Parents, did you know your response can either guide a young artist to try to please you or reflect on their endeavor?
How often have you responded like this cartoon?
Here are typical responses modeled by adults.
Why we should seek a different way to respond to child art.
When we say things like the above, children tend to be influenced to make art for approval. The endeavor of creative expression in a small child is a exploritive discovery type of endeavor. Encouraging a young child to reflectupon anart expression will lead him or herto develop strong visual literacy skill. And let's face it, we are not living in a world becoming less about imagery.
Technology is truly shaping our time to be an imagery age. Imagery than can be said to be as important in communication as letters and numbers. Children therefore, need strong direction in thinking skills to get meaning from images and have ability to create messages through their own images.
We can helpby encouraging them to describe, analyze and interpret images through our own modelling of these skills. We can easily do this when we respondto images, especially theirs.
A better way...
Like letters are the building blocks for reading and writing, Elements of Design:
are basic building blocks for our "picture language". Looking for and pointing out the elements of design that a child has used is a better way to respond to a child's art.
Look for these:
Getty Trust, J.P. (1999). The Power of Images in Education. [On-line] Available: http://www.artednet.getty.edu/ArtsEdNet/Read/power.html
Hohmann, Mary, &Weikart, David P. (1995). Educating Young Children. Ypsilanti, Michigan: High/Scope.
Ohler, J. (1996) The Four Rs: Preparing Kids for the World of Work in the Age of Multimedia. [On-line] Available: http://www.artednet.getty.edu/ArtsEdNet/ohler.htm.
Schirrmacher, R. (1986). Talking With Young Children About Their Art. Young Children. 3-7
Wilson, E.L. Art is... Forum Thoughts to Share. Lemovne, Pennsylvania: West Shore School District.