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EXPLORING THE AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE The following lecture notes primarily reflect of an overview of chapters 3 & 4 of Mayesky, 2002.

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Presentation on theme: "EXPLORING THE AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE The following lecture notes primarily reflect of an overview of chapters 3 & 4 of Mayesky, 2002."— Presentation transcript:

1 EXPLORING THE AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE The following lecture notes primarily reflect of an overview of chapters 3 & 4 of Mayesky, 2002.

2 THE CONCEPT OF AESTHETICS Aesthetics refers to an appreciation and feeling of wonder for things pertaining to beauty. Children start by exploring their imagination and their senses. Aesthetic experiences emphasizes doing things for the pure joy of it. The true goal of self-actualization. –Childrens natural manipulation, exploration of objects, and resources are related to their aesthetic appreciation. –Young children naturally integrate the arts (Graphic Arts, Movement, Dance, Drama, Music, And Poetry In Their Expressive Activities). Aesthetics and expression are innate characteristics in young children. Children gain an aesthetic sense by doing.

3 AESTHETIC AND THE QUALITY OF LEARNING Teachers can encourage the aesthetic sense in children in a variety of ways? –Develop activities which promote opportunities to freely express their attitudes, feelings, and ideas about art. –Develop activities free from competition and adult judgment. Interpretation of beauty should not be competative. –Appropriate activities that stimulate awareness and interest. Science projects that expose children to new and curious objects, interactions, and ideas –Sensory awareness is nourished by teachers who help young children focus on the variation and contrast in the environment. Varying textures such as leaves on a tree Varying colors associated with –Continuous exposure to new environments and experiences. Growth comes with diversity and challenge of new exposures.

4 Setting Up The Environment To Encourage Aesthetic Discussion Inclusion of books about artists in the reading areas and in art centers. Include real art books in the reading and quiet areas of the room. Display fine-art prints on bulletin boards and walls so that children can easily see them. Include art objects in the science table Invite guest art educators into the classroom to show the children art objects to look at, touch, and talk about. Give children an opportunity to choose their favorites from a selection of fine- art prints.

5 BENEFITS OF AESTHETIC SENSITIVITY Aesthetic sensitivity is important for children because it improves the quality of learning and encourages the creative process. Development of an aesthetic sensitivity is an initial talent that can later lead to advances in critical thinking as children develop greater insight into their environment. Aesthetic sensitivity promotes self-learning because they become more sensitive to gaps in their knowledge. Children are more tolerant because they learn that there are many possible ways of doing things. –Consequently, they are also better able to deal with complexity because they do not expect to find one best answer. Children are more independent because they are more open to their own thoughts. They are good questioners for the same reasons.

6 AESTHETIC EXPERIENCES Aesthetic experiences for young children can take many forms. They can involve appreciation of The Beauty Of Nature The Rhythm Imagery Of Music Or Poetry The Quality Of Works Of Arts

7 KEY POINTS FOR CONSIDERATION Art appreciation can occur through the combined experiences of: –Learning to look at visual arts –Learning to create visual arts. –Learning to think about art through question resolution. Discussions about artwork should be linked with childs natural interests and their level of understanding. Art appreciation should also be linked with the resources in childrens everyday life (i.e.,man-made objects).

8 Colbert and Taunton (1992) suggest three major themes that are evident in high-quality early education 1.Children need many opportunities to create art. 1.Children need many opportunities to look at and talk about art. 1.Children need to be become aware of art in their everyday lives.


10 LOOKING AND SEEING In many ways, what children look for is reflective of their internal needs and the resources available to them. –Resources may be personal (interpersonal problem- solving skills, senses, cognitive and motor competencies) –Resources may be environmental Something can be stimulating to a child for many different reasons.

11 Basic Guidelines For Preparing A Stimulating Activity: 1.Can children experience it with more than one sense? 2.Can children interact with it? 3.Are the children interested in it? 4.Is the activity well paced? 5.Does it promise to be rewarding?

12 Teachers Should Ask Themselves Two Questions Each Day When Working With Preschool Children. 1.Have the children done something today that has helped them feel good about themselves? Introspection Development 1.Have the children done something today that has helped them use their imagination in either the past, present, or future? Fantasy Development »Lesson plans, activities, and trips should be planned and evaluated with these two questions in mind.

13 FINDING AND ORGANIZING AESTHETIC MATERIALS Sometimes the desired materials are too expensive or difficult to find. There are three resources with great potential 1.Salvage materials, commonly known as junk. 2.Hardware store. 3.Things the children bring in. Some Guidelines For Choosing Materials With Good Aesthetic Potential. 1.Choose materials that children can explore with their senses (touch, sight, smell). 2.Choose materials that children can manipulate (twist, bend, cut, color, mark). 3.Choose materials that can be used in different ways (thrown, bounced, built with, fastened, shaped). Children enjoy finding materials because it suggests exploration and discovery. Children develop aesthetic skills in sensing and exhibiting by helping build a beauty corner. Older children enjoy the same experience of collecting materials, but can go further into associating materials with the elements of art.

14 AESTHETIC USE OF MATERIALS The process of making out stuff from materials and the childs personal involvement in it are the keys here- not the finished product. Children must have the opportunity not only to find materials but also to try them out. Lots of experimenting with the materials is required to determine what the children feel they need. Considerations in the creative process: 1.Ask the child what they would like to say with the materials? 1.Checking with the childrens mood may be helpful too. 1.Not to give children too many materials too often. The process of exploring materials with older children usually involves the creation of more complex works of art. Older children pay greater attention to expressing specific ideas in their work and are more intentional in their approach to using materials. A variety of interesting materials need to be available for their aesthetic experiences as they are not distracted by quantity of materials.

15 GUIDANCE IN USING AESTHETIC MATERIALS Adult guidance is vital but not to the detriment of the childs natural creativity and curiosity. Guidance must be very gentle, supportive, and sensitive. The teacher can give guidance in several ways: 1.Asking questions aimed at helping the children reach out for and get the payoff they are seeking. 1.Avoid too many ready-made models or ways of doing things Teaching children over and over to do something in only one way ruin their aesthetic sense. 2.Be positive and creative when using models or examples Occasional use of models and examples is not uncommon in many classrooms today. Examples and models by other children can help motivate children to get started on making one of their own. Teachers comment throughout activities can help encourage each child to be creative in their approach.

16 GUIDANCE IN USING AESTHETIC MATERIALS Cont. 4. Help children select the materials they prefer. This may mean asking the children which materials they plan to use Be patient with children and choices 5. Help children hunt for aesthetic qualities. Help children get in touch with what they feel about differences. Encourage older children to identify and analyze more subtle and complex visual relationship. 6. Help children use other senses when only one sense seems necessary. 7. Help children experience basic elements of art such as line, rhythm, and contrast in many art forms. Creative movements (or dance) display a strong relationship to the basic art element of line The element of rhythm is most frequently associated with music, dance, and poetry, but it can be just as much a quality in art. The element of contrast provides one of the most exciting characteristics in all the arts.

17 DISPLAYING CHILDRENS WORK An important part of the teachers role in developing childrens aesthetic sensitivity is showing their work to parents and others. Set up displays to show different ways the children have used a medium, such as painting, collage, clay. Let the room reflect the childrens diversity, their likes, their interest. Take time at the end of the day to show artwork to the children, letting them talk about each others work. Model for the children how to make a positive components. Send all artwork home in a way that shows your respect for the artist and the art.

18 INTERPRETING CHILDRENS CREATIVE WORK FOR PARENTS Parents should be helped to see what the child liked about the creative work. Parents should also know why some materials are used by their children and others are not. Parents should learn to approach their childs making of gifts, art exhibits, and displays as demonstrations of the childs aesthetic sense.

19 INTERPRETING CHILDRENS CREATIVE WORK FOR PARENTS Cont. Childrens creative work can help parents know about their children. Teachers can assist parents in showing the visual examples of the creative process and pointing out that they are valuable for the process alone. Teachers can assist parents of older children to see and appreciate the progression of images that are growing more subtle and complex in their childs art.

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