GS Visual Art: Kesenian Indonesia Class

In Education, Local Life, This Is Green School

Collective wisdom tells us that the desire to learn, to be amazed, to compare, and share experiences is inherent in human nature. Green School is a place that provides the opportunity for each student to develop themselves and reach their full potential in a beautiful environment where the individual is respected and encouraged to be themselves. Classes are holistic in approach, encouraging honesty, integrity and independence in our students and most importantly a love of the arts!

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Being part of the Green School Visual Arts team, I find myself in the wonderful position of having the opportunity to develop a curriculum that is very much influenced by our geographical location. In doing so I draw my inspiration from the very rich cultural and artistic features that abound in celebrations and festivals, and as a part of everyday customs on the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia. The High School curriculum is unique – all classes are taught in six week blocks – 24 hours of intense instruction which allows for concentrated study in a particular area. Students are responsible for selecting their classes, and in doing so, have ownership to choose subjects that best suit their needs and interests.

One of the classes available in high school is a class called “Kesenian Indonesia” (Artists of Indonesia). This unique cultural sustainability program provides the opportunity for students to learn traditional arts and crafts from local artists while forging links with the Balinese community. We have been fortunate to have several “Artist in Residence” workshops this year including traditional Shadow Theater with Pak Wayan, Kite Making with Pak Ida Bagus (Prince of Badung regency), Recycled Art with Pak Made, and bamboo wood carving with Pak Yok.

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In our current High School block, students in the Kesenian Indonesia class are learning about the traditional craft of Batik. Two times a week, our class embarks on a 20 minute walk through the village of Sibang to our Batik workshop. This class is taught entirely in Indonesian – an authentic language immersion for students of all abilities. A recent article “A Culture of Sustainability Through Art” explains the importance of cultural understanding as one of the four pillars of sustainability.

Green School is a school where our students (and staff) thrive. There is nothing more rewarding than working in a beautiful environment in which students are motivated by a love of learning and not simply an academic grade. As educators, we know that it is our influence that can shape a student’s attitude about school and learning – attitudes that can influence a student’s success in life. When the students we teach feel confident, competent and accepted as learners, it is then that we know we have made a difference.

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Yours sincerely,
Ibu Jen Buchanan
Arts Teacher