How does one assess a butterfly?

How does one assess a butterfly?

What is my real task as an art educator?

I teach a child to be more and more themselves.

I grant permission and encourage independence of thought, style, pace, process, and collaborations.

I understand my task as an assistant to human beings as they experience joy and use imagination and creativity.

If I accurately grasp what this young soul is looking for [through the spiritual blueprint], I will know if I need to teach technique, open a Mattesse book, share a poem, wait, etc. I will see every one of them as individuals within a group setting.


What is all this about?

All this is practicing and demonstrating a tiny democratic society.


The studio is a space for diversity. It is a safe place to ask questions, make mistakes, and find one’s true path within being sensitive to others.  

Unfortunately, this is the only lesson during the week a child can be who they are.

Moreover, most art teachers I know, especially in high schools, are the first to notice SOS situations.

As an art therapist, I say that art educators are in charge of preventative care in schools, although they are not paid for it or have any supervision.




Schools need to change into more humanistic, democratic places. Such a shift depends very much on the parents and the community.

Butterflies fly and need not be measured.

What is the right timing for suggestions in an art studio?


2 thoughts on “How does one assess a butterfly?”

  • Malka, Happy New Year! What a lovely blog post. You are asking such important questions.!They resonate deeply. One of the skills I cultivated over the years is to notice when a child was either stuck or moving forward. When they are in “flow”they really don’t need us. It’s the same as when a butterfly is in flight! Our role overall is to create the space for learning to happen. When we pay attention and observe closely what is happening we can assist the child in their journey. Assessment is best left to the individual learner.

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