For our Civic Engagement course, we had to find our place in the community. We accomplish this by creating a micro-mentary about kids showing Autonomy with their art. We interviewed friends from the Chicago Public School (CPS) system. We asked them questions about how the CPS system has failed their needs with art. Below please view our video and lesson plan that helps present the video.



Definition of Autonomy: freedom from external control or influence; independence
According to the oxford dictionary online.

How do we inspire autonomy due to the failed public education system?

We want our audience to realize that the current education system was designed and conceived for a different age. The initial idea of creating public schools, which is paid for by taxation was a revolutionary idea. This is deeply rooted in the public school system that there are only two types of people: academic and nonacademic, intelligent people and unintelligent people. The concept of this idea has influenced many brilliant people to think differently because they are being judged against this particular view of the mind. Education is modeled on the interest of industrialisation and the image of it. For example, schools are organized in a factory line, with ringing bells, separate facilities, and many more. We still educate students by batches. Why do we assume that the only thing common with students is their age? (Source: RSA Animate)

Divergent thinking is the ability to interpret a question. It is the ability to find multiple answers to a question. By comparing scores with kindergarteners this exercise will help us demonstrate that once you have been “educated”; you may lose your ability to think creatively and depending on the type of education you received. In public schools, we are taught that there is only one answer to a question and perceived as sponges that soak information from books, instead of experiencing it for ourselves. There is no creative thinking in this process.

There are many ways we can solve this problem. We have to reinforce art programs, decrease quantity and increase quality in our standardized tests. The reason why is that when taking part in the arts we have an aesthetic experience, meaning all of your senses are operating at their peak.

The purpose of the divergent thinking test is to demonstrate that the more education you receive from this broken system, it is more likely that you lose your ability to think creatively.

Our message is to SPEAK UP.

What is the purpose of the lesson, ie., the objective that defines the goal of the lesson?
The purpose of this lesson plan is to support and inspire autonomy for youth in a city where resources are few.Our targeted audience are the youths and their families.

At the end of this lesson participants will have taken a mini divergent thinking test, and compared scores taken by kindergarteners.The ulterior motive is to get the participants thinking about their results.The main purpose of comparing test score with previous younger testers is to show that public schools may have failed to educate their students in a multitude of ways.

How much/how many?
For this lesson we will need:
A divergent test
A list of statistics for comparison

Next Thursday from 10-2:30 Time limit: 10 minutes

1. Intro
Definition of Autonomy {2:00 minutes}
2.Divergent thinking test {1:30}
Compare scores by looking at results from kids. {1:00}
3.Discussion {5:30} questions

Link to statistics for comparison: ( )

  • Introduce names and concept. Each introduce our own names.

LN & AH:

  • Definitions of autonomy: ask what people think “autonomy” means or what are some synonyms, and after they answer, show the signs and explain.


  • Pass out paper and markers with the instructions to “Draw a person however you want in the next minute and a half.”
  • Have people show their drawings, and show them drawings made by little kids. Compare the creativity of little kids.
  • Talk about other divergent thinking tests and show these statistics:


  • Ask “Why do you think these scores go down with age?”
  • Discussion of how schools educate kids in a way that shuts down their autonomy and creativity.
  • Explain that our movie shows how kids who don’t get support from their school are still showing autonomy and creativity through art.

ART AUTONOMY from GF on Vimeo.