Creative arts encompass music, drama, art, creative movement and anything else that is an expression of creativity. Creative arts engage a children’s mind, body and senses and helps in the development of a child. Children engage in creative arts as a medium of self-expression and try to create meaning from these kinds of experiences. “The developing child uses this meaning making process to represent ideas, thoughts and feelings” (Grant et al. 2017). With adult supervision, children can use the properties of dance and art to represent what they perceive, feel and understand about their world. Creative arts help to develop physical motor and cognitive abilities in children (Carneiro, Meghir and Parey 2013). Allowing children to talk about their perception and thoughts as they create, can help them to begin to think reflectively about creation and increase their knowledge of art in society. It also connects language to art. Participating in artistic activities like music and dance also helps in the overall development of a child. “Through intentional physical movement in dance, children learn to control motion and respond to music” (Grant et al. 2017). This report will discuss about the elements of early childhood education.
Overview of the settings
Crayons, colouring pencils, paints etc help a child build strength in fingers and hands. It practices the control of hand and finger which helps to improve the writing skills of a child, it helps in the coordination of the hands and eyes, it expresses their feelings, increases their creativity (Hallam and Council 2015). It plans a creation in their mind and they decide how to create it. Since time immemorial learning through playing has been an essential feature in educating a child. According to the Early Years Learning Framework, play-based learning can be defined as a type of learning by which children organize and make sense of the world around them as they interact with people and objects. (Grant et al. 2017). This is related with the notions of belonging, being and becoming which are the underlying motifs of the ‘Early Years Learning Framework.’ Children recognize their social world by playing with others. By playing with others, children develop a feeling of belonging in a group. ‘Being’ refers to children’s right to play and enjoy their childhood without any pressure that is prevalent in the world of adults. Playing helps children to learn about themselves (their being) in relation to others.
As children grow older, the values, knowledge and skills that they acquire over time lays foundation to the next step, i.e. becoming. In this sense, children are both ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ simultaneously. The various guidelines of Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) include acknowledgement of identity, culture and spirit of every child, offering support to teachers and educators to keep the best interest of a child in mind and to work in the best interest of a child.” (Illeris 2018) Early childhood educators should build a child’s confidence, well being and security and motivate children to learn actively with others.
The eight practice principles of Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework are “Reflective practice, Partnerships with families, High expectations for every child, Respectful relationships and responsive engagement, Equity and diversity, Assessment for learning and development, Integrated teaching and learning approaches and Partnerships with professionals” (Illeris 2018). Thus the teaching approaches of both the Early Years Learning Framework and Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework are adult led focusing on children.
Creative arts experiences are implemented by teaching children that there is more than one way to do something. For example, a sandcastle can be built in several ways. Simple materials can stimulate the imagination of a child for example, books, colour pencils, drawing copy, wooden blocks etc. And a child’s sense of touch can be developed by finger painting (Ellen and Stephen 2013). Activities surrounding music, dance and drama should be performed with children. Playing also leads to the development of the brain. Environment plays a very important role in creative art’s experience and it is extremely essential to have a healthy, conducive, child- friendly environment where children are free to learn and explore and also make mistakes.
Multiple Intelligence Theory has been proposed by Howard Gardner. According to the theory of multiple intelligence, psychometric views of intelligence is limited. Howard Gardner first wrote about this theory in his book ‘Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences’. According to Howard Gardner, there are eight intelligences and also a ninth intelligence which he calls ‘existentialist intelligence.’ According to Howard Garner people have various types of intelligence that includes, “musical, spatial – visual, interpersonal and linguistic intelligences.”
People, who are good at Visual Spatial intelligence, are extremely adept at visualizing objects. They enjoy writing and reading a book, are good at solving puzzles, good at deciphering pictures and graphs, enjoys drawing and is able to recognize patterns easily. People who are adept at linguistic verbal intelligence are good at recollecting information that is written or spoken, enjoys reading books and writing, able to explain things lucidly and uses humour while narrating stories and are good at debates.
People having strong musical intelligence appreciate good music and are adept at musical composition and performance. A person having strong musical intelligence enjoys playing various kinds of musical instruments and enjoys singing. He/she recognizes musical tones without any trouble, is good at memorizing songs, and understands notes and rhythms very well. Individuals having a strong interpersonal intelligence are good at comprehending and interact with people very well (Cahnmann-Taylor and Siegesmund 2017). They are strong orators and are proficient at verbal communication and non-verbal communication, perceives a situation from various perspectives, creates good and positive relationships with people and are good at resolving conflicts. The Montessori Method is an approach to learning that focuses on independence, cooperation, and learning at one’s own pace. This method of teaching and learning is extremely important as it helps in the overall development of a child and his faculties ( Holmes 2016 ).
Thus, it can be concluded that there are number of factors that should be maintained in early childhood education of the children. In this report, the importance of music and arts in the education of children along with playing is discussed. Number of theories is being used to critically evaluate these elements. In addition, the advantages that can be gained from these elements in early childhood education are also being discussed.
Cahnmann-Taylor, M. and Siegesmund, R. eds., 2017. Arts-based research in education: Foundations for practice. Routledge.
Carneiro, P., Meghir, C. and Parey, M., 2013. Maternal education, home environments, and the development of children and adolescents. Journal of the European Economic Association, 11(suppl_1), pp.123-160.
Ellen, W. and Stéphan, V.L., 2013. Educational research and innovation art for art's sake? The impact of arts education: The Impact of Arts Education. OECD publishing.
Grant, J., Gregoric, C., Sumsion, J., Walsh, K.M., Brinkman, S., Jovanovic, J., Parry, Y., Miller, K., Colmer, K. and Gibson, C., 2017. Developing a national interdisciplinary educational framework for professionals working with children in the early years. Flinders University.
Grieshaber, S. and Graham, L.J., 2017. Equity and educators enacting the Australian early years learning framework. Critical Studies in Education, 58(1), pp.89-103.
Hallam, S. and Council, M.E., 2015. The power of music: A research synthesis of the impact of actively making music on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people. International Music Education Research Centre (iMerc).
Holmes, C., 2016. The introduction of Montessori teaching and learning practices in an early childhood classroom in a remote Indigenous school.
Illeris, K., 2018. A comprehensive understanding of human learning. In Contemporary Theories of Learning (pp. 1-14). Routledge.