It has been noted that the arts play a vital role in the development of the child. Before children learn to read and write they draw, sing and dance. Children make sense of the world around them through signs and symbols in which children make meaning; real or imagined. Arts learning and practices from dance, drama, music, and visual art in early childhood have also been shown to influence achievement of identified learning outcomes as well as enabling behaviours and attitudes which support later learning.
These beneficial influences include:
- Physical development through hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills acquisition and refinement
- Social interaction through experiences of sharing resources, assuming different roles in the art making process, and helping others, differentiating one’s work from others, questioning, considering, evaluating and appreciating the work of others
- Cognitive development through arts specific language use, exploring and connecting concepts and objects to symbols, making choices over subject matter, different media, materials, and methods to produce art
- Expressive qualities including the ability to communicate concepts and ideas young learners may not have language to describe sufficiently but experience nonetheless
- Imagination, creativity and experimentation through trialling techniques, methods and materials and sequencing them in ways meaningful to the early learner, as well as linking one’s own behaviours and actions with creative results and
- Problem solving skills which are often embedded in arts education such as producing a play, working out what colours or medium to use in visual arts, or deciding what sounds work together in a performance (Kindler, 1997; Lowenfeld & Brittain, 1970; Mace, 1997).
At Little Stars, art education is an essential part of the school curriculum and an important component in the educational program. It is a way to get students more involved in the learning process as the classes have hands-on activities that will keep them interested in learning. Students who participate in their own creative art projects are able to focus more and take pride in their work, which motivates them to work harder to achieve their goal.
In order that art education process could be performed in line with its objectives, every year we held an art exhibition where we celebrate the creative work from our student artists. Through art exhibition, students get the opportunity to apply or do the practical aspect of the things that they have learned, to apply their ideas and present things differently in their unique way.
The main objective for the Little Stars’ exhibits of student works is to acquaint the public to understand that child art as a work of art. It is an integration whereby the child may feel an intelligent correlation between her or his personal experiences and the community at large, and the world beyond the community.
International Research in Early Childhood Education Vol. 6, No. 1, 2015, page 62