Children love arts and crafts, and chances are that your child has brought home many crafts from preschool. However, was the art project your child’s idea? Or their teachers? At Raising Arizona Preschool we pride ourselves in leaning through play, emergent curriculum, and teacher facilitated learning. The same is true for art time!
Teacher centered art work is just that-centered around the teacher. A student may be prompted to color a yellow school bus, a blue sky, or a brown and green tree. Teacher centered crafts are often patterned, pre cut, and full of instructions.
Patterned artwork or copying art work from an adult can undermine a child’s sense of creativity. They may feel that their opinions and their art work is inadequate. They have ideas of their own, but are not allowed to express them.
Teacher facilitated artwork is quite different from teacher centered. Teacher facilitated means that the teacher guides the children through their artwork. She provides structure, but allows input from the children and allows them to go their own direction throughout the art making process.
An example of a teacher facilitated craft would be a fall tree during autumn time. The children are allowed to discuss what a tree looks like in the fall. Activities they may do in the fall and what fall means to them. Then they are free to use crayons, markers, paint, construction paper or something else to create a “fall” picture.
So, why would one want a teacher facilitated art program vs. teacher centered? When art is forced upon a child in a certain way it lacks meaning, detail and expression. It means little to the child. When a child creates something that they WANTED to create it has meaning, it matters to them, and it is an individual work of art. We believe children are unique individuals, and their art should express that J
For more information about this topic check out Child Centered Art vs. Teacher-Directed Projects.