Three main pedagogical approaches to the visual arts have developed... [including] the productive (child centred), reproductive (teacher directed) and guided learning approaches (a collaborative approach underpinned by sociocultural theories).
The range of visual art experiences typically delivered in early childhood education settings varies significantly in method and purpose, yet there is little guidance to support early childhood educators to evaluate the visual art experiences they include in the curriculum or to consider their role as art educators.
The role of drawing in children's learning is frequently misunderstood, often with an adult focus upon 'mark making leading to writing' rather than communication and creativity. Drawing, however, is one of the many languages, which children use to 'talk' about their world, re-present action, emotion, ideas or experiences and tell complex stories. This paper draws on a longitudinal research project about young children drawing within the home, pre-school and school context.
Infants can benefit from viewing and making art because these opportunities provide sensory experiences that lay the groundwork for perceptual, cognitive, and receptive language development to occur. Caregivers who view art and create it along with an infant help to facilitate this early development process.