It has been a while since I last blogged. I do apologize. For those who do not know me. My name is Melissa de Castro and I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator and owner of our Eh to Zed Preschool Canada Early Learning Academy in Innisfil Ontario. Lately, I have had many families inquire about our art pedagogy and why we do not create many product-based crafts. After reflecting, I thought this would serve as a great blog post.
Have you ever wondered why your child’s art piece does not necessarily look like the art pieces you were TOLD to create as a child? Do you remember art experiences as a child and having to use teacher cut-outs and having to create a bear or image that looked exactly like the one the teacher made? I do! I also remember feeling the need to full-fill my teacher’s expectations of how the art piece was required to look and not how I wanted it to look. I often felt stressed and worried that my teacher would NOT like it!
This feeling is not what we at Eh to Zed Preschool Canada want our young learners to feel. We want them to know that art is a tool to express themselves. We want them to enjoy the process of creating something true to their own character. We want children to embrace their abilities and innate curiosity. All of these WANTS are WHY our pedagogy may be different from how we were once taught and how other centre’s facilitate their programming.
In this blog, I will share why we choose to embrace the process of art and not so much the product.
Why do we at Eh to Zed Preschool Canada Early Learning Academy choose process art over product art?
We know that process art is child-directed, provides choices and embraces the experience of wonder. During a process art opportunity, the product is never the main focus. Instead, the focus is on the journey which led to the final art piece.
What are the benefits of process art?
Children will gain confidence, think creatively, explore many materials, become inquisitive, think critically, embrace experimentation, make mistakes, reflect and then proceed.
Process art allows children to become co-learners with adults/educators in the room. Educators are encouraged to facilitate the child and their creative process. When the focus has been brought back to the child and their creative needs, children will automatically self-regulate and want to participate. Resulting in a happy child!
This is exactly how we at our centre’s want children to feel. We want them to be happy and interested in art opportunities. My role as a supervisor is to lead my team of educators and show them the benefits of process art.
When facilitating my team, I encourage them to seek materials that allow children to easily manipulate and explore on their own. Materials should be interesting and arranged in an interesting manner. Art experiences should be guided by the interests of the children and their developmental needs. In addition, educators are encouraged to use open-ended questions that ignite more wonders. Educators should be aware of their language and how it supports the child and their process. All of these elements are critical when implementing a process art experience.
After reading about our pedagogy (facilitate learning) and why we have chosen to promote this approach. I ask you to imagine your 3-year-old self sitting in a classroom filled with materials that support your curiosity and artistic abilities. Imagine an educator who asks you questions about your work and supports your thought process. All of these elements which you are thinking about are exactly WHY we choose process over product. We want children to feel the sense of belonging and respect which is brought out during any process art experience. We want children to know that we know that they are capaptable and able learners. We want them to create and know that their thought process is just as important as their final product. Most of all, we want to see happy children enjoying their creative artistic abilities.
If you are interested in learning more about our centres. Please visit one of our many Eh to Zed Preschool Canada Early Learning Academy’s.
Art should always be remembered as a creative journey/process, rather than an end product.
Melissa de Castro