When Scores Don’t Matter

I was in the playroom with my daughter this weekend, and we were painting. I’m just saying, but we were doing it legit – canvases, paints, palettes, big brushes, easels, music.

The paintings dried on Saturday, and we went back for another layer on Sunday. It was pure delight.

Also, there was no way to make a mistake because the next layer could cover anything up. And the next layer could cover that layer. Or the next layer could highlight and accent the first. Mistakes weren’t even in the equation.

We had flow, we concentrated, we critiqued, we laughed, and we took so very seriously…even though we are by no means, serious painters.

Do you know what was missing?

Nothing as far we were concerned. We had everything we needed. We had each other, and we were artists.

But there were some things missing…scores.

[pullquote align=”normal”]Judgments did not concern us because we did it for another reason altogether. [/pullquote]

No one was going to score our work, and if they did, we didn’t care. Judgments do not concern us because we did it for another reason altogether. The artwork held the meaning of itself, at the moment.

What if scores didn’t matter at your school? At least, not like they do in a traditional sense.

What art could be produced in science labs, in historical research, in Algebra class?

What passions would arise? How would it impact flow, concentration, reflective criticism, laughter, and dedication?

For us, we had all that. Could students too?

When scores don’t matter, it opens the emotional and mental spaces for many other things to matter.