Consider the contribution creative development may make to the education of young children, illustrating your discussion with explicit examples of an activity/activities you planned in nursery and making clear reference to the Early Learning Goals. Critically analyse at least one activity giving attention to content, organisation, your role, the appropriateness of the activity and the quality of children’s experience in relation to your planned intentions. You should make clear and explicit reference to the response of at least one child if possible, identifying targets for their future needs.
Contents Essay p 2-6 According to HMI (DES 1985:17, cited in Rodger 1999, p. 128) creative development is concerned with, ” the capacity to respond emotionally and intellectually to sensory experience: the awareness of degrees of quality; and the appreciation of beauty and fitness for purpose.” Creativity allows children and adults to express ideas and feelings in a personal and unique way. Although being creative can be seen as a uniquely human characteristic, if children are to develop their abilities in this area they must be provided with the opportunities that allow them to explore and experiment helping them to gain confidence to express their ideas in a way which is uniquely their own. This is facilitated in the nursery classroom where a rich and stimulating environment is provided helping children to generate and develop their creative ideas supported by sensitive and responsive adults.
The Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage (2000) states how creative development contributes to the education of young children. ” Creativity is fundamental to successful learning. Being creative enables children to make connections between one area of learning and another and so extend their understanding.” (p. 116) Creative development covers variety of different subjects, including art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative play. For the purpose of this essay I will be looking at the subject of art, and two art (creative) activities planned and taught whilst on placement in a nursery setting.
Peter (1996) stated that in order for teachers to plan appropriate art experiences, contributing to the education of young children, they need to be able to identify the general stage of development in art, that their pupils are at. Peter suggested that there are four stages of development in art, the Scribbling Stage that occurs between the ages of six months and four, the Pre-Schematic/ Symbolic Stage between the ages of four and seven, the Schematic/ Emerging Analytic Stage that occurs between the ages of seven an nine and the Stage of Visual Realism/ Analytic Stage that occurs between the ages of nine and twelve. As we are focussing on art in the early years the stage of most relevance is the Scribbling Stage from six months to four years.
The Scribbling Stage is the earliest form of artistic expression and is usually characterised by mark making which becomes more controlled as the child develops. At the beginning of this stage scribbling is random and is done with either hand and their concentration span is short. The value to the child is having the tactile experience and practicing the physical action from the shoulder. As the child develops the scribbling becomes more controlled and a ‘grasp and push’ action is used, rather than a whole arm movement. As children use smaller actions they begin to use a variety of marks, such as straight lines and curves when drawing and painting.
When printmaking children will manipulate materials that will make impressions, make marks with body parts and print with objects and found sources. When making collages children will often observe and spread glue on to a surface and place prepared items in an irregular arrangement. Children in this stage are also developing sculpture and 3D skills, manipulating rigid and malleable materials, moulding simple shapes and sticking found objects together. As children’s learning and skills develop they move through the stages, but to ensure children are motivated a balance is needed between familiar activities in which they express themselves confidently and new activities to present them with fresh challenges.