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The Importance of the ECEC Teacher’s Role in Artistic Creation of Children in Early Childhood Education

Antonija Vukašinović
Faculty of Humanities and Social Science in Osijek, Croatia

Abstract. In the Early Childhood Education and Care, art can be understood through many perspective directions. Children’s artistic expression is often seen through the prism of the finished product and less through the observation of the process by which art expresses children’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences. The importance of expressive media in children’s artistic creation is manifested in the early childhood education and care teacher’s understanding of their use. The Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) teacher’s role is to understand the developmental stages of children’s artistic creativity, to know the function of expressive media, and to properly support children in their use. Therefore, this research is focused on the importance of establishing guidelines in art study programmes that would improve the competence of future ECEC teachers in performing methodical exercises in kindergartens. In the focus group, eight students from the Early Childhood Education and Care programme at the University of Slavonski Brod in Croatia participated, specifically six from the undergraduate programme and two from the graduate programme. In the focus group, open-ended research questions were used to determine opinions on the importance of art in children’s creativity, the professional competencies of ECEC teachers needed to support children in art creation, and the attitude towards stencilling. Data from the thematic analysis of the transcripts of focus group conversations point to students’s reliance on implicit pedagogies. Therefore, it is important to improve the development of the professional competencies of future ECEC teachers and establish an integrated approach to art activities in early childhood education and care institutions. The guidelines resulting from the research provide an overview of the possible methods of students performing methodical exercises in ECEC institutions that are focused on children’s interests and a child-centred approach. The aforementioned research leaves space for further research that would include a larger number of student participants and provide a more detailed insight into the aforementioned issue.

Keywords: expressive media; methodical exercises; phases of artistic creativity; professional competences; the role of the ECEC teacher

Antonija Vukašinović is a Ph.D. student of Contemporary Pedagogy and School at the Faculty of Humanities and Science in Osijek, Croatia. A narrower field of her interest is early and preschool education, more precisely partnership with parents and the professional competences of ECEC teachers. She wrote several scientific papers and participated in numerous international scientific conferences. She directs her scientific work towards the development of Early and preschool education institutions and the quality of early and preschool education in Croatia as well as beyond Croatia’s borders. She is a member of OMEP and EECERA.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2023. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2023. Rakstu krājums
Riga, University of Latvia, 2023. 796 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-116-6