The SPARK! teaching philosophy is grounded in the mission to ignite the spark of creativity inherent in all children.
At SPARK! creativity is defined as:
A sense of wonder …
that invites exploration…
and the discovery of new possibilities.
We believe creativity is a language to be learned and that the best way to instill creativity in children is full creative immersion. All SPARK! instructors are practicing creative individuals who engage learners by leading them through the creative process. We believe that creativity is an iterative process. Our physical environment and creative programming support this belief by giving children opportunities to explore, fail, refine, and take risks.
Full Creative Immersion
Children are encouraged to explore the facility in its entirety. Every part of the facility from the floor to the ceiling is available for children to experience. A variety of colors, surfaces, textures, and levels invite children to move throughout SPARK! enabling their minds to expand and questions to arise. Architectural elements like stairs, ceilings, walls, and floors transcend function to become sculpture. Children are given time to engage physically with this interactive space before moving into a creative activity.
Creative activity begins after children are given time to explore the wildly creative environment at SPARK! Instructors provide feedback that encourages children to be curious and self-reflective. Feedback to learners is given in an open-ended manner that invites self-critique, honesty, and problem-solving. Focused on creativity as an iterative process, our instructors motivate learners to try new things and to take risks in their pursuit of creativity. Creative activities are chosen with specific intent to highlight the creative process. While the end result may be the learner’s initial objective, SPARK! instructors prefer to focus on and guide the creative process to enable each child to explore their individual gifts.
The learner’s role at SPARK! is to be curious, questioning, and open to new possibilities. We want learners to challenge the creative process by taking risks with design, experiencing activities in new ways, and using our environment as creative inspiration. We want learners to question their creative process, to be self-reflective in refining their work, and to discover their own creative identity at SPARK!
The instructor’s role is to ignite creativity by leading the creative process as part of a specific activity. Each instructor’s creative activity is a reflection of the instructor’s expertise, passion, and unique perspective of a particular discipline. Our instructors encourage learners to approach activities in new ways, to be curious, and to leave SPARK! eagerly anticipating their next visit.
The combination of physical engagement in our creative space with intellectual engagement in a creative activity results in a fully immersive creative experience at SPARK! Our instructors ignite the spark of creativity inherent in all children.