Recently i have been thinking about the times when we make pictures or cards for children to send home to their parents, or when i notice display boards full of pictures that all look similar and think to myself, there is no way children can do that without a lot of adult support. In fact, what do children actually learn from these products when the adult is taking over and leading?
At Little Achievers nurseries we provide child led learning. This doesn’t mean that the practitioners leave children to it and just watch over them. It means we let the child lead where their learning will be taken. It means we follow the children and support their learning in their chosen direction. Yes practitioners can intervene at times and provide new provocations for the child, but these are based on the child’s initial interest in a subject. The child can then learn from the provocation provided and new experiences and skills will be learned.
Thinking on from this, would a child choose to do a piece of artwork led by a practitioner and controlled by a practitioner…….probably not, even thought we do have some children who would love to, and that is fine because they have chosen it, but it doesn’t mean they are necessarily learning from it.
We need to look at it from a child’s view and remember that children are more interested in the doing, rather than the end result. The process, and not the product. And this doesn’t just apply to art work, but the process of learning in general through all areas and activities.
We allow children to choose what they want to create, we provide materials for children to use freely and if a child wants to make a card, they can, and instead of practitioner lead it is the child’s own creative piece of work lovingly made by them.
We let the children create what they want and choose, let them have freedom of expression!
Below is an example of the freedom we give children to learn and explore at Little Achievers.
The before picture is a beautiful set up created by our team for children to explore.
The after is what is left when children have finished. The in between is the most important because the children have used their imagination and developed mathematical skills, problem solving, social skills, sharing and language, as well as bringing in their own resources from different areas to enhance.