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Art is the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. It is also the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings.
There may be a few variations in the precise naming of the activities it is generally accepted that the triumvirate of creating, performing and appreciating dance as a conceptual basis underlies all phases of dance education. (Davies, 2003)
Why are the arts important to young children?
The role of the visual arts in early childhood education has long been recognised and valued as an essential component of the curriculum. (Eckhoff, Angela, 2011) The arts consist of variation of appreciation. The different forms art such as dancing, drawing and painting, performance art, sculpturing and many more. Art needs to be included in the school’s curriculum and encompass the knowledge of the arts education to the children. Art appreciation can be inculcate to children at young age. Knowing and understanding of the arts may also help children to express themselves in different creative art forms in which they are comfortable in.
Art nurtures the child to be inventiveness as it engages the child in a process that helps in the development of self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation. Children’s self-esteem will improve as there is not right or wrong in self creative creation. In this way, children’s are able to complete task with self-discipline and longer patience in completing an art piece regardless whether it is an drawing and painting piece or a dance and music piece. Working cooperatively will also be enhanced children’s patience such as dancing together with music and other children to produce a wonderful piece of musical. Most importantly children needs to be self-motivated to have the interest in arts.
At times while working with each other to produce an art piece also needs problem solving, contributing ideas and respecting each other. Each child will have to communicate in a variety ways to express their thoughts and produce the art piece they want it to be.
The belief that art education should encourage the child’s creativity, imagination, and expression did not mean that all previous pedagogies were replaced. (Jolley, 2010) Imagination helps children with expression in dancing and also helped in language to find the correct vocabulary to describe their expression. Child’s creativity should not be obstructed or corrected by the adults or educators. Updated pedagogies helps to improve and also work on the previous believes.
Forms of art
In terms of aesthetic and creative education, dance has much to share with drama, music and the visual arts. (Davies, 2003) Dancing is an activity that needs time to work on and gain wide experience. It needs to work with choreographing of movements and music together by trying out and composing the art piece.
Performing can be taken to mean ‘to do’, ‘to show’, ‘to dance’, creating as ‘making’, ‘trying out’, or ‘composing’, while appreciation is the outcome of ‘watching’, ‘viewing’, ‘talking about’ and ‘ drawing about’ dance. (Davis, 2003) It may be an expressive dance in a drama which could be a class activity having children to have a discussion with their ideas and suggestions on how the characters should dance, facial expression , choosing the piece of music to express the mood of the scene and moving along with the music. Children would have trials and errors along the way in the making and appreciating in every part of the dance drama they have created. In terms of dancing consist of being a creator or maker, a viewer or spectator or as a doer or performer. (Davies, 2003)
Certain movement ideas frequently used by in informal situations seem to belong together and can be utilised in dance. (Davis 2003) Educators on their part, they can facilitate the students by guiding exploring different ideas of movement such as running and leaping, turning and twisting, moving and stopping suddenly. Children will be able to choose the right movement they would want to include into their dance. Educators may also guide children choosing the instrument they would like to use for the movement using different sounds. For example, the sound of the fast ringing bells can be the movement of running.
Another form of art is drawing. Drawing from observation still represents a key component of statutory art education for children aged 5 to 14 years of age. (Jolley 2010 ) Drawing involves imagination and creativity and expression. Drawing helps children to express their thoughts with different kinds of lines and shapes.
Observation also plays an important part in drawing. For example, children may observe a stalk of flower or the movements of the grass when the wind blows and draw the expression of what they have observed using different lines. For example, curvy lines, straight lines and zig-zag lines. Once children are allowed to make representational drawings, rather than mere line and shape, they are often directed towards forms of subject matter such as cubes, cones, prisms, and so on, whether copies from pictures of three-dimensional models. (Jolley,2010) Children may also move to a higher level to explore drawing representational drawings with their imagination.
Educators may guide children by introducing the drawing of different lines such as horizontal line, vertical line, wavy line and spiral line. Students will then apply what they have learnt in their drawings. Students will also need to be given opportunities to observe the environment around them , space for creativity and imagination.
Children are then taught to draw more controlled lines. (Jolley, 2010)
Teachers go for PD?
It will be beneficial for educators to undergo training attaining higher level certificate may also attend a more intensive and substantial art modules. In this way, it will equip the educators with more knowledge and understanding of art education. Educators will have better skills to guide the students and facilitate the child to explore the choices or methods he could use to express his art piece.
School management may also encourage their educators to attend professional development to be equipped with updated skills and pedagogies. Student will not be bored with structured ways of teaching art and lessons are more enjoyable for students to learn.
Arts education in the curriculum planning.
According to the Ministry Of Education, Singapore, Kindergarten Curriculum Guide (KCG), aesthetics and creative expression is being part of integrated learning in the holistic development of the child. In the school planning, it has to include the children’s experiences in visual arts, music and movement allow children to be expressive, creative and imaginative. (Kindergarten Curriculum Guide, 2008) Therefore, it is essential to plan the school’s curriculum according to the framework and arts will not be left out.
In the school’s curriculum, children are also taught to learn appreciation of visual arts and musical instruments. Children will be given chance to discuss about their own art works such as describing the lines , colours and shapes used. (Kindergarten Curriculum Guide) Children will also be given opportunity to appreciate, learn and explore the different sounds made by the instruments.
Art is important in young children’s education as it is one of the ways to help children to express themselves through different channels such as dance, drama and visual arts. Children need not to be afraid making mistakes as art promotes creativity, imagination and expressions.
It is also essential to have arts education in the school, so as to have educators to guide the students and giving then opportunities to explore different kinds of art such as visual arts, drama and music and movement.
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