Experiences And Knowledge Of Life Cultural Studies Essay

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Multimodality and somatic knowing is the way that children interpret the way they are feeling in life experiences. The art's teaches children concepts, of "sensory and affect based metaphors" (Wright, 2012) which help to expand children's knowledge of meaning and how to interpret and express these experiences.

Semiotics is the use of signs and symbols and how they provide a sense of communication to the viewer through the arts. Teaching children about symbols and signs in the arts, allows them to develop a common and shared knowledge of identification. This knowledge becomes habitual through continually indentifying semiotics from on art form and re-interpreting them into different art forms, As Dunn and Stinson in Wright State, "One exciting way to extend and rejuvenate children's play is to draw upon rich material gifted to us from children's picture books, stories and films." (Julie Dunn, Madonna Stinson, 2012) This is an example of drawing from another art form to construct a play.

Rather than just learning the English language, children learn the language of art, gesture, sounds, images and movement. "a common approach to thinking about music is to consider basic properties of sound such as length, volume, register and timbre or tone colour, and work towards the ways in which these are refined and combined to create musical meaning" (Barrett, Belonging, being and becoming musical: an introduction to children's musical worlds, 2012) these properties as well as properties from other art forms are the key symbols which create the language. Teaching children about these properties will further their understanding and their language of each art form.

Binary opposites are commonly used by children in narratives; they are used to create a more complex and characterised story, giving meaning to everyday and life experiences. The structure of a narrative is usually structure around binary opposites; they "play a fundamental role in children's cognitive and moral development" (Wright, 2012) Binaries play an important part in the learning of a child, allowing them to engage in creative thinking, emotions and development of language through fantasy and real life narratives.


Barrett, M. (2012). Belonging, being and becoming musical: an introduction to children's musical worlds. In S. Wright, Children, Meaning-Making and the Arts (p. 59). Pearson.

Barrett, M. (2012). Belonging, being and becoming musical: An introduction to children's musical worlds. Children, Meaning-Making and the Arts, 75.

Board Of Studies, NSW. (2006). Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus. Retrieved from K-6 Educational Resources: http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/files/arts/k6_creative_arts_syl.pdf

Britt, C. (2012). Appreciating. Appreciating the works of others: Museums, Galleries and Festivals, ECH 131 Visual Arts Lecture 5, 7.

Britt, C. (2012). Arts as a Visual Language . Young Children's Graphic Languages and Symbolic Meaning Making, ECH 131 Lecture slide 2 Visual Arts , 3 .

Britt, C. (2012). Drawing. Young Children's Graphic Languages and Symbolic Meaning Making (part 2) , ECH 131 Visual arts Lecture 2 , 16.

Britt, C. (2012). Painting. Young Children's Graphic Languages and Symbolic Meaning Making, ECH 131, Visula Arts Lecture 2, 24.

Julie Dunn, Madonna Stinson. (2012). Dramatic Play and Drama in the Early Years: Re-imagining the Approach. In S. Wright, Children, Meaning-Making and the Arts (p. 127). Pearson.

McArdle, F. (2012). The Visual Arts Ways of Seeing. In S. Wright, Children, Meaning-Making and the Arts (p. 44). Pearson.

Wright, S. (2012). Ways of Knowing in the Arts. In S. Wright, Children, Meaning-Making and the Arts (p. 14). Pearson.

Wright, S. (2012). Ways of Knowing the Arts. In S. Wright, Children, Meaning-Making and the Arts (p. 26). Pearson.

Wright, S. (2012). Ways of Knowing the Arts. In S. Wright, Children, Meaning-Making and the Arts (p. 2). Pearson.

Analysis 1 - Golf Ball Painting

This video is the art form of visual arts providing children with a short activity involving paint; it is located inside and doesn't allocate the amount of children. Resources used in this video include, blue, red, green, yellow and orange paint, 5 golf balls, a large plastic container, 5 spoons and a piece of paper.

I believe this art experience, doesn't provide children with opportunity to be creative and meaning-making. The children do not get to apply any past knowledge or experiences into the artwork. Simply rolling the balls around in the container doesn't allow the children to express feelings and creativity into the work, nor does it allow them to use their imagination and create symbols which create meaning. As Britt explained, "Art is a means of communicating ideas and feelings" (Britt, 2012) this exercise doesn't allow the children to engage with these ideas.

Even though "Paintings can be produced expressively, symbolically, realistically, abstractly, figuratively and decoratively" (Board Of Studies, NSW, 2006) in this activity the child doesn't have any control where the paint goes and how it goes on, the children's paintings are all going to be similar with no person attributes or meanings. This is also a very short activity which doesn't give the children enough time to work with the paint and they may become bored waiting for others to do theirs and washing the plastic tubs. Not only do the children not get control and expression out of what they are creating they also miss out on experimenting with colours by mixing paints, "Red blends into yellow, and a new colour is born. No magic, no machinery with hidden parts, no unpronounceable chemicals. Red blends into yellow and, simply and astonishingly, there is orange. When children work with tempera paint to mix and create colour, they step into the arena of mystery and discovery" (Britt, 2012) The paint mixes in this activity but end up being brown, the children miss out on this discovery and engagement of how colours combined turn to a completely different colour. The children are very limited in what they can create in this activity, even though it is developing their knowledge in using different mediums (golf ball) the children cannot delve into their imaginary world to make meaning. The teacher should have thought about using different mediums like finger painting which, still incorporates the use of paint but through more of an imaginative and creative activity "Even young babies love the feel and properties of paint" (McArdle, 2012)

Analysis 2 - Ann's Art Workshop

This video is a description on what Ann's art classes involve; it is a visual arts class located inside and allocates 8 children to a group. Resources used are, markers, pastel, ink, acrylic, pencil, metal and repose.

The children explore meaning-making and creativity in this art experience by sharing knowledge with other students in groups; "The arts allow us to share the details of our lives with others and to explore abstract and complex concepts" (Wright, Ways of Knowing the Arts, 2012) the children are grouped on age and ability and are required to brainstorm ideas at times which broaden the children's understanding by listening and learning from others ideas. The curriculum is constantly changed, developing the children's knowledge in classic and contemporary art, allowing them to explore different skills including problem solving, and keeping them engaged in a range of activities and techniques.

The children engage with the art forms in a number of ways, through using different mediums of markers, pastel, ink, acrylic, pencil, metal repousse to experience and experiment with the effects and colours which can be made and can be self determined what artworks they would suit best. By exploring and learning about different artists around the world, develops the children's understanding of different techniques and inspirations of these artists which they can respond to in their own artistic way, it also allows them to "become competent and confident to talk about, read about, and write about the arts of others, including artists and their artworks, across a range of art forms and cultures." (Britt, 2012). Historical, culture and geographical references to art open up the mind of children's, to specific techniques that cultures explore in art and artistic work and images which are world known, letting the children understand and relate to other cultures properties.

In saying this the way which art is constructed is limited, all art created in this video is constructed around drawing, even though "Drawing is integral to children's expression of ideas and is a powerful tool for children to explain things to themselves and to others" (Britt, Drawing, 2012) It doesn't allow them to be creative in other forms, of clay, wire and collages Pelo explains "Cereal boxes, toilet paper tubes, corks, juice concentrate cans, telephone wire...These sorts of 'disposable' materials are sculptural treasures in an early childhood art studio. Found materials like these offer intriguing provocation. In a child's hands, a cereal box is no longer a container for cereal: it becomes a tiny home for a paper doll, with a door cut into the base, tissue-paper curtains fluttering in windows, wire smoke curling from the cork chimney."(Pelo, 2007, p.74) these students are missing out on these other forms of art, they are unable to explore these other artistic languages and unable to experiment with these products of everyday life and experiment with a different meaning and concept.

The teacher in this artistic experience takes on the role of a partner, in the video we can see that the teacher is accompanying a number of children what seems to be offering feedback, advice and constructive criticism. The teacher as a provider also provides a number of materials available for the children to use. The teacher also explores the importance of historical, cultural and geographical elements to the children's art experiences, to develop the knowledge of different techniques and styles used by many different artists around the entire world.

Analysis 3 - children's creative holiday workshop - Music

This art workshop is located in a large space inside and consists of 3 different art forms, music, visual art and drama. Focusing on only the music experience, it includes around 10 children and uses a range of percussion instruments.

I believe this workshop really explores ways of meaning-making and creativity; the children are using the concept of fly to create meaning through music. "By using the symbol systems of art, music, dance and play/drama, children manipulate images and concepts, thus joining with others who share a culture, who share the same 'imaginative universe' of 'worlds of possibility". (Wright, Ways of Knowing the Arts, 2012)Taking control of their own interpretations and ideas, children work with one another and are able to learn from others representations, collaborate to create new interpretations and expand each other's knowledge.

Simple music elements are used in this video to deepen the understanding of music through experimentation and representation, and through, pitch, beat and tone colour. Pitch is explored in this experience through the teacher demonstrating low to high pitch on an instrument in terms of the birds flying high in the sky and low to the ground, this is comparing life meanings to music elements; it is also explored through the children experimenting their own interpretations on what it means to fly.

Tone colour is explored within the variety of different instruments used and the ways they are played, the teacher uses a bongo to play a simple beat, this is then layered with the clapping of the hands from the children, who follow this predictable beat "Playing a range of sound sources extends students' performance skills and develops their aural awareness. Sound sources may include body percussion, found objects, environmental sound sources, instruments constructed by students, electronic instruments and melodic and non-melodic instruments from various cultures" (Board Of Studies, NSW, 2006) This activity also provides a simple beat which they learn to follow by putting sounds together in simple ways, Barrett explains "consider the variety of sound-making possibilities, including those of sticking with the hand or mullet, scrapping, tapping, plucking and shaking. It is also important to consider different tone colours and timbres, including those of wood, metal and skin" (Barrett, Belonging, being and becoming musical: An introduction to children's musical worlds, 2012) The children are really open to use a mixture of instruments, metal and wood together to discover strange and unknown sounds and music. The voice as an instrument is used to follow and interpret sounds of instruments it is also used to portray sounds of certain words through their own interpreting, expanding their vocal ability, pitch and learning others interpretations.

The teachers plays the role of the provider and the collaborator, the teacher has provided the children with many different percussion instruments and explains how to use them, he also gives one on one instructions and helps the kids to get the best possible sounds from the instruments, giving them enough time to let them engage and expresses their interpretations of flying through music.