ABS317 - How play can be distinguished from art in children’s activities in the early childhood education: In the case of an art workshop - Board 5

1.2 Children’s development and childhood
Part of:
Wednesday 30 Aug 11:00 AM (1 hour)
Although it is sometimes pointed out that play and art activities have some commonalities (Sutton – Smith, 1997), the differences between these two activities are rarely studied. Based on Gadamer’s (1960) view of play, Kurihara (2004) argued that children cannot understand “the completeness of the work” and “the merger with the audience”, both of which differentiate theatrical play from play in adulthood. In the Japanese early childhood education, art activities, or “Hyougen Katusudo (expressive activities)”, are generally thought to one kind of play activities. The researchers of this study believe, however, that art and play of children are, though closely related, different sort of activities. The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways to clarify the differences between art and play in childhood.
Our research site is a Japanese kindergarten whose practitioners believe that art activities are vital for children’s development and think that teachers should actively intervene to children’s activities to enrich them. The target of the study is a summer art workshop held in the summer vacation, in which children make some artwork collaboratively with the invited professional artists. Children’s act with and around the artwork were collected and classified, at first intuitively, to “playful act” and “artful act”. These classifications were further analyzed, and the results showed that children enjoyed the act itself in “playful act”, and committed the transformation of the artwork (or part of it) in “artful act”.
Waseda University
Waseda University

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