy the various seasons for their individual opportunities for fun can be enriching for their classical education as well. While life experience can often not be imitated in the classroom, it’s important to bring learning and expanding your knowledge base into every portion of life so that your child is inspired to become a lifelong learner. We’ve collected a few of our favorite opportunities for fun and learning around Northern Colorado to help you enrich your child’s private school education even when they’re not with RCS.
The Tour De Corgi is exactly what it sounds like: an opportunity to watch a parade of the dogs with notoriously short legs and funny waddles dressed in costumes with their owner. There’s a costume contest, a corgi meetup where the pups frolic and play and various vendors to shop and enjoy. Apart from the obvious appeal of allowing the family to take part in the pure joy of a gaggle of corgis, there’s also the costuming aspect which presents a great opportunity to talk about past pop culture trends that formed the culture during a certain period in American history as well as the effect it had on you and your parents when you were younger. It has the potential to be plenty of family fun and a great bonding moment for you and your children.
The U.S. is defined by its entrepreneurial spirit. Take your children shopping inside the French Open Air Market that’s full of budding entrepreneurs that are all offering various scrumptious fall treats and amazing vintage finds. From old weathered plantation shutters to Victorian-era shoes turned into purses, each item can be a peek at history as well as an observation to be made about entrepreneurism and how these shop owners are going about marketing their wares. It’s in the open park in Old Town Fort Collins, so you can smell the crisp air and see the fall leaves changing colors while browsing local vendor’s items.
From hayrides to corn pits and choosing a pumpkin, you can do all of your fall farm-themed activities at this one-stop shop. Let your children go through the pumpkin patch and pick out their own, perfect pumpkin to carve while sipping hot apple cider than let the elementary aged kids go check out the petting zoo. If you’re looking for an entertaining time for your older high school or middle school aged kids, a haunted corn maze is always good wholesome fun. A few jumps scares and a chilly night walk through a darkened corn maze nearly always proves to be the thrilling teen experience your kids are hoping for. Safe yet adventurous, it’s the perfect fall activity for your teen.
If you’re trying to inspire your children to read more, Fort Collins Reads offers a unique opportunity to read the same book as a whole city. The idea is to offer opportunities to initiate literarily fueled conversations with peers and make connections with the community. This year’s read is “Manhattan Beach” by the Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan. If you don’t have time to read the novel, or you don’t want to give your child too much work in addition to their school schedule, be sure to check out the culminating event where you can watch the renowned author give an author talk about her work. Who knows, it might inspire your child to pursue literary achievements of their own.
Put the right foot forward for your child and invest in a classical education from the premier private schooling institution in town: Resurrection Christian School. Our curriculum for all of our school years highlights the morality and pure lifestyle that Christian morals inspire as well as instilling a well-crafted classically based education. Reach out to us to find out more about our application process, our tuition, and our curriculum basics today.
Intrigued by the possibility that expecting more from your child might just ensure that they achieve it? So are we. As a Christian private school, we understand the importance of instilling upstanding morals while providing a classical education that will immediately springboard them to fulfilling their full potential. If you didn’t catch the first part of our critical analysis of the various encouragement based studies surfacing, catch the first portion of this article. Below, our analysis of the study’s conclusion and success continues.
The Follow-Up Study
After creating the Rosenthal effect theory, they turned their attention to elementary aged children. What if the same effects of expectations in a figurehead could affect a child’s success is the same way it affected the rats while learning? For this test, the researchers didn’t try to make the children run a maze, they merely gave the children IQ tests. They started with a classroom full of 18 children in elementary school whom they gave the IQ test to at the beginning of the year. The researchers then notified the teachers that they had located around 20% of the children that would “bloom” within the next year. They communicated that they expected a high level of academic achievement form those specific children. These children were, of course, chosen at random. Their various IQs ranged over the entire spectrum and were not used in choosing the “20 percent guaranteed to bloom.” The Rosenthal effect proved true once more as, at the end of the year, the bloomer children from the class were performing better and showed an increase compared to their classmates who may have started out with relatively higher IQs. In fact, the bloomer children showed increases in a second IQ test from their first test at the beginning of the year. It offered an interesting idea: was anyone’s success just a self-fulfilled prophecy? Could you expect your child to succeed and they would indeed end up better than they started off, at the very least?
If you search for recent data on this supposed conclusion, you’ll find that they exist and their findings are the same. There was a study in 2014 that found that the expectations of elementary school children were directly reflected in their grades. The old saying that “boys do better in math than girls” doesn’t ring true if you apply simple mathematical principles at a young age with little girls, but once they enter higher grade levels like 3rd and 4th, that changes because of the parent’s expectation. If IQ can be affected by a teacher’s expectations, certainly the ability to understand mathematical equations would be totally affected by a bias. A study from 2015 found that mothers who believed in the idea that girls were not as good at math as boys had daughters that performed poorly in math once they entered their middle years of elementary schooling.
As a private school that serves Fort Collins, Loveland, and the rest of Northern Colorado, studies like this are troubling and spell out the importance of encouraging parents to expect everything from their child. The more of a conscious and subconscious effort you make toward thinking that your child will be the most amazing person to ever grace the earth and has no limitations, the more the child will naturally emulate those behaviors.
Believing they’ll achieve everything they set their mind to and seeing them do it are two very different experiences and they’re separated not only be your expectations but ensuring that your child starts off on the right foot. Investing in a private school means introducing your child from an early age that the expectations for their success are high both consciously and subconsciously. Resurrection Christian School can instill them with both the moral compass to make the right decisions and the potential for great success. Check out our curriculum for this coming year for our elementary school, middle school, and private high school to get started on making your dreams for your child a reality.
We encourage our students in every area of education and interest they pursue. We’re not just the best private school institution in Northern Colorado, we also offer a variety of sports and arts for your child to explore their true calling. From hockey to choir, we’ll inspire and help your child shape their desires and their future. Start the enrollment process today.
If you’re pondering sending your child to private schooling, chances are you’re concerned with the long-term success of your child and you have high expectations. Everyone has big dreams for their children from the moment they come into the world, but very few people actually help their children pursue the future that parents always figured their children were meant to have. In fact, many parents believe that fate itself will guide their children to the desired end, rather than their concerted efforts. But do your high expectations for your child help or hinder their success? What if our expectations could have the power to stop a child from pursuing his or her own dreams instead of our dreams for them? The power of a parent’s expectations on the mental state of the child has been recently analyzed and brought some new conclusions to light that offer an interesting point of view on the power of our expectations and how we make those known.
A Simplistic Study
To analyze the full extent of the power of expectations over living things in general, researchers started with rats. They created a theory called the Rosenthal effect by giving a bunch of graduate students a rat. They told the graduate students that they would have to train the rat to go through a maze. Furthermore, they told some of the students that they had been given the “bright” rats, or more intelligent rats, that were bred for their genetic intelligence. The other half of the students were told that they were given the “dull” rats. By the end of the period of time, the “bright” rats could run the maze quicker and more efficiently than their dull counterparts. In fact, the bright rats actually showed measurable improvement that they were learning and running the maze more successfully each day they did it, while the dull rats proved rather slow at the task. However, there were no actual differences between the various rats. They weren’t more intelligent or less intelligent, they weren’t even different ages or genders. The researchers concluded that the “bright” rats succeeded more than the dull rats because of the expectations of the grad students and how that altered how each student taught their rat. The conclusion was that expectations can actually become differences in behavior on many occasions.
Encourage your child with an investment in their education. As the highest rated private school in Northern Colorado, we’re proud to offer the people in our community a way to show your child the purity of the Christian way of life as well as get them started off in life in the right way. With an emphasis on the simplicity and beauty of the classical education, we’ll guide and encourage your child to find their calling and follow to it with a passion. Watch for the continuation of our analysis of the studies rising to the surface about the power of encouragement, and look into our curriculum for our various ages of children today.
If you’re joining us late, be sure to go back and catch the intro to our ideas about the beneficial uses of a gap year between high school and college. As we mentioned in our previous entry, the gap year develops the child’s prefrontal cortex which develops their worldview as well as their personality and rounds them out their expectations of reality.
One of the major advantages for most kids and their parents alike is the financial hiatus. If you’ve been spending money to give them a classical education for the majority of their life, a financial break might be highly valued for you and also for your child if they’re preparing to go and support themselves at college, even if you’re prepared to pay for their tuition. As more people go to college and get worthless degrees the number of people who have only a pile of student debt to show for their 4-year college degree rises. Kids who feel the need to switch majors in the middle of their college career stretch the costs out, making the whole ordeal more pricey. Studies are finding that a gap year might reduce the number of folks who change their major in the middle of their college career. Gap years are praised for assisting people in deciding what they’d like to study and helping find their passions and what they’re best suited to in a way that unfiltered education cannot.
College is rigorous and while RCS does everything we can to prepare children academically there are a variety of challenges that nothing but real-life experiences can prepare them for. While there are a host of support systems and other channels that Christian private schools provide for children, there is still a cost for going to college too early and that is mainly the taxing nature it takes on a person’s mental health if they’re not prepared. The idea of the gap year is to take kids out of their safe zones and thus improve their self-confidence and help them gain a sense of self and adaptability which can be a powerful skill set to earn before entering college. College environments are full of lack of sleep, constant activity and high levels of stress that past experience in adaptability to a variety of situations will help kids tackle those things like pros so they can focus on the new chapter of their life and what obstacles will help them grow the most as people.
If you share our opinions about education and religious ethics you’d fit in perfectly at RCS. Enroll your student today to give them a well-rounded education that includes Christian values. Reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We’d be happy to talk to you about our private school curriculums and ideals.
Some people go so far as to criticize private schooling at times, mentioning that there is a limited pool of social growth that a child can acquire when they’re submerged in a controlled environment. For several reasons, Resurrection Christian School is careful to push back against those claims, but we can also see how, even through RCS provides a large environment for children to build many social skills with fellow Christians, we understand the need for real-world experience. If, as a parent, you’re more concerned about this valuable outside world experience being cultivated in your child, we have one suggestion that is earning more respect as the years go by: the gap year.
Europe Did It First
Sometimes, Europe is ahead of the curve with certain things and in this case, they certainly are. Germany, the UK, Denmark and even Australia and Israel encourage students who have just graduated to take a gap year in between their studies. This time can be used to travel, serve the church, serve in the military or work before moving on to their college studies. However, the current U.S. climate regards gap years with a collective panic. Surely, if your child takes a gap year, they’re destined to not do as well as others. The growing consensus is that it isn’t quite true anymore. The idea is that if children get a taste for the non-school life they’ll realize how important it is to go back and it will give the privilege of going to college and earning a degree a new glow. In fact, psychologists at large are not worried about kids not wanting to go back to school as many studies done on the subject found that around 90 percent of the kids that take a gap year return to their studies with new fervor. The studies concluded that a very important brain growth period between those two school periods allows for the person to grow socially and within their understanding of the world.
The Simple Science:
While a gap year isn’t for everyone, it has quite a bit of scientific data backing up the benefits for those it catches the fancy of. The prefrontal cortex is continually expanding in the late teen years and it is the section of the brain that develops the child into an adult with an adult personality. It controls your propensity for planning and draws complex conclusions from data. In other words, it’s the largest jump in growth in the form of maturity that your child will see in their lives. Thus, when the gap year comes to a close, they’ll nearly be a different person with a new understanding of themselves and college as a growth opportunity.
Share our opinions about classical education, child growth and ethics? Enroll in RCS this semester.
Catch the continuation of our argument for a gap year on our next blog.
As a parent, it can be extremely hard to keep your child active and engaged in their education during the summer and other holidays. With sports and other extracurricular activities, keeping priorities straight can be such a challenge. If you’re looking to provide your child with the best opportunities as they grow into adulthood, you’re already investing in private schooling for them. Luckily, the Northern corridor of Colorado is filled to the brim with enriching cultural learning experiences as well as scientific areas of research. From the mountains teeming with life and biological study opportunities to the rich and complex cultural centers in Denver. If you’re looking for a way to open your child’s eyes to the beauty in the world and the profound quality of the human mind, you’ll find no better way of achieving this goal than by introducing them to the wonders of the art world early on. As Christians and cultural connoisseurs, we believe it’s never too early to start showing your child the beauty and wonder in the world we occupy and how it’s filtered through an artists mind. If you’re looking for the best way to begin presenting this aspect of life to them, we can recommend very few things better than Denver’s art museums.
The Denver Art Museum
When you first picture the Denver Art Museum, you might not think much of it, but it’s fairly impressive. Apart from some truly decent collections that feature prominent local artists as well as other artists, the entire art complex features a variety of beautiful exhibitions that have been curated by some of the best artistic minds. As far as current exhibitions that you can view, you might consider checking out ‘Eyes On,” a film by Shimabuku. It’s a film centered around Japanese snow monkeys living in the Texas desert sanctuary and adapting since they were brought there in the 1970s.
If you’re fascinated by the interactive art trends like those that are featured in Meow Wolf in Sante Fe, then you’ll like find the “Past the Tangled Present” to be incredibly satisfying. It features a variety of 3D art installations that, while not as immersive as Meow Wolf itself is clearly in the same vein.
Do the gentle, yet purposeful brush strokes of Monet enchant you? You’ll need to catch the Monet exhibit arriving on October 20th. We know with all of the extra-curricular activities your family participates in over the year that may prove hard to make it to this event, but we think it’s at least worth a try. In the sense that art is as much about interpreting your own surroundings in a new way it’s also about understanding how artists can shift perception and filter thoughts and feelings through swift brush strokes and elaborate craftsmanship. More than a naturalist, Monet’s softer impressions of the world and his gentle way of depicting people among nature never fail to prompt one to draw into oneself and start to understand your own inner workings and musings better.
What the Art District Can Offer
Beyond the Denver Art Museum, there are a number of incredible art installments featuring the contemporary art movements of the early and mid-twentieth century. The Clifford Still Museum features all of his work in one place. We wouldn’t recommend the exhibit for younger children as a more mature mind will find the simplistic shapes and larger than life canvases to be more enthralling than young children will. The building is a piece of contemporary and nearly brutalist architecture of its own and the interior is as stunning and sparse as Clifford’s work. Upon donating his entire body of work to this particular museum, Clifford, a man known as one of the most prominent and brooding contemporary artists from the period, insisted that his work could only be viewed side-by-side with its brothers and never with another artist’s work. Seeing this theory play out in the museum itself is astounding and captivating in its own way.
The Newest Addition
One of the most important parts of studying art is seeing a wide variety. Expanding on your own ideas of style and pushing what you think is beautiful to the limit, is the only true way to appreciate art, and by extension, the world itself. For this purpose, we highly recommend visiting the Vance Kirkland Museum. He’s a local artist with plenty of notable accomplishments and a number of prodigies that have excelled in their own right in a different field of work. The charming exhibition started in Vance’s personal home on Pearl Street in Denver and was recently moved to its new location not far from the Denver Art Museum and library. His body of work is stunning and enthralling in a way that’s hard to describe. Throughout the museum, a piece of art of its own since part of the building is built onto his rather small Pearl street home which they picked up and moved across town. As you waltz through the “salon style” museum (defined as a mixture of showing fine art in the same galleries as decorative art to promote the idea that you’re viewing the work in someone’s home rather than a gallery) you’ll watch Kirkland’s work unfold through the years. Catch his his early days of designed realism, full of stunning midnight deserts, to his melting, dramatic surrealist pieces to the hard-edge abstraction on huge canvases with bright enthralling colors, to his amazing dot paintings.
The Dot Paintings
In fact, the Vance Kirkland museum has just recently opened to rave reviews and enchants anyone who goes to witness it. Through his abstract expressionism, where Vance started investing his time and creativity into creating larger than life paintings that could boast various innovative painting techniques. In fact, he created several styles of painting though most notable is his dot technique and his practice of mixing watercolors and denatured alcohol to provide strange, mottled textures that added to the composition and complexity of the piece overall. He eventually started to focus those efforts on his dot paintings that were inspired by constellations. The museum you can see the self-designed brace that he would hoist himself into to paint individual dots of oil paint onto large canvases to depict his ideas of the universe and beauty around him.
It’s been widely accepted that investing in private schooling, especially one with as many accolades as Resurrection Christian School, is the best way to instill a love of culture and talent into your child. For years those from private schools have been regarded as more in-tuned to the art world. Invest in an education that values traditional values and various expressions of beauty that expand our mind and our appreciation of the world around us. View our curriculums and tuition to get started on your new journey.
In our previous blog we talked about the furthering or Christian ideals through the medium of fine arts and inspiration, in this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of a wide variety of arts and skill sets being fostered from an early age. Encourage your child’s passions by ensuring that their education features creativity and adaptive learning techniques at Resurrection Christian School.
Varied Art Forms
The notion of including fine arts in education promotes the idea of varied forms of art. Where a child might thrive with music, they might fall short in terms of literature. The constant, steady exposure of both forms of fine challenges the student and encourages growth and the practice of rising to the challenge. In turn, this is meant to promote self-learning skills. Creativity bats down the child’s instinct to merely regurgitate facts rather than absorb and analyze materials and thus grow from the experience of learning as well as their new knowledge. As Christians, we believe heartily in providing for the students that occupy a lower socioeconomic status and the overwhelming majority of the research regarding the fine arts in education support that children that are from financially struggling families see significant growth when interacting with fine arts at school. Specifically, the effects of music education aiding the mathematical portion of the brain and showing significant improvement throughout their school careers.
While there is a litany of benefits for the academic portion of including fine arts within the educational programs that we willingly enlist our children in, but what’s more is the culture that’s supported throughout it. Understanding and sharing other cultures and then trying pieces out in your own creative process is one of the most enriching activities you can spend your time doing. Part of the beauty of fine art is the exquisite opportunity it gives you to glimpse the world through someone else’s eyes, or better yet, to glimpse a completely different world. Like when you read “Animal Farm” in high school and getting to peek at the state of Russia during the Soviet revolution. Or perhaps you had an art teacher that greatly appreciated the beauty of Japanese art and exposed you to Eastern culture that would eventually influence how you grew partial to flowers in your later years. As culture is one of the most valuable assets of the human existence, sharing it early on with our youth is more of a duty, than an option. Through self-expression and problem-solving skills, our children will eventually become the great minds of tomorrow that are creating new milestones of culture and makes of human progression and development.
If you’re interested in investing in your child and ensuring that they have access to the best education possible, you might consider a private school. Here at Resurrection Christian School, we believe that a well-rounded education is grounded in fine arts as well as mathematics, sciences and varied literature studies that will not only form a functional adult of tomorrow but a learned human. We’re certain to incorporate different cultures as well as a diverse list of fine arts classes that apply the various developing skills of a child in different ways. Foster their love of story-telling, their love of musical harmonies and teamwork or even just the quiet, meditative art of drawing or painting. Each and every one of us deserves a passion in our lives to make the monotony of responsibilities and other inconveniences seem dwarfed. Feel free to check out our curriculum for high school, middle school and elementary to find out just how much we value fostering a passion in your child. If you’re looking for ways to foster and encourage an appreciation for fine arts in your everyday life with your child, check out our blog.
Resurrection Christian School puts an ever-growing emphasis on arts education. As continued studies roll in that qualify how effective the practice of providing a well-rounded education is to enhance childhood and craft adults that won’t only be productive members of society, but virtuous members of society. In our previous blog, we discussed the various academic uses for fine arts in education and how they can actively help children develop better motor skills and emotional intelligence. As we continue our exploration of the topic we’ll discuss the influence of fine arts outside of the academic realm and where the two realms cross paths along with the benefits it provides.
Fine arts leave an impression in our young minds that last for a lifetime in several ways. Specifically, can you recall a time in your youth when you created something and received accolades for your work, as well as experiencing the joy of creation? If you can recall the memory, it made an impression on your young mind and it’s no doubt surrounded by positive feelings and you might even reminisce fondly over it. That’s because it encouraged those grains of self-confidence and gifted you with self-esteem. You created something that people thought was worthwhile, and it’s hard not to project those feelings from the creation onto yourself. In fact, we’d be willing to wager that it probably motivated you to create more and more often. In addition to these favorable results, it most likely created an aesthetic awareness in you as well as cultural exposure, creativity, social harmony, and even improved your emotional expression. These measurable benefits are the keys to creating healthy coping mechanisms as an adult. In fact, the list of non-academic benefits continues with studies that suggest that fine arts in education help students who would not normally be reached and find academic success.
The results of social experience enhancements are immediately visible, and help students connect with each other based off of those shared passions. Perhaps most notably is that it effectively changes the learning environment into one of discovery which harkens back to one of our previous blogs of game theory learning strategies being one of the newest research backed study strategies on the market. Encouraging discovery creates lifelong learners that are as adaptive and witty as Scarlett O’Hara, and what’s more is they’ll be able to understand that reference. Keeping artful literature that encourages abstract thought as well as showing profoundly flawed heroes is one of the widely acknowledged ways to not only foster self-confidence, but also self-forgiveness, a patently Christian principle that serves as a major pillar of success for many Christians.
If you’re looking for a private school experience that emphasizes the right things in their curriculum, look to Resurrection Christian School. We provide a private school experience structured around fine arts, well-rounded STEM, an emphasis on powerful literature, and Christian values. Feel free to look through our thorough and well-designed curriculum and if you’re looking for auxiliary activities for your child to participate in that will enhance their love of the arts and culture, watch our blog for day outing suggestions over the summer and winter breaks.
Art can appear in many forms and is one of the single most versatile ideas that humanity has managed to produce. Fine art can appear as that painting that you’re awfully attached to hanging in your entryway. It could be your favorite novel from your childhood. It could be the play you saw in your youth that gave you the power to get through a trial you were facing. Art is inspiring, and it’s one of the most succinct and beautiful ways that we can communicate the knowledge we’ve gathered from the larger world to the next generation. So why is it important to include fine arts in the classical education you’re aiming for your child to acquire from Resurrection Christian School? Because it’s an integral part of a classical education.
The History of Art Education
If you’re familiar with the Renaissance men, you’re probably aware of their incredible genius and enjoy appreciating their myriad accomplishments, like the dome of St. Peters or the statue of David. To many scholars, there is some debate on whether the Renaissance men of yesteryear became incredible not because of what they were born with, but for what was nurtured and fostered for them.
If, for example, you look at DaVinci’s upbringing, he was merely the illegitimate child of an Italian nobleman who, luckily, took a liking to the child and paid for his classical education. This education would render DaVinci one of the most memorable men in history.
Michelangelo received a similar education when he was taken in by the Medici family in Florence and raised alongside their parcel of children that all grew up to have a hand in the formation of history itself. However, aside from the obvious results of a classical, art-influenced education on some of the greatest artistic minds ever seen, the wide-spread positive effects of including fine art in classical education provides overwhelming evidence of its importance.
The Benefits of a Classical Education
The folks who have been blessed enough to research the learning process throughout the entirety of human history, beginning the Greek philosophers like Plato, are the chief researchers defending the continued implementation of fine arts in education. Though, they’re careful to define it as anything that’s not considered STEM-focused. For example, it can be everything from music to dance, to visual arts, to literature and theater. Their defense for the methods to be continuously used in the classroom is that, in the same regard to STEM subjects, passive exposure to these things will hardly influence a passion in them or teach students about them as a subject themselves. In fact, it’s been researched time and time again that exposing students to fine arts education actually improves performance across the board as far as other subjects go. Reportedly, it’s provided lower numbers of student dropouts, develops team players, improves student attendance and fosters a love of learning. In fact, active learning is one of the most valued skills to employers in the modern age as it shows that the applicant has an adaptive streak that is crucial during our age of ever-changing technology and skill. In additional studies, there has been evidence presented that, much like sports, a passion fostered at a young age goes a long way toward ensuring that you don’t find yourself utterly disappointed with the last 20 years of your life by the time you hit 45. Childhood passions become adult hobbies that keep the monotony of a work week at bay and keep everyday struggles in perspective as you have a form of release for various pressures.
What Creativity Does to The Brain
The real benefit of fine arts in education comes into play when brain cell development is considered. Brain cells are loosely defined as the neuron connections throughout your brain. There are certain periods of life, surrounding your formative years of course, that include a flood of brain cell development. Thus, the years of your youth are referred to as formative. The neural connections you make during this time will influence your decisions and thought-processing skills, including the ability to understand abstract thought. Fine art in education has been proven to develop neural connections actively to produce a wider spectrum of understanding and to foster skills that are seemingly unrelated, like fine motor skills, emotional balance and intelligence. This is due to the fact that fine art education fosters a process of learning that improves our sensory, cognitive, attentional, and emotional capacities over time that acts as the driving force of learning itself.
A classical education should bring to mind the learning opportunities that DaVinci and other great minds experienced. It should be well rounded and full of amazing literature, precise mathematical applications, diverse scientific research, and an encouraged appreciation for fine art. Building up the right foundation for your child to succeed in their future and reach their potential starts with a well-rounded educational experience. At Resurrection Christian School, we put an emphasis on a well-rounded education that will forge new neural pathways and foster skills that will create productive members of society that regularly set themselves apart. Check out our curriculum for middle school, high school and even elementary school to find out more about our educational beliefs. Be sure to keep up with our active blog that will continue to discuss the power of including fine arts in education, as well as ways that you can encourage those same seeds of appreciation with auxiliary activities around Fort Collins and the Northern Colorado corridor. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.