I have an opportunity to teach an art class to children. I think it is so important to foster creativity and nurture their natural abilities in this area.
The class I would be teaching is an after-school drawing class that combines all children K-6 grades in one class. There is a specific curriculum to follow each week where the kids copy a drawing that I draw on the board and follow step by step. The drawing is always dictated by the curriculum. Typically the drawing exercises some aspect of design such as perspective, overlapping, movement through line, etc. Some of the drawings may be too complicated for the younger kids, so there is usually a simplified version for the K-2 grade kids. Once they draw the subject matter, they can then color it in using crayons, markers, or pastels.
This seems very structured to me, especially for the younger kids. They have even said that the kindergarteners especially get frustrated if the drawing doesn't come out looking like the teacher's.
Can this type of structure help or hurt a child's natural creativity?
I can see how gaining the skill of illustration would be desirable for a young artist, but it's just a skill.
Creativity, on the other hand, touches all aspects of our lives. Intuition, innovation, imagination, and inspiration are all parts of being creative.
What are your philosophies on children and art?