Monart Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Monart claim to help academic achievement?
For 40 years, Mona has been giving teacher/training workshops in school districts throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. She has consistently received feedback from classroom teachers and administrators that the teachers who use the Monart system observe up to a 20% increase in reading, writing, and math.
What conditions in the method seem to enhance academic learning?
It works with all the students in a class. Recognition of the 5 elements of shape increases a young child’s or a non-English speaking student’s ability to learn the alphabet and increases reading readiness. ESL teachers use the method in their classrooms. Researchers found that, if you draw what you are learning about, you will learn it 8 times faster and retain it 8 times longer. This is responsible for the increased knowledge of geography by drawing maps. Any science unit can involve drawing the subject to be learned and labeling the information. Drawing designs can increase mathematical knowledge. But most of all, once Monart empowers a student to achieve the ability to draw skillfully they are motivated to follow the philosophy. They learn to want the silent environment, which automatically lends itself to growth in concentration. The understanding that an artist will never like everything they do encourages exploration and realistic expectations. The knowledge that there is no right way to do art, but simply endless opinions and disagreements, does away with the focus on praise and allows a student to take risks that lead to individual creativity. Exploration leads to problem solving and to critical thinking skills. The joy of drawing encourages the willingness to put energy into completion of a task, which carries over to other subjects.
How is Monart different from other drawing programs?
It actually includes basic structure regarding visual perception and a fine arts ability to learn the subject of realistic drawing. It goes beyond what is termed “ directed drawing”, which ends up in all student work simply being a copy of the teachers instructions. Monart teaches a student to see differently. It includes eye exercises and progressive lesson plans with many choices of how to create each student’s own interpretation of a lesson.
Has Monart been used with special needs students?
Yes, Mona was given a three year grant from 1980-1983 from Governor Brown’s California Arts Council, to see how the method worked with 3 different types of learning challenged and “At Risk” students. One of the schools had a population of 120 Autistic, Asperger, ADHD, and ADD students. Another was a private school for 60 gang oriented teens that had been expelled from several Los Angeles schools. The third school was a regular elementary public school in a neighborhood of mostly Caucasian students who were performing at very low skill levels. In all of the programs, it was concluded that the drawing method resulted in phenomenal gains academically as well as positive changes in behavior.
Does Mona really believe that there is no right way to do art?
Yes, after 5 years of art school education, she concluded that each art teacher had their preferences and that if she wanted to maintain good grades, she had to please each teacher by drawing to their preferences. After endless trips to museums and art galleries, she came to the opinion that one could see everything imaginable and even the professional critics argued about what was “good” and what wasn’t.
Does Mona still give training seminars or certification classes?
No. Mona turned 80 in 2017. Unfortunately, she no longer has the energy to give personal training classes. Thanks to technology, parents and teachers can have access to her DVD Training Video and Art Projects for all ages on the new Monart Online Store. She continues to make new projects for the Monart Store and owns the Monart Studio in Berkeley, CA.