The Process of Creating Art Versus the Finished Art Product
For young children learning art, each new project is an opportunity to explore new materials and new processes. While the ultimate goal is to complete a specific piece of art, the process of achieving that goal should be more of the focus than the quality of the final product. For example, if the assignment is to create a picture of a cat using torn paper, it is more important to focus on and understand the steps that each child takes in creating his or her cat. It is less important that each child’s cat looks radically different. It is acceptable that one cat has a short tail, another cat has a long tail, and a third child’s cat only has one ear. The learning takes place through the process, and the final product does not tell the full story of what was learned through the creation of that product.
For a child, the process is exploration. It is the act of learning. As your child goes through this necessary process, he or she may not immediately comprehend every nuance of the lesson. Or he or she may interpret particular details of the lesson in a way that the teacher did not intend. The final product, as imperfect as it may seem, cannot tell the whole story without the context provided by the process.
So, delight in your child’s unique way of exploring the materials. Be intrigued by the varying ways that he or she chooses to use the materials. Ask questions along the way. During this process, not only will your child learn, but you will also learn from your child.
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