Origami, the Japanese art of Paper Folding
Origami’s first reference in Japan dates back to a poem written in 1680 which commemorates a beautiful, paper butterfly, folded to celebrate Shinto wedding ceremonies. Today, however, this unique art form is prized for many reasons. Educators have found that it helps develop ‘schematic learning through repeatable actions’, because students follow specific instructions and execute them with careful accuracy. It has also been discovered that origami increases patience and self-esteem. Cooperative learning is another benefit, as people often help each other master difficult folds. In addition, eye/hand co-ordination improves through repeated practice. According to Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher, Jean Piaget: ‘motor activity in the form of skilled movements is vital to the development of intuitive thought and the mental representation of space.’ Finally, there is origami’s link to Mathematics: It clearly increases knowledge of geometric and symmetrical relationships, and encourages heightened 3-dimensional awareness.
Because Origami is such a stimulating, positive, and fun learning experience which also involves creative, short-term goal setting, we feel that it is the perfect vehicle to introduce students to the exciting world of 3-dimensional art. Through these calming exercises, students who participate will experience increased feelings of inspired achievement.
Our Origami class for adults begins with basic paper folding exercises. After these skills are learned, students advance to create a variety of origami characters.
Because our Origami Fundamentals class introduces many adults to imagine form 3-Dimensionally, what follows explains our goals for students more fully.