Not just a recreational activity: giving artmaking the place it deserves in early childhood classrooms
PAPANDREOU, MARIA; University of Patras
BIRBILI, MARIA; Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Visual arts are languages young children use to communicate their experience and knowledge, express thoughts and feelings and interpret the world that surrounds them. As a spontaneous and uncoded language, artmaking has many advantages over verbal language. Among others, it offers vital opportunities to young learners to effectively construct meaning and concepts, appropriate new knowledge and improve their communicative and linguistic abilities. Acknowledging that visual languages feature prominently in the computer age that young learners grow up, this article considers artmaking as something more than a recreational activity and discusses how it can be used as tool for learning and teaching in early childhood. Being informed by the socio-cultural approaches, the authors analyse cases from practice and argue how it can be integrated in different areas of the curriculum, while they suggest ways to make it integral part of the classroom culture.
Early childhood education, artmaking, visual languages, communication, documentation