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  1. Chapter 7 AESTHETICS

  2. Objectives • After reading this chapter, you should be able to: • Define and provide a rationale for aesthetics in early childhood education. • Discuss the aesthetic attitude, process, experience, response, and value. • Discuss the teacher’s role in aesthetics. • Apply criteria for the selection and placement of art prints. • Discuss developmental stages as they relate to children’s understanding of art and their critical judgment of art. • Compare and contrast the Reggio Emilia experience with visits to American early childhood settings. • Provide experiences using watercolors and ink.

  3. Working in a pleasing environment will accomplish four goals: • Being surrounded by beauty and having beautiful experiences will help children’s aesthetic development and enrich their lives. • It will make the environment a pleasant place for you and the children to be for a large amount of the day. • You will feel good about being there while reducing your stress level. • It will subtly influence children’s behavior in positive ways.

  4. Aesthetics is an abstract concept that means “perception” in Greek. • Aesthetics • Is a non-discursive and metaphorical way of knowing and experiencing. • Involves the love and pursuit of beauty as found in art, movement, music, and life. • Is an awareness and appreciation of the natural beauty found in nature and one’s surroundings. • Is a basic human response to life. • Means being a beholder of beauty and savoring beautiful things in the world around us. • Involves being connected with one’s experiences. • Links knowing and feeling, the cognitive and affective.

  5. Why are aesthetics and aesthetic education important in early childhood? • Our humanistic concern for the whole child motivates us to provide for all aspects of child development. • It is our belief that children who marvel at beauty in the world around them will be able to appreciate the beauty of letters, words, numbers, stories, poems, formulas, books, symbols, and people of other cultures. • Children with the aesthetic sense will develop into adults who know and value good design and can use this as wise consumers in choosing vehicles, clothing, home furnishings, and entertainment as well as on a wider level in planning cities, highways, and attempting to solve problems of pollution, war, poverty, and urban blight. • It is important for children to value the arts and directly participate in a variety of the arts. • Aesthetic experiences foster concept development.

  6. 1. Attitude 2. Process/experience 3. Response Aesthetics involves the following:

  7. Openness or childlike freshness Spontaneity Intense focusing on the here and now A sense of joy, wonder, marvel, or excitement Willingness to perceive as if experiencing something for the very first time Commitment or willingness to “stop and smell the roses” The aesthetic attitude involves:

  8. Listening attentively to music and drawing on images, emotions, and memories, rather than merely hearing a song Visually exploring or quietly contemplating a work of art, processing the lines, colors, and shapes, rather than merely glancing at it Manipulating and feeling a peacock’s feather, considering the colors and textures in light of other tactile experiences, rather than quickly touching it Examples of aesthetic process/experience include:

  9. Was this personally enjoyable, and why? Did the artist, musician, or dancer exhibit skill? What makes me think so? Do I like it, and why? An aesthetic response entails a decision, judgment, or evaluation.

  10. Aesthetic value arises from a positive response of a person or group of people toward something. Aesthetic Value

  11. Developmental Stages in Children’s Understanding of Art (Gardner & Winner,1976) • 4 to 7 years—Very young children have a simplistic understanding of art; the making of art is an easy, mechanical activity, and judgments about the artistic quality of a work are all equally acceptable. • 7 to10 years—Children believe art should be a precise rendering of reality. • Adolescence—Teens are more sophisticated in their understanding of art. They realize that one’s opinions and values vary and that judgments in art are relative and that their opinion is valid.

  12. As early childhood educators, our task is to expose rather than impose. Expose children to a wealth of sensory experiences and variety in each of the arts. Encourage them to critique, develop personal preferences, and value art, music, movement, dance, and literature. Expose, Not Impose

  13. Teacher as aesthetic model Teacher’s inner beauty Provide for a wide variety in the arts Provide an aesthetic classroom The Teacher’s Role in Aesthetics

  14. Visual literacy skills can be developed by prompting emergent readers to carefully examine storybook illustrations in the following ways: • Encourage children to discuss what they see in the illustrations. • Identify and discuss type of artistic media used. • Identify the genre or artistic style used by the illustrator. Illustrators also use different artistic styles.

  15. Invite professional artists, musicians, dancers, craftspeople, volunteers, and parents who have some interest and skill in one of the arts. Art Visitors

  16. Reggio Emilia Schools • These schools are located in northern Italy. • They were founded by Loris Malaguzzi. • Malaguzzi was influenced by the works of Rousseau, Pestallozi, Froebel, Dewey, Piaget, and Vygotsky. • Learning is viewed within an interactive-constructivist framework . • Children are active learners—exploring, inquiring, problem solving, and representing their experiences in a number of ways. • Parent participation is an essential component. • Curriculum is emergent, based on teachers’ observations of children at play and at work. • Teachers work in pairs as equals. • The atelierista, or artist in residence, operates within an art studio.

  17. Help children to stop, sense, and heighten their awareness of the experience at hand. Stimulate the senses of the children. Help Children Become Sensory Literate