Why Is Everything Connected When You Are Younger, But Gets Separated Into Subjects As You Get Older?

In elementary school, I became interested in seeing pictures and words together, like in comics. I remember one class project where we each made a little book by writing a 10-page story and drawing pictures for it. But then what happened is what happens to a lot of people in our current education system. Everything is connected when you are younger, but it gets separated into subjects as you get older. It’s no longer copying Garfield cartoons and making illustrated books—all of a sudden, it is divided into art class and English class.

After that point, words and pictures began to split apart for me. I felt pulled between visual art and writing, and they continued to battle each other throughout high school and college.” –Austin Kleon via The Great Discontent 

I was struck by this observation from Austin Kleon and wondered why that is–why is everything connected when we are younger, but gets separated into subjects as we get older? How might we rethink * these arbitrary divisions? How might we help our students, not to feel torn between disciplines, but to help them gain a greater understanding of and engagement with the whole by melding them all together? Would love to hear your thoughts.


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