“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.” – Calvin & Hobbs
Art is a vital tool in early childhood education. Our guest post from William Delgado explains why…
About William Delgado
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Art as an Important Tool for Early Childhood Education
Art is an important aspect of children’s development. It helps in the development of cognitive, social and motor skills of children. Classroom art and visits to museum immensely contribute to childhood development if it is combined with family engagement. Children should be allowed to create art. It will develop independent thinking and self-evaluation in them. As they grow older they will use art to express their feelings. They will also get self-satisfaction and confidence if they are permitted to use art. They will also develop social skills like taking turns, sharing and negotiating for materials.
Making use of large brushes for art will improve their motor skills and control. Frequent visits to art museums will help them in highlighting their talents and in raising their self-esteem. Support from the family is extremely important for any activity of a child. It will encourage a child’s learning and help in its development. Before anyone takes a decision about including art programs for children, it is important to think about why they make such decisions. There should be strong philosophical underpinnings for the art programs that are usually introduced for children.
Art programs in early childhood enable the continuous exploration of new ideas in children. It does not mean that the previous thinking pattern is completely erased. The old and new make a harmonious blend and there is a constant intellectual development in the child. There were views which considered a child to be tabula rasa or an empty vessel. This view states that children’s early art works are worthless. It further indicates that teaching art will lead the children on a path of progress towards realism and representation. A contradictory view shapes the notion of precious childhood and promotes the teaching of art to children. It will safeguard their innocence and spontaneity.
By and large teaching in general is seen as the way of civilizing a child and art activities are extremely teacher-oriented. The teaching of art is seen in relation to the developmental stages of children. Good art experiences and projects should be designed to influence children’s senses and creativity. Along with developing cognitive, social and motor skills of children, art education helps in visual learning, decision making and language development. Children learn words for colors, shapes and actions. They also learn to describe what they draw. Thus they will be able to narrate well. Art education strengthens the problem solving and critical thinking skills of children. They also learn to make decisions for themselves. Nowadays children learn a lot from the graphic sources since visual aids enhance the learning process.
By art education children will develop independent thinking, learn to be creative and they will even be ready to take risks. They will learn about other cultures since art is a diverse field which represents anything and everything in the world in the form of shapes and colors. Children who have had art education are reported to do better in academics as per earlier research works. Therefore, it is an education supplement which should be given to every child in the early childhood.