For the young child, art is a way of solving problems, conceptualizing the world, and creating new possibilities. In Everyday Artists, the author addresses the disconnect that exists between the teaching of art and the way young children actually experience art. In doing so, this book questions commonly held notions and opens up exciting new possibilities for art education in the early childhood classroom. A practicing teacher herself, Bentley uses vignettes of children’s everyday activities—from block building to clean-up to outdoor play—to help teachers identify and scaffold the genuine artistic practice of young children.
Tangible examples of everyday arts experiences told through lively classroom stories.An examination of the teacher’s role with suggestions of appropriate ways to support children’s artistic expression.Clear explanations of how inquiry and creativity contribute to the overall thinking and learning of the young child.A “Voice of the Teacher” section that offers teaching strategies for extending children’s thinking and learning.A wide-range of ideas for teachers who feel they do not know how to “do” art.
Dana Frantz Bentley is a teacher researcher and preschool teacher at Buckingham Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She received a Doctorate of Education, Art, and Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
“Much has been written about the role of the arts in education, especially about the importance of the arts to early childhood learning. Dana Frantz Bentley endows the arts with an additional and central kind of significance rooted in a broad conception of cognition.”
—From the Foreword by Judith M. Burton, Teachers College, Columbia University
“Like the young children she describes, Dana Frantz Bentley is an ‘everyday artist,’ making something ‘beautiful’ of her informed and thoughtful pedagogy. There is much to learn from the artful reflection and generative inquiry of this inspired early childhood educator.”
—Jessica Hoffmann Davis, author of Why Our Schools Need the Arts