Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Creative and Open Ended Art in Early Childhood Education


“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what
 to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
~George Smith Patton, War as I Knew It, 1947

I think for the first few years of teaching in early childhood education I told the preschoolers what to do most of the day. I mean…I was on top of them. Hovering, like some kind of kinder-cop helicopter; alert and ready to airlift anyone with messy pants or a sour disposition.
What’s different now…well, the messy pants part hasn’t changed.
But I defiantly allow leeway when it comes to creativity. Creative art, creative problem solving (conflict resolution skills), creative solutions….
I am not so quick to rush in and have all the answers for the children. Often I find if I simply am a comforting positive and encouraging presence the children have many skills when they have been given a good foundation from the beginning of the school year and understand the rules.
Creative art is also open-ended art and can be done in any area of the preschool classroom and with any type of material. I think it’s one of my favorite areas and center’s to watch the children in.
Children don’t have much control in their own environment- but they do over what goes on their paper.
Art is always a preference with children-some truly enjoy the process of crafts.....
What type of art do your preschoolers enjoy doing?

2 comments:

VKT said...

I agree with you completely! We need to let the children believe in their abilities and skills. Great post!

Barbra Stephens said...

Thanks VKT,
That is very key what you said- about 'letting' the children believe in their abilities and skills. Many already do until we "big people" second guess them. Well said!