For example we viewed images like
as well as
I asked her what she thought of these.
"They look like little Joey painted them, or maybe I did," she replied (little Joey is three).
I said "but these were painted by famous artists."
"So what," she replied, "they look like crap."
Next we had a discussion about "The Emperor's New Clothes" and how sometimes it takes a small child to speak the truth about what every else is seeing but not acknowledging.
More discussion ensued.
One of the other grandchildren had just spent five years in misery because the school had failed to diagnose a significant dyslexia problem (the worst the one psychologist had ever seen). The parent had fought mightily for many years to get the school to acknowledge the child was smart but struggling with basic reading concepts. (The evidence, near gifted science scores with failing reading and writing skills, had been on the report cards for many years.)
Ultimately the initial school psychologist that claimed the child was "near retarded" was disgraced. A new psychologist in conjunction with the school produced a multi-page "IEP" that correctly diagnosed the child's problems and provided a teaching plan to address the issues. The methodology of teaching provided being the one the parent had conducted on their own despite the school's best efforts to thwart them. (The school was reported to the state by the new psychologist and the investigation is still going on...)
I explained to the grandchildren how the initial "school psychologist" was like the "swindlers" in the story of "The Emperor's New Clothes."
No one would question the initial school psychologist even though, as it turned out, she was routing students she diagnosed as "troubled" to her own practice for treatment. She had many letters after her name and years of schooling - how could she be wrong?
Today I believe that most, if not all, of what children do and see in school has to some degree a level of indoctrination involved. Whether in explaining the workings of the world, the environment or social behavior, orthodox descriptions and solutions to these problems are provided that leave little or no room for the child to make their own interpretation of what they see.
Is the Pollock or Picasso above really art?
Is it "good" art?
Certainly I am not qualified to render an opinion even though I might have one.
But a child is much less likely to be limited by social concerns related to what they see and simply blurt out the truth.
However, often in today's schools at least, social pressure is used to silence these sorts of opinions.
Fortunately at least some people see fit to enable their children with enough self confidence and self sufficiency to be able to speak their minds regardless of what others might say or think.
I think there is far to little of this in the world today.
The Emperor is not wearing any clothes and has been in this state for a long time.
Sadly most of the population simply agrees that the "clothes" he is wearing are of the finest make and quality...