Process Oriented Art in Preschool: Why it Matters

Process Oriented Art in Preschool: Why it Matters

At Jennifer Rosen Meade Preschool, we know how important play is for a child’s development. And we know that as teachers, we can ensure that the play happening at JRM Preschool is making the most of these learning opportunities for our children. One way we facilitate this is through process oriented art experiences. JRM Preschool teachers understand that the process for young children is much more important than the final product.

What is process oriented art? It is allowing the children to explore and experiment materials while encouraging creativity and problem solving. The end result is not to have a line of art work that is all the same, but rather a display of individuality, unique to each child’s personality and development.

In process oriented art there is no wrong way. It’s okay to make mistakes. Adults are not judging the product, nor are they compared to another child’s or a perfect adult sample. Because of this, process oriented art not only fosters positive self-esteem, but creates an environment in which the child feels empowered and safe to explore, discover, invent, perhaps fail, and then trying again!

All the developmental standards of early childhood education are met though process oriented art such as: social-emotional, language and literacy, fine motor, cognitive, sensory, and even math and science. Process oriented art also allows for the teacher to ask questions of the children’s work without judgment providing opportunities for new descriptive language. The teacher can also ask “what if” questions to help the child take their learning to the next level.

Early Childhood News summed it up perfectly, “Teachers who respect children’s ideas help them to learn to think and solve problems for themselves. Children who feel free to make mistakes and to explore and experiment will also feel free to invent, create, and find new way to do things.” Even Washington State’s Department of Early Learning has standards related to this. One such standard reads, “individual expression: 85% of the time when art materials are used, children can do “free art” and are not required to follow an example. Art pieces look individual and projects that follow an example are rarely used.”

There are plenty of research-based benefits of process oriented art, however all you really need is to watch a child create something of their own to see the joy and pride to know process oriented art making a positive impact.

Do you have more questions about this or other aspects of experiential learning at JRM Preschool? Get in touch with me at ssolomon@tdhs-nw.org or (425) 559-2571.

Starting to explore day care options in Bellevue and the Eastside? Join us for open house Thursday, January 12th from 6-8 pm and Saturday, February 4th from 10 am to 12 pm.