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Title: Young Children's Art Experiences: A Visual Ethnographic Study with Four Children in their Homes, Early Childhood Centre and Schools
Contributor(s): Richards, Rosemary  (author); Brooks, Margaret  (supervisor); Court, Marian (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2012
Copyright Date: 2012
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This thesis re-presents four young Australian children's experiences of art in their homes, early childhood and beginning school settings. The research involves two boys and two girls who, equipped with digital cameras, took photographs of their art experiences over a ten month period. Through sensitive interactions between the researcher and the children, and research methodologies associated with narrative inquiry and visual ethnography, each child's photographs and discussions generated the co-constructed research data. The children's perspectives take prominence in the findings, and Deweyan and Vygotskian sociocultural-historical perspectives inform an understanding of their art experiences. This research is accessible to practitioners and allows for an empathetic reading which may then lead to important pedagogical insights and developments for early childhood and beginning school art education. Deweyan perspectives on art as experience contributed to a deeper understanding of the nature of children's art experience, children’s spontaneous art, their exploration of big ideas through art, and the temporal dimensions of their art experiences. Art experiences in which challenges were acknowledged and overcome acted as important moments in children's artistic development. Children used art to provide for themselves in terms of games, learning experiences and cultural artifacts. Through art experiences they made sense of history and change, linked events, places and people, recorded aspects of the world around them, and met emotional needs. Through art children transformed materials into art media and solitary play experiences into vibrant intrapersonal dialogues. Through art they transformed their understandings of the world around them, and transformed interaction into participation and communication with others. This study also noted that in order to engage in satisfying art experiences children required conditions of some uninterrupted time, uncontested space, some tolerance of noise and also some contemplative silence. Children also required ready access to art materials and their artworks. Social interactions were vital to fullness of art experience and while children actively sought social interactions through art they also benefited from the presence of interested but unobtrusive others. As such, children's art experiences were a mix of public and private times.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl Maori)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified
Rights Statement: Copyright 2012 - Rosemary Richards
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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Thesis Doctoral

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