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Training preschool teachers in creative art activities: The effects of a prescribed methodology

Simone Bernette Alter-Muri, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

Previous research does not address the integral role art plays in early childhood education and preschool teachers and providers are rarely trained to teach art creatively.^ This study presents a framework for training early childhood providers in the developmental and psychological aspects of early childhood art, and the methodology of formulating and teaching creative art activities. The study assessed the effectiveness of this training in changing attitudes and behaviors of preschool teachers and day care providers, regarding the value of art for the young child and methods of teaching art to children.^ The sample was composed of 73 preschool teachers, assistant teachers, and family day care providers in Western Massachusetts. The treatment group received training in creative art activities. Both groups were administered pre- and post- tests regarding attitudes towards children's art, a demographic survey and a researcher-designed preschool and day care questionnaire. After the training the subjects' styles of teaching art to young children were observed and evaluated. The treatment group completed an evaluation of the training, a self-evaluation form and participated in post- training interviews.^ The effectiveness of the training program was confirmed by the evaluations. Subjects found the training was important to their professional growth.^ Statistical findings reveal significant differences for 11 of the 23 items on the Likert-type attitude pretest and posttest. Non-significant findings show a change in the expected direction for almost all items. Although the control group also showed change on some items, their change was always smaller than that of the treatment group. The data showed that overall, educational level made no difference in participants' attitudes towards the value of children's art. The methodology and behavior of teaching art by treatment group subjects were more effective than the control group. When observed, treatment group subjects displayed a smaller percentage of dictated art activities. Both groups displayed an equal percentage of creative art activities in their facilities.^ The results of this study indicate the importance of teaching art creatively with an awareness of the developmental and psychological implications for preschool children. It depicts positive implications for future research. ^

Subject Area

Art education|Early childhood education|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Alter-Muri, Simone Bernette, "Training preschool teachers in creative art activities: The effects of a prescribed methodology" (1990). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9022658.
https://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9022658

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