VISIONS FOR CHILDREN CURRICULUM INTRODUCTION

Program Goals

The philosophy of Visions for Children is drawn from Black Children: Their Roots, Culture and Learning Styles by Janice-Hale Benson, (The Johns Hopkins University Press, (1986).

Early childhood educators commonly accept that preschool environments should be as homelike as possible. However, because many social scientists regard the Black home as pathological, this principle is often not applied to preschool programs designed for Black children. Every attempt should be made to incorporate key features of the Black child’s home into the preschool learning environment. The intent is to create a learning environment that complements the culture of the home.

A FRAMEWORK FOR ORGANIZING ART

The framework for organizing art consists of two parts. The first is art activities, which includes both the kinds of media that we provide for children and the techniques that are used. The second part of the framework consists of the elements which make up every work of art. It is essential that we make the media available and give time and encouragement. Teachers who have some understanding of the elements can extend these experiences to help children respond to art with greater sensitivity and create with more awareness.

Art Activities

We use five categories to help organize thinking about the creative art experiences offered to children. Each utilizes different materials and develops different skills. All are important and should be offered frequently – at least once a week.

Painting

Painting is the application of a liquid medium to a surface with a tool like a brush or sponge. The paint flows on the paper. When providing paint for young children, it is most important to provide primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) as well as black and white, since these colors can be mixed to create all other colors. There are many types of appropriate painting experiences for young children, but one of the most important is painting at an easel or (similar surface) because such painting involves the large muscles of the arms and shoulder over which children first develop control, as well as the small muscles of hands and