How the Arts Foster Social Emotional Learning
When we talk about the arts we have no limits. We believe there are many ways to self-express and be creative, therefore almost everything is art for us. The creative process that fosters SEL, can be achieved through all of them. However, for the purpose of this post we will focus on the creative process when engaged in intuitive acrylic painting.
The fluidity of the acrylic medium helps us extend our energy onto the canvas while engaging in self-reflection. Making the creative process an inner journey to self-expression. Using our intuition and emotions to choose the colors that inspire us at that time and moving intuitively through the canvas to convey our vision. All of the marks and movements of our hands are inherently telling our story, marking how we feel at that exact time, as we revisit our emotions and ideas in self-reflection. Whether we recognize it or not, that process is actively fostering our self-awareness, enhancing our inner knowing.
Self-awareness is a key ingredient in SEL. To have healthy relationships, boundaries and compassion, is helpful to know ourselves. When we recognize and are present with our emotions, we begin to understand ourselves. The arts provide an opportunity to be present in our bodies while engaged in self-exploration.
When we combine the arts experience with group work, we are able to share that inner journey. Sharing our thoughts and feelings about what we have created, elevates and expand social emotional learning. Each person actively listens to each other, respecting and honoring the experience of each individual. This allows everyone a time to focus on self and receive emotional gratification, improving eagerness to provide that experience to others.