children playing

The visual arts in early childhood education

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Journal of Childhood Studies Special Issue Vol. 41 No. 4 (2016)
Publication Date: 
1 Dec 2016



In this special issue of the Journal of Childhood Studies, each of the authors considers how we might be provoked by serious engagement in the visual arts—and how an educator’s role, children’s explorations, and curriculum, materials, and environments might take shape in response. Rather than seeing young children’s engagement in the visual arts as recreation, as self-expression, or as necessary to an individual child’s creative or sensory development, each author proposes a perspective of art as relational, as collaborative, and as a social practice. Each offers ways that educators and children might reimagine living and learning together. Each looks for avenues to enable emergence, build intensity, provoke sustained attention to particular ideas, and engage in prolonged investigations while using visual arts as provocation and process of inquiry.