2021-2022 LEARNING THEME: IMAGINE
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution".- ALBERT EINSTEIN
Imagination is closely relate to creativity. Imagination is the action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. Creativity is the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others. "The key link between imagination and creativity lies in the opportunity that, based upon reality, imagination provides for innovation and original possibilities"(1)
Samara Learning Centers 2021-2022 theme is "Imagine". Heather and Sarah will incorporate this into social emotional learning (SEL) as well as core academics and the arts. We understand that "students's do well when they can" (2). Therefore, we are going to build on skills to help them imagine who they can become and then encourage then to take steps to incorporate the skills. Self-awareness , a mindset of SEL, is when one deciphers how to navigate his environment intentionally utilizing conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires (incorporating prior experience and outcomes). The Imagine theme asks of your learner to be proactive and ask themselves "What might I need?" It will help your learner to understand the feelings, thoughts and actions of others. It also bolsters preservation and resilience because it breaks through existing conventions, it breaks through a seemingly indestructible structural concepts, it breaks though different disciplines, and it breaks though the past and present, looking for new meaning in the future (3). Lastly, imagination allows one to make predictions. Students will predict outcomes in various disciplines including :reading during language arts, hypothesis in Science, and audience emotional response to art. to name a few.
1) Eleni, Mellou(1995)Creativity: The imagination condition,Early Child Development and Care,114:1,97-106,DOI: 10.1080/0300443951140108
2) Greene, R. W. (2014). The explosive child: A new approach for understanding and parenting easily frustrated, chronically inflexible children (Revised and updated. Fifth edition.). New York: Harper, 09/28/2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvzQQDfAL-Q
3) Reitveld, Eric and Ronald(2017)Frontiers in Psychology , Hardcore Heritage, Imagination for Preservation:1995, DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01995
Here's How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health
At Samara Learning Center, we incorporate art within our academics. This can be to understand symbolism, or simply reset one's thought process/emotions in order to re-establish a connection to the teacher and the knowledge she is offering. Engaging in creative behaviors improves brain function, mental health, and physical health.The theory of cognition postulates that being creative is actually a basis for human life. There are a few different ways that being creative makes you healthier.
1) Increases Happiness.
You’ve probably heard of flow — it’s the state you get in when you’re completely absorbed in something. It reduces anxiety, boosts your mood, and even slows your heart rate. The student population at Samara Learning Center often have difficultly with transition because they are operating in the moment and in this state. It feels fantastic! That's way transitioning them, through physical or verbal prompts, is so important to smoothly disengaging from their activity of choice. "It’s not just being in flow that helps your happiness. Repetitive creative motions like knitting, drawing, or writing help activate flow, and are all tasks that create a result. And when you succeed at creating a result, no matter what it is, your brain is flooded with dopamine, that feel-good chemical that actually helps motivate you. Whether or not you’re aware of your increased happiness, the hit of dopamine you get after being in flow will drive and influence you toward similar behavior (1).
2) Improves Mental Health.
A creative act such as crafting can help focus the mind."Creativity reduces anxiety, depression, and stress… And it can also help you process trauma. Studies have found that writing helps people manage their negative emotions in a productive way, and painting or drawing helps people express trauma or experiences that they find too difficult to put in to words (1).
3) Boosts The Immune System.
We are living in a critical time, where the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic has weighed on each of us heavily. Studies are being released regarding the effects of isolation on children. Because stress decreases the efficiency of the immune system, Samara Learning Center aims to bolster the whole child. We address the whole child in many ways. One of our favorite outlets is creativity. If students are open to background music, listening to music can rejuvenate function in your immune system. a study on journaling shows people who write about their experiences daily actually have stronger immune system function. Although experts are still unsure how it works, writing increases your CD4+ lymphocyte count, the key to your immune system (1).
4) Makes You Smarter.
In previous years, Samara Learning offered Ukulele lessons. We hope to do so again once Covid-19 is managed. "studies show that people who play instruments have better connectivity between their left and right brains. The left brain is responsible for the motor functions, while the right brain focuses on melody. When the two hemispheres of your brain communicate with each other, your cognitive function improves (1).
Below are art projects your learners have engaged in thus far including water color washes and oil pastels, mirroring, and triptych.
(1) Stahl, Ashley(2018)Here's How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health, https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2018/07/25/heres-how-creativity-actually-improves-your-health/?sh=3120507413a6