This book is an introduction to our understanding of art educational philosophy for young ones. In it, we have sporadically pondered upon some topics that we believe may concern adults who particularly are in relation to children at early stages between 2 till 7 years of age. (Views upon ourselves… Children… The World and the like.)
Let’s consider the scientifically proven fact that as much as 90% of children’s personalities get completed at the age of 6!.. Very much can, according to our understanding, should be done in order to support process of developing self confidence and individual growth in children while their brains are most receptive
The target audience is parents, close relatives/ones to preschool kids or educators/students who want to make contribution with art education. It is planned to get followed by a series of handbooks which will come to form a “library” containing instructive guidelines upon how we, as adults, can support our children by providing them means to expand their personal creative growths. You will find detailed descriptions on how various artistic media techniques can get successfully realized together with them
Our planned “Free Art Learning With Kids Library” project program introduces a rich variety of artistical techniques with instructions on how to apply them adapted to “young artists”. Following books will be on branches. (Just with a brainstorm came out over 20 headlines, right now we are in the middle of 2nd book)
Art Learning As A New Kind of Concept
After having finished our first book, we experienced shortage in terms of choosing equivalent conceptual definition of the art pedagogical image in our minds. And none of the terms mainly used in the field did really seem to suite our aims. This confusion went on until a friend (being a noteworthy designer) Mr. Faruk Malhan kindly contributed with the bright idea of introducing the term of “Art Learning” instead of “training”, “teaching”, etc. Then we considered that this actually should be exactly what these kind of contexts are all about in early years. Children are new in the world and so they keep learning in multifolded manners by using all their senses. Learning life from all sources embodied within adventurous and enrichening domains of artistical forms of expression will act as one of the major resort spheres
Accordingly with our own projects when children, through the magic power of art get a chance to freely discover and explore their creative inner resources by means of self expression, we believe in a broad sense, that making art has the potential of fostering growth of what is individual in each child (emotion, thought and understanding). At the same time, the natural process of psychic and physical maturing of the child will come to be integrated with the surrounding world, so that there will be harmony and balance in their interaction
Consequently in our understanding: during early ages, art learning must be FREELY practised!.. Children’s creativity should definitely not be restricted
Brief Outlines Of Our “Free Art Learning With Kids Handbook Library” Project
In order to realize this project, we have organized a work plan designed for preschool age groups of 2-3, 4-5 and 6-7 years of age. New concepts and skills of each grade level build upon and incorporate previous learned behaviors
This plan will offer the children opportunities to engage in elaborous studies of elementary art concepts and elements. Languages of f.i. line, texture, color, form, light will be explored through creative experimentations. We seek to encourage children for gradually experiencing things that are new to them and they must be left to have an angle scope, feel free to examine and make tests… If they fail, then try again and again if necessary. They will have to interprete their experiences in manners which feel right to themselves, without having to worry about whether others will approve or not… For this purpose, artistic means of expression, materials used during art sessions will be highly varying. This will give them opportunities to fully use their senses and experience thrills of perceptional sensations. If children live in a city, this is even more important.
Nature should enter their lives
Among materials there will be: sand, clay, plaster, dough, wood, fur, rope, strings, metal, glass, shells, beads, bark, twigs, feathers, cones, seeds, lead, charcoal, paints of many kinds. Gradually experiencing explorations of diverse materials at early ages, will make the children familiar with basic concepts on nature of things
Planned program of “Free Art Learning With Kids Handbook Library” Project covers subjects like drawing, print making, painting, collage, picture making in mixed media, textiles, mozaic, marbling and 2 or 3 dimensional works like masks, reliefs, puppet making and sculpture. Besides this, art making by use of manipulations with recycled elements (in order to arise awareness about explotations of nature) and some basic science experiments are also integrated in the schedules
For perceptions to deeply reach and settle in minds during processes of learning, children need to focus on languages which are real far beyond words. Naturally verbal languages are of undisputable importance as magical intermediaries of communication, but as we know, besides this there are also many other languages as well (which often may be neglected) “A child has a 100 languages but gets deprieved of 99” Loris Malaguzzi famous Italian poet and educator. Words can not, for instance, be touched upon or caressed in physical sense. They can not be experienced in the way hands, eyes and thought interact while registering properties in environment. They can not be real and warm in the way of learning by doing, learning by feeling, touching, seeing, smelling! When structures of matter get familiar, they turn into a formalistic base for making interpretations in personal and engaged manner
In all, together with love, care and constructive dialogues between different generations, these are thought to be dynamics nurturing power of freedom in self expression during early childhood
Just To Give An Example
Perhaps you are lucky to have an available space and desirable sources to work with, but in case your possibilites are limited, what can be done with what’s in hand? Say you don’t have sources to acquire art materials since already being striving to cover up daily expenses, you’ll get amazed to see what in fact you can do and right today or tomorrow!
A drawer in the kitchen or your wardrobe, or even a carboard box that you can hide under the bed can be your “art studio”!
Perhaps around there may be natural materials like pine cones, sea shells, barks, sand/mud? Also industrial “wastes” are mostly free of charge. In the eyes of a child, what we see as a waste/scrap material is a VALUE!.. A source or tool to create!…
Lots of ideas…
First of all, instead of regarding children as little copies of adults, it will be wiser to approach them as fascinating cognitive beings that have mysteries and an own view upon the world
We have a lot to say on art education with kids!
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Sonja Böhlander Tanrisever is a Swedish Turkish freelance artist lately living in Istanbul and it has been 58 years that she teaches children and adults in art, besides writing poems and articals mainly focused on educational matters (www.sonjatanrisever.com)
As a young person in Sweden, she received education in art and pedagogy (sculpture, drawing, painting and textile design). Simultaneously she had started gathering children and youngsters in her studio for their obtaining experiences in art making. She found opportunity to set up an art school for adults within Swedish workers educational association (ABF) as well as participating in her first exhibitions.
During her later life with family in Turkey, above mentioned basic fields of activities have been further developed, like own art (6 one-man shows and 22 group exhibitons), teaching adults in art. She has also been lucky of setting up her therapeutic rehabilitation section for adults at a university hospital psychiatry clinic in Istanbul. Her main occupations in teaching though, have been establishing many kinds of creative environments for young persons from various sociocultural standards of living. These has become realized as a kind of “building bridges” within different leading cultural and educational institutions sometimes between nations. Ofthen such involvements have had character of connecting institutions with one another. In this context, particularly teachers’ training has been a vital interest.
Through contribution of a certain established blend of Swedish Turkish art pedagogical model, by time it’s influences have come at least to a certain degree get gradually ramified within the country. For the time being besides working in her own studio on pictorial / sculptural weavings, she is actively working as art consultant in a private kindergarten (AKD American Cultural Association), pa private primary school (Harvard International American College, Istanbul) and TYSA (Life Therapy Art Association in Istanbul). Among her publications can be found;
“Innovations in children’s art education” Yildiz Teknik University Muzecilik ve Egitim
“Integration and Playfulness For Children In Art Pedagogical Education InSEA (International Education Through Art), 2004
“Art Pedagogical Seminar Cultural Bridges Between Nations” Swedish Institute, 2003
“SKYGD Experiments In Supporting Social and Cultural Life” Programs For Art Studios , Importance of Creating For Child and Youngster and Their Relations With Material, 2009
In these days, together with her daughter Esin Tanrisever she is about to publish an E-Book “Introduction To Free Art Learning With Kids”
She is a regular artical writer in an online magazine “Children On Earth” of American Cultural Association (http://dunyadacocuk.com/).
Artist is a board member of UPSD (International Society of Plastic Arts), member of InSEA (International Society For Education Through Art), SKYGD (Association for Development of Social and Cultural Life) and AREM (European Rehabilitation Center. Pieces of her art works do take place at collections in different parts of the World.
Upon Sonja’s Art works: “Artists’ works may be associated with travelling… Dreamlike states of journeys between different dimensions of time and space. Outlines vanish and borders between dream and reality, past-time/ present time gets overlapped into each other. Lines, colors, shapes and textures come to symbolize Artist’s thoughts and emotions.
In usual dreams one more or less drifts along in uncontrollable sequences of events. Also artists in ‘dream’ state, ‘witnesses’ in a kind of awake condition stuff that dreams are made of: fragmentary images of experienced perceptions from past or present life. These now gather together, get confronted, reborn and embodied into pieces of art.”
Having a great deal of experiences being active in innovative art pedagogical projects and being supported by leading cultural and educational institutions, she has cooperated as organizer and runner of art workshops for children in South America and Turkey. She also has experiences in assisting, founding and running art training courses for teachers and then supervise these teachers for teaching their own children. (www.esintanrisever.com)
Through extensive experiences in different professional artistic environments (like studies in painting, sculpting, batik), she has come to develop and exhibit a personal style of artistic expression, in which, influences from Nature plays a dominant role. She is a member of InSEA (International Society For Education Through Art). She also keeps writing short stories and articles.
She is a member of the NGO “AKUT” Search & Rescue Society (www.akut.org.tr) and has participated in social responsibility projects with different duties like having been head of K9 Rescue Dog Training Department. She got a degree on tourism and hospitality services from Bilkent University Ankara, Turkey.
Esin Tanrisever holds multiple citizenships of Sweden and Turkey and resides for the time being in Istanbul, Turkey. Besides above mentioned experiences, she is partner and director of innovative companies in the field of Health & Medical Technologies both in Istanbul-Turkey and San Fransisco Bay Area-US, following up with the projects of her father, who has been a brilliant scientist.
From Esin upon materials she uses in her Art Works: “Bark or branch of a tree, a stone, bone of an animal, feather of a bird or a sea shell… All these natural objects, however modest they may seem at first glance, have very lyrical expressions of their own. And it’s like as if they can tell about stories they have lived through…
From the very moment of first facing them when placed on my canvas, a relationship between me and them gets started… According to their shapes, colours, structures, smells…
And so I come to be a shell and the shell becomes me. Discovering at this time that I’ve found a language of my own.”