Preschool & Kindergarten Art Education
Our emphasis at ABC-Stewart Preschool-Kindergarten is on the process of the art activity rather than on the finished product. Young children love to paint, draw, paste, cut, tear, staple, tape, mold with clay more than they love the end result. The teachers show the children how to use the art materials and how to clean up, but what they create is up to them. One of our 3 1/2-year-old students told her mother, "Painting is my favorite thing at school." Yet she leaves whole stacks of paintings behind everyday. She loves painting, but she has little feeling for the finished picture right now—this is common in children of this age. Thus, the children produce many things throughout the day, but these things may not come home. And even though their creations that do come home may not look like much at first, much thought by the child was behind its placement on the paper. From time to time, on special occasions and holidays, children may do "arts and crafts" projects and children are exposed to prominent works of art in our culture (the Mona Lisa, as an example). So we work to combine child-directed creations from materials that are available to them, with other teacher-directed projects to present specific skills that are not easily discovered alone. As with all Montessori-oriented programs, the focus is on the process, not the product.