KU Quarterly April 2019 - Page 4

So, does mess-making foster children’s creative potential? I suggest that the answer to this question is sometimes “absolutely yes!” - and sometimes “absolutely no!” References The answer to this question depends on many things. It depends on the child. It depends on the context and it also depends on the intentionality and sensitivity of the educator. When it comes to messy arts experiences, rather than assuming that mess-making is an inevitable pre-cursor to learning and creativity, I suggest that we must be willing to accept that sometimes mess is just mess. Sometimes it may actually close down opportunities for growth and learning. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education. New York: Kappa Delta Pi. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. New York: Harper Collins Publishers. Messy arts exploration can be an important first stage of exploring materials, but I would like to propose the challenge that it should only ever be the beginning and not the end point of a child’s relationship with visual arts materials and processes. Eisner, E. (1973-1974). Examining Some Myths in Art Education. Studies in Art Education, 15(3), 7-16. Jalongo, M. R. (1999). How we respond to the artistry of children: ten barriers to overcome. Early Childhood Education Journal, 26(4), 205-208. Lindsay, G. (2016). Do visual art experiences in early childhood settings foster educative growth or stagnation? International Art in Early Childhood Research Journal, 5(1), 1-14. Retrieved from http:// artinearlychildhood.org/2016-research-journal-1/ Weiss, S., DeFalco, A., & Weiss, E. (2005). Progressive = Permissive? Not According to John Dewey...Subjects Matter! Essays in Education, 14. Retrieved from http://www.usca.edu/essays/ vol142005/defalco.pdf CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW BY THE KU PROFESSIONAL LEARNING TEAM Paul Meets Bernadette, Written and Illustrated by Rosy Lamb This story of friendship starts with Paul spending his days alone swimming round and round the fish tank in every direction. After all, there is nothing else to do! That is until Bernadette drops into his life. Suddenly Paul is exposed to adventure and possibilities outside the fish tank. Bernadette helps Paul to see familiar items in different ways – a banana becomes a boat; a vase of flowers becomes an enchanting forest. The story explores the idea that we all observe things differently but can also look at the world through someone else’s eyes – it just takes openness and a little creative thinking. Children will enjoy exploring and discussing how Bernadette sees a clock as a cactus and a teapot as an elephant. They might also be able to continue the story – what can children see “anew” in their world? The illustrations are simple paintings but have enough colour and detail to draw the eye and help tell the story. We recommend this book as one that will capture children’s attention and creative minds. Page 4 www.ku.com.au APRIL 2019