The Production Centre
Visual art is another form of communication. Children show what they know, wonder, and dream about in their creations. They make sense of the world around them, developing their fine motor skills, knowledge of artistic forms, and enhance their creativity. Art permeates the Kindergarten program as a vehicle for children to express their ideas and construct understanding. At this centre, materials of a hundred colours and textures are available. The display of new and recycled materials is both logical and evocative. Materials with plasticity such as paint and clay can be modelled and moulded to allow children to explore their ideas in many forms. Students have the opportunity to be innovative, creating art forms of their choice and are driven by their interests. The ideas that they come up with are far more inspiring than any ‘craft’ that could be organized and imposed upon them. Their thinking comes alive in their creations, producing an image of who they are as a child.
If you tell them how it’s meant to be played with, they’ll never veer. – Hirsh-Pasek
It is not uncommon to observe our students struggle with a challenge. “I don’t know how to make this…” “Can you attach this for me?” “What does a ________ look like?” As teachers, we are here to support our students and to facilitate their learning, understanding that the challenge itself is the learning that we hope for. Instead of fixing problems, or ‘doing’ for them, we celebrate the struggle, suggesting ways in which they may overcome the challenge. “Where could you find that out?” “What other material might work better?”
As adults we tend to look at children’s artwork with a prescriptive lens, seeing only what is obvious, looking for a product that we can make sense of. It is easier to provide the pieces and give directions about how they will all fit together: a spider with a body, eight legs and 2 eyes, a traced hand becomes a turkey. Best practices in early years education permits us to let go of the obvious and give the control to our students. Allow them to be innovative, collaborate and trust that when the materials end up off the shelf and are piled on the floor, something inspiring will result. If you can’t determine what that resulting creation is …. just ask.
The letters are loopy because they are laughing. – Kindergarten Student
Innovation is Creativity With Purpose – David Weiss