ERIC Number: ED447936
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Dec
Art Improves the Quality of Life: A Look at Art in Early Childhood Settings.
Alvino, Frances J.
Noting that the preschool years provide an optimal time for developing fundamental skills with lifelong implications, this paper examines the role of art in early childhood education, arguing that art improves the quality of life for young children. The paper maintains that art is the basis of early learning and that allowing children to experience art fosters the development of many skills, including eye-hand coordination and good work habits. Further, art fosters creativity and allows children to make sense of their world. Children delight in the process of creating art; early childhood art must be focused on that process rather than on the product. In addition, art can be used as a tool to foster young children's self-esteem and to give children the freedom to express themselves. Art enhances socialization in several ways, including encouraging sharing with others and permitting children to take risks. The paper argues that art activities provide children with an opportunity to experience success and that teachers have an obligation to encourage children and offer approval of their art work. The paper suggests that having a portfolio for each child's work is important for early childhood programs. Other suggestions include the avoidance of teacher models for children's work, and the mixture of highly creative and highly recognizable art experiences. Finally, the paper presents the findings of a survey of early childhood teachers regarding their opinion about young children's art. (Contains 13 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A