We want our children to act creatively, to see each experience as an opportunity for invention, to be skilled at giving form to their ideas, and to have many options for communicating their ideas to other people. When our children grapple with problems, we want to see them generate not one but a wide array of possible solutions. We want them to have the ability, experience, and confidence to work from their unique constellation of strengths. We want them to know the deep satisfaction of giving their best gifts to the world.
How do we promote this type of development?
First, we introduce the sensory alphabet. The sensory alphabet is the basis for the thinking skills associated with visual, aural and kinetic ways of learning. The sensory alphabet helps children express their ideas, create and innovate, interact with the world around them, and even gain a deeper understanding of themselves as thinkers and learners.
Second, we emphasize creative potential and self awareness. More and more, the complex and systemic problems of the world necessitate a collaborative approach. This way of thinking and working will require individuals to identify their strengths and use their creativity so they can make meaningful and thoughtful contributions. Brain research and studies of multiple intelligences support the idea that we all think and learn differently and that we think and learn best when we take our brain's most natural path. By empowering children with the ability to develop their natural fluencies at an early age, we give them a competitive advantage in a world that requires collaboration and teamwork.
The Sensory Alphabet
Human vision is distinguished by the color-detecting ability of our eyes. For us, color is often the element of discernment-and the visual language of emotion.
Green with envy, seeing red, walk around under a black cloud-emotion transforms itself into colorful characters, colorful language and poetic passion. Paint on canvas creates sunny weather or an emotional storm; and color in music paints a picture solemn or spritely. Where is your color sense alive? Is it evident in cooking or chemsitry? Stargazing or paint mixing? Or does it come alive in finding rainbows, delighting in a feather's iridescence, or in an outlandish and fabulous fashion sense?
Sound has the inherent quality of acting on the emotions without going through the intellect. Listen. The world is speaking to you in a thousand different voices. When we listen, we put ourselves in the moment: present to an arguement, a plea, a whine, a birdcall, the wind in the trees, or a symphony. Besides the obvious (musicians and music), actors, politicians, priests, and parents invoke action with tone, timbre, tempo and sound. Writers and readers alike listen as words unfurl on the page. Painters may paint a sound, and runners may use one to make the miles fly. Ecologists, anthropologists, birdwatchers, linguists, and physicians all use sound to diagnose, distinguish, and define.
Light delights as the most illusive and changeable element of form: giving contour, creating mood, illuminating all manners of truth. The sea sparkles, pearls have luster, silk shimmers, we "see the light". Stage designers, cinematographers, photographers, and architects are obvious masters of light and shadow. But think, too, about light as perceived by physicists, glass artists, poets, and urban planners. Without light, we're literally and figuratively "in the dark." Fireflies, fireworks, shadow play, and starlight are some of our first light-filled fascinations-what are others?