Young pupils’ responses to adult works of art.
SourceContemporary Ιssues in Εarly Childhood
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Art educators have asserted that, in order to develop curricula that use adult works of art, it is necessary to understand how children perceive and respond to art objects. Although ‘art’ is not included in the early years national curriculum of Cyprus, curriculum resource books encourage the introduction of adult artworks in nursery schools. This exploratory study was designed to gather information regarding young children's (aged 4–5 years) responses to adult paintings. An open-ended interview procedure was used. Three reproductions of paintings of different artistic styles were selected: a realistic, a semi-realistic and an abstract. The sample included 25 children selected randomly from 12 public nursery schools of Cyprus. The findings suggest that artworks are an important part of children's educational experiences, if approaches and methods that are compatible with their perceptual abilities are used. The study identified some relevant factors underlying young children's responses to artworks and provides recommendations to enhance children's learning in art.