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How the Arts Develop the Brain and Contribute to Learning

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1 How the Arts Develop the Brain and Contribute to Learning
GET SMART WITH ART How the Arts Develop the Brain and Contribute to Learning for ALL Young Children Sandy Putnam-Franklin & Su Theriault Institute for Community Inclusion University of Massachusetts, Boston

2 How Art Makes You Smart

3 What is arts education? Movement and Dance Music Theatre Arts
Visual Arts Research Reinvisioned for the 21st Century

4 Early Arts Education Exploration Experimentation
Engagement of the senses Discussion

5 Guiding Principles for Arts Education
The goal of arts education for young children is to develop and sustain their natural curiosity, expressiveness, and creativity. Arts education begins with a foundation that emphasizes exploration, experimentation, engagement of the senses, and discussion as paths to understanding. Massachusetts Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences (2003)

6 Best Practices for Arts Experiences with Young Children
Provide developmentally appropriate materials, equipment, activities. Provide opportunities to explore a variety of materials, media, tools. Extend children’s learning with verbal stimulation

7 Universal Design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. - Ron Mace, Architect

8 Universal Design considers the needs of the broadest possible range of users.

9 Benefits of Universal Design
Increases access for all Encourages students to participate and try new ideas Increases retention of all students Respects individual learning styles

10 Accommodations Support one student Require extra planning time
Highlight differences

11 Either Accommodations or UD
Both Accommodations and UD + Su UD and accommodations are not an either/or situation. Don’t stop making accommodations for children with special needs! Do proactively plan for the widest range of needs. By planning ahead in the five elements of Universal Design for Learning, you can meet the needs of the broadest range of children and minimize the need for accommodations. Think about the accommodations you currently make for students on a regular basis. How might these accommodations benefit other students?

12 What does Universal Design for Learning mean in early childhood?
Creating environments, curriculum, and assessment strategies that accommodate the widest variety of young children’s learning styles and needs. It also involves including families in the process.

13 Key Elements of Universal Design in Early Childhood Education
Environment Curriculum & Instruction Assessment Family involvement

14 The Arts Contribute to the Development of the Whole Child
Brain development Gross motor development Fine motor development Visual memory development Social-emotional development Cognitive development

15 Brain Development Neural Plasticity The brain’s greatest capacity
for change occurs during the early years Integration There needs to be good communication (integration) between both sides of the brain

16 Neural Plasticity Use It or Lose It
The human brain at birth 14 Years Old 6 Years Old

17 Multiple Means of Engagement: Practice and Repetition

18 Integration of the Left/Right Hemispheres of the Brain

19 Sensory Perceptual Development
A process in which the child develops the skill and ability to take in, interpret, and respond to information from the environment.

20 Sensory Experiences Finger painting Handling textures Finger plays
Coloring Play dough, clay Paper activities Manipulative activities

21 Physical activities have cognitive value.
Physical education and recess Gross motor activities Sensory motor experiences Combine movement and music ; smell; hearing; taste; sight; kinesthesia (movement).

22 Movement and dance affect body and brain development.
Position in space Directionality Strength Body control/coordination Balance Flexibility Functional movement patterns Personal space Expression

23 Provide variety in movement.
Movemet and Dance Locomotor rolling, crawling, creeping, walking, running, jumping, hopping, galloping, sliding, climbing Non-locomotor bending, twisting, turning, stretching, shaking, curling, swinging, rocking, swaying, reaching Elements of movement: sequences expression props Response to rhythms classical jazz swing disco tribal Ethnic Contrasts of movement: hard/soft strong/light fast/slow stiff/floppy

24 Windows of Opportunity for Motor Development
Basic gross-motor skills: prenatal to age 5 Fine motor skills: birth to age 9

25 Vestibular Stimulation
Move in, move up, move all around Keep the brain and body sound The more you move The more you’ll prove That spinning and turning Are good for learning! - From Learning With the Body in Mind by Eric Jensen

26 Visual Arts Art is way of thinking and demonstrating
the product of thinking. Visual learning = improvement in reading, creativity, math scores. Drawing complements the writing and thinking process. Drawing forces us to visualize and plan our actions. Early exposure to visual images are critical to stimulate the brain. Visual tools can help students think.

27 The Link Between Drawing and Writing
Both: Are ways of using pictorial and written symbols to represent ideas and feelings Involve psychomotor skills Depend on similar cognitive abilities Involve expressive arts Are developmental

28 Fine Motor Skills Grasp Strength Control Dexterity Hand dominance

29 Language and Literacy Development
“As early as age three or four years, children can recite poetry, memorize, invent, and perform finger plays, and begin rhyming words. These are some of the fundamental tools for developing language skills.” - Goals 2000 Task Force Report

30 Expose young children to art resources.
Display reproductions of art Read children’s books about artists in various fields Visits to art museums, galleries and local studios Guest artists visits to classrooms Children’s books that help them develop appreciation of art concepts and art work

31 Engage young children in talking about art.
Ideas Process Materials Knowledge/concepts/vocabulary Reflection Planning

32 Children with language-related delays and children who are second-language learners especially benefit from having their experiences and understandings communicated through art, a nonverbal form of expression that is readily available to them. - Sounda, Guha & Qiu, 2007

33 The Effects of Music on Brain Development and Learning
“Music… excites inherent brain patterns and promotes their use in complex reasoning tasks.” - Black, 1997

34 Research suggests that music…
Facilitates reading Facilitates awareness and discrimination of sounds Enhances visual-motor skills Regulates stress Enhances memory systems - Eric Jensen, Arts With the Brain in Mind

35 Dramatic Arts Children… benefit from play-based instruction in which
they invent dramatic play scenarios. Sociodramatic play increases oral language use and enables children to plan, negotiate, compose, and carry out the “script” of their play. These skills are related to the development of reading comprehension. - Snow (1998) Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children

36 Social/emotional Development
Self concept Confidence Expression of feelings Communication of ideas Relationships Respect Understanding of others Community

37 Provide ALL young learners…
Enough time to express themselves Safety to experiment Respect for their work and their efforts Interest so the child wants to continue Support for a wide range of expression

38 Provide ALL young learners variety in…
Formats: large/small, vertical/flat Surfaces: papers, textures, wood, cloth Media: tempera paint, finger paint, water color, markers, chalk (wet/dry), photography, sculpture, construction, fabric, paper, wood Locations: areas of the room; indoor/outdoor Social groupings: solo, partners, small group, large group

39 The Ultimate Test: 4 Key Questions
Are ALL children able to experiment freely with art and explore what happens? Will each child’s work look different from the others? Is the goal of the activity the children’s enjoyment rather than a product to please adults? Will the child’s effort lead to something that is satisfying to the child at his or her level of development?

40 Research on the Arts and Learning Online Resources
Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development Report on Learning, Arts, and the Brain:

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