The Boston International School Early Years Center, based on the International Baccalaureate Curriculum and Reggio Emilia philosophy, creates an environment where children are the focus.
Inquiry Method – Arts
IB Learner Profile
To guide and help the children to create and learn through art, the only materials needed are paintbrushes and open minds. Encouraging them in the action of creating unstructured art helps them to learn how to work with an intrinsic motivation. It teaches them to express themselves freely, without worrying about what others may think. The freedom to work with different materials in an organic and unstructured way creates plenty of opportunities for them to explore and experiment. These artistic endeavors and self-directed explorations are not only fun, but educational as well. Art allows youth to practice a wide range of skills that are useful not only for life, but also for learning.
If a lot of attention is given to the final product, or a lot of energy and effort is spent praising it, then a child may be more likely to do things without a real interest, just for the gratification of the adult’s approval instead of doing it for the sake of learning. Part of focusing on the process involves encouraging effort as exploration and creativity should be considered more important than the final product. Children may spend the majority of the time sharpening colored pencils instead of actually drawing with them, but by the act of sharpening the colors reflects that they have learnt and that they have discovered new ideas. Children learn through playing, exploring and experimenting with different materials and concepts. Introducing them with a trial-and-error process is ultimately worth it and that may help them to look for better results. By giving children the freedom to discover, they are learning to create and experiment in new and innovative ways as children are naturally curious.
From the minute children gain control of their limbs, they strive to be exposed to the world to see how it all works. They explore, observe and imitate, trying to figure out how things operate and how to control themselves within their environments. This unrestricted exploration helps children to build connections in their brain, it helps them to inquire further, have fun and learn. In this way, creative art allows the children to learn to express themselves, create connections between areas and explore skills that may be further applied in different contexts.