DIVERSITY AND DISABILITY IN VISUAL ARTS, CHILDREN’S LITERATURE, PLAY AND CREATIVE WRITING: AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION IN A NON-FORMAL EDUCATIONAL SETTING

Vassiliki Pliogou, Sotiris Gakos, Niki Dedousi

Abstract


This article presents an applied educational program for early years children with three thematic objectives, i.e. empathy, disabilities and visual arts. The program took place in Children’s Museum of Thessaloniki and focused on the reflection between the text and image generally. The participants were twenty children from 4 – 8 years old, as the program was designed for early childhood education students. The program was theoretically based on the principals of Social Pedagogy, the methods and the techniques which were considered appropriate, were related to experiential activities, use of artworks and creative writing. The artworks that were used in the program originate from Greek visual arts of the 19th and 20th century and depict images of disability. The use of literary narration and visual arts especially in early childhood education constitutes an alternative, interactive and effective tool in order to teach issues that are related to social phenomena, to impart the value of respect in diversity and to reinforce the value of inclusion. Teachers can help students develop an understanding of social and cultural meaning in art, and can provide students with the tools to understand their culture, by recognizing art as a cultural carrier, using a critical literacy framework. In this program, children had the chance to create their stories and to talk about diversity, to discover their senses and to express their feelings playing and learning by experience.

 

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early childhood education, non-formal education, social pedagogy, creative writing, visual arts, disabilities

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References


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