International Journal of Early Childhood

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 17–32 | Cite as

Creative Inspiration for Preschoolers from Museums

  • Marja-Leena Rönkkö
  • Juli-Anna Aerila
  • Satu Grönman
Original Article

Abstract

This research explores the learning outcomes of preschool children produced through visits to an historic house museum environment. The new Finnish preschool curriculum identifies the importance of arts-based approaches for children and that these approaches should be closely aligned to experiential and holistic education. The aim of the research was to explore the significance of the museum environment to preschoolers and their creative activities as a result of experiences at the museum. The research data were collected across 4 days with 16 preschool children. The empirical data stemmed from tasks which included follow-up stories, drawings based on the stories, craft designs, craft products, and video recordings of the activities in the historic house museum environment and at school. The research data were supported by semi-structured interviews that illuminated children’s perspectives on the project. The qualitative data were analyzed using a framework that took account of the compulsory, optional, and free properties of the follow-up stories and craft products. The historic house museum environment was connected to children’s creative actions to give them ideas for their stories and craft products. The holistic learning process described in this study appeared to benefit the construction of learning in a child-centered way that grounded children’s understanding. The research contributes to greater understanding about how arts-based and creative learning activities can be implemented with preschool children in different environments.

Keywords

Museum Arts-based education Creativity Preschool Follow-up story Crafts 

Résumé

Dans ce travail nous examinons les apprentissages résultant de visites faites par des enfants d’âge préscolaire dans l’environnement muséal d’une maison historique. Le nouveau programme préscolaire finnois indique l’importance des approches basées sur les arts pour les enfants et signale que ces approches devraient être étroitement liées à l’éducation expérientielle et holistique. Le but de notre étude est d’examiner la signification d’un environnement muséal pour les enfants d’âge préscolaire et leurs activités créatrices résultant de leurs expériences au musée. Les données de recherche ont été cueillies au cours de quatre jours avec 16 enfants du préscolaire. Les données empiriques proviennent de tâches comprenant des histoires de suivi, des dessins basés sur les histoires, des créations artisanales, des produits d’artisanat et les enregistrements vidéo des activités dans l’environnement muséal de la maison historique et à l’école. Les données sont appuyées par des interviews semi structurées pour avoir l’éclairage du point de vue des enfants sur le projet. Les données qualitatives ont été analysées en utilisant un cadre tenant compte des caractéristiques obligatoire, optionnelle ou libre des histoires et des produits d’artisanat. L’environnement muséal de la maison historique était lié aux actions créatives des enfants pour leur donner des idées pour leurs histoires et leurs travaux d’artisanat. L’approche holistique décrite dans cette étude s’avère bénéfique à la construction de l’apprentissage d’une manière centrée sur l’enfant qui assoit la compréhension des enfants. La recherche contribue à mieux comprendre comment des activités basées sur les arts et l’apprentissage créatif peuvent être mises en place auprès des enfants d’âge préscolaire dans différents environnements.

Resumen

En este estudio se observa el desarrollo del aprendizaje de niños preescolares, producido en el entorno de una casa museo de corte histórico. Las bases del nuevo plan de enseñanza pre-escolar en Finlandia ponen énfasis en la importancia de los métodos basados en el arte y la creatividad alineados con la enseñanza experiencial integradora y holística. El objetivo de la investigación era explorar la significatividad que un entorno inspirador para los pre escolares, tendría en su creatividad. La recogida de información se condujo por cuatro días con un grupo de 16 niños/as preescoalres. Estos datos empíricos surgieron desde tareas y actividades referidas a continuación de historias inconclusas, ilustración sobre las historias creadas, planes de productos de artesanía y videos filmados durante el periodo de aprendizaje del museo y del colegio. Para apoyar el material de investigación se entrevistó a los niños con una entrevista semi-estructurada con el fin de averiguar las perspectivas de los niños en cuanto al progreso del proyecto. El material se analizó con un análisis de contenido cualitativo y el marco de referencias se compuso de límites obligatorios, optativos y libres. El entorno de museo tenía relación con las actividades creativas de los niños y les proporcionó ideas para narrar historias personales así como planificar manualidades y fabricarlas. El proceso holístico que conlleva esta investigación parece potenciar el aprendizaje de los niños y niñas, en una forma orientada y centrada en ellos y ellas y puede facilitar la concreción de su comprensión de los conceptos involucrados en los temas abordados. La investigación también permite una mejor comprensión de la relevancia de los métodos basados en el arte y en actividades de aprendizaje creativas, las que pueden ser implementadas en la enseñanza pre-escolar en diferentes entornos de aprendizaje.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marja-Leena Rönkkö
    • 1
  • Juli-Anna Aerila
    • 1
  • Satu Grönman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Teacher Education, Rauma UnitUniversity of TurkuRaumaFinland

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