The outlook of art classes for nursery children has transformed from imprinting their painted fingers onto paper to exploring the world of Rivera and Van Gogh. Art is known to inspire critical thinking. When the child is forced to think and discuss it, the essence of learning is instilled without the child even knowing that he is being taught.
When did this concept start?
The concept of introducing art appreciation classes to children in pre nursery school was developed almost two decades ago in New York by a non-profit based organization which trains schools and museums on this topic.
It wasn’t until recently that this approach gained the attention of notable pre-schools. With the times changing so quickly, approaches in teaching must evolve accordingly.
Benefits of art learning classes
Research suggests that grasping new concepts was easier when lessons were taught visually through a visual aid. This reflected in better understanding of math and ability to read. As compared to students who were not taught using visual aid, those who were showed superior emotional and social growth. Time and again, this strategy has proven to be beneficial for English learners.
When a child is asked to look at a picture, three basic questions are imposed:
What is happening in the picture?
Justify what you see
Is there anything else in the picture besides the obvious?
By answering these questions not only is the child encouraged to think logically and rationally but also learns to substantiate their statements with valid reasoning. The child also develops an interest towards analyzing and concentration is improved.
How to start this program?
Introducing art appreciation in a pre-nursery school is fairly simple. The task can be broken down into three basic steps. First, the teacher chooses a picture to show the children - it may be a reprint or during a field visit to the museum. Second, the teacher observes the painting with the students. Lastly, the children are imposed with the earlier mentioned three questions.
In conclusion, art speaks to the young and old alike. Our interpretation of a piece of art evolves with us. Children, being free thinkers, have a completely different take on everything. Expressing what they feel is the first step towards learning and understanding. With art appreciation classes, children develop the ability to discuss and also understand another’s point of view.