By: Leah Jeglum and Sarah Pierson
When visiting Cabbages and Condoms, a restaurant founded by Mechai Viravaidya, we learned about a new concept in education, where creativity is put at the forefront of a child’s education, rather than memorization and repetition of mathematics and sciences. He first showed us this picture of colored balls in trees which turned out to be painted coconuts. He asked us why they couldn’t be colorful and I couldn’t think of an answer of why not. He also showed us bathrooms that were painted in rainbows of colors, even in the boy’s bathroom!
Since that day, we have wondered why the school system in America is lacking in this creativity. I (Sarah) have only had art class in elementary and middle school and had to follow the art teachers exact instructions and wasn’t fully able to excess my artistic talent. In middle school we were able to take band or chorus but had to follow the group songs. I (Leah) grew up in a very musical household, especially with my mother being a music teacher and my father grew up playing the string bass from a very young age. My sister and I were encouraged to think outside the box, but Mechai’s concept of school blew my mind on how a child should learn and progress through life, especially in those essential years where a child absorbs so much new information.
Now there are many budget cuts and the funding for the extracurricular classes are being cut first because they are not being seen as a necessity to a child’s education. We want to ask you all; when your school district plans on cutting funding to those programs, do you want your children to grow up to be a person who can recite various mathematical and scientific facts, or do you want your children to be a well-rounded person who is aware of different concepts and ideas, rather than just various facts?