Hi Families :)
Over the past couple of months I have been guiding the educators through some learning on visual arts in early childhood education. This has involved learning about the elements and principles of art education as well as looking at a wide range of ideas that cover all areas including painting drawing, printmaking, collage, weaving, sewing, construction and so on. The visual arts are an important component of any Reggio inspired program, reflecting the importance of providing ongoing opportunities for children to express their thinking through many “languages”.
We value and want to see each child’s individuality and allow them to express their thoughts and ideas in a way that is meaningful for them.
It is not uncommon in early years classrooms to see so called “art work” that consists of identical craft where each child has made something following directions and a model from an adult. You will rarely see such work at AEC. We value and want to see each child’s individuality and allow them to express their thoughts and ideas in a way that is meaningful for them.
Through a “Reggio” lens art is viewed very much as a cognitive experience, requiring the cognitive tasks of concentration, planning, making choices, problem-solving, evaluating, executing, re-working and persistence. It also inspires an understanding of artistic elements and spatial concepts such as colour, shape, size, line, texture and directionality. Through visual art experiences, children are also experimenting with imagery, patterns, cause and effect, critical and symbolic thinking and visual discrimination.
You will also find that we often involve the children in collaborative art projects. This reflects the social constructivist view of early education which values collaboration and group work as an important context through which learning can occur. By observing their peers, children are inspired by the techniques, colours, shapes and symbols of others, ideas are shared, plans are made and language is developed.
As educators we “see” and “hear” so much about your child’s thinking as they complete art activities. The product of the art is not what matters to us. It is the process that excites us and provides us with a valuable opportunity to “know” your child. It is important for parents to note therefore that learning takes place even when children don’t make a finished product to take home at the end of the day. Not all art experiences will result in a tangible “take away” product but that does not mean that your child has not engaged in some valuable learning!