The Importance of Art in Early Childhood

In the early childhood classroom (and beyond!), it is essential to encourage student creativity through arts and crafts. Whether self- or teacher-directed, children learn about themselves, others, and their surroundings as they engage in creative processes. Many studies have shown that art also helps students develop awareness, explore different forms of media, broaden language skills, strengthen fine motor control, learn to express themselves, relax, develop a sense or design and color, and much more!

Art professor and the Lee Jacks Professor of Education at Standford University, Dr. Elliot Eisner agrees, and lists ten key lessons children can learn from art:

  1. Good judgment. Art is not governed by rules, but rather an individual's judgments based on what can be seen and what they can envision.
  2. Comprehensive problem solving. Problems can have more than one solution or answer. Students learn to think through each alternative and select the best solution.
  3. Perspective taking. The world can be interpreted in many different ways. Art allows students to "see" through another's eyes.
  4. Flexibility in problem solving. Just as real-world problems are constantly evolving and changing based on the circumstances surrounding them, art presents a dynamic adversary in which students must be able (and willing) to work with flaws, unanticipated complications, and unexpected possibilities as the work evolves.

For more lessons children learn from art, be sure to read Eisner's full post at the APS Art Center's website!

Ten Lessons the Arts Teach

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