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How the Arts Develop the Brain and Contribute to Learning for ALL Young Children Sandy Putnam-Franklin & Su Theriault Institute for Community Inclusion

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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. How Art Makes You Smart. What is arts education?. Movement and Dance Music

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slide1

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

what is arts education
What is arts education?

Movement and Dance

Music

Theatre Arts

Visual Arts

Research Reinvisioned for the 21st Century

early arts education
Early Arts Education

Exploration

Experimentation

Engagement of the senses

Discussion

guiding principles for arts education
Guiding Principles forArts 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)

best practices for arts experiences with young children
Best Practices for Arts Experienceswith 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
slide7

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

benefits of universal design
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

accommodations
Accommodations

Support one student

Require extra planning time

Highlight differences

either accommodations or ud
Either Accommodations or UD

Both Accommodations and UD

+

what does universal design for learning mean in early childhood
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.

key elements of universal design in early childhood education
Key Elements of Universal Design in Early Childhood Education

Environment

Curriculum & Instruction

Assessment

Family involvement

the arts contribute to the development of the whole child
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

brain development
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

neural plasticity use it or lose it
Neural PlasticityUse It or Lose It

The human brain at birth

14 Years Old

6 Years Old

sensory perceptual development
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.

sensory experiences
Sensory Experiences

Finger painting

Handling textures

Finger plays

Coloring

Play dough, clay

Paper activities

Manipulative activities

physical activities have cognitive value
Physical activities have cognitive value.

Physical education and recess

Gross motor activities

Sensory motor experiences

Combine movement and music

movement and dance affect body and brain development
Movement and dance affect body and brain development.

Position in space

Directionality

Strength

Body control/coordination

Balance

Flexibility

Functional movement patterns

Personal space

Expression

windows of opportunity for motor development
Windows of Opportunityfor Motor Development
  • Basic gross-motor skills: prenatal to age 5
  • Fine motor skills: birth to age 9
vestibular stimulation
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

visual arts
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.
the link between drawing and writing
The Link BetweenDrawing 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

fine motor skills
Fine Motor Skills

Grasp

Strength

Control

Dexterity

Hand dominance

language and literacy development
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

slide30

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
engage young children in talking about art
Engage young children in talking about art.

Ideas

Process

Materials

Knowledge/concepts/vocabulary

Reflection

Planning

slide32

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

the effects of music on brain development and learning
The Effects of Music on Brain Development and Learning

“Music… excites inherent brain patterns and

promotes their use in complex reasoning

tasks.”

- Black, 1997

research suggests that music
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

dramatic arts
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 et.al. (1998) Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children

social emotional development
Social/emotional Development

Self concept

Confidence

Expression of feelings

Communication of ideas

Relationships

Respect

Understanding of others

Community

provide all young learners
Provide ALL young learners…

Enough timeto express themselves

Safetyto experiment

Respect for their work and their efforts

Interestso the child wants to continue

Supportfor a wide range of expression

provide all young learners variety in
ProvideALLyoung learnersvarietyin…
  • 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

the ultimate test 4 key questions
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?

research on the arts and learning online resources
Research on the Arts and Learning Online Resources

Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development

http://www.nasaa-arts.org/publications/critical-evidence.pdf

Report on Learning, Arts, and the Brain: http://www.dana.org/uploadedFiles/News_and_Publications/Special_Publications/Learning,%20Arts%20and%20the%20Brain_ArtsAndCognition_Compl.pdf

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