These two new companion books eloquently braid together studio practices and a robust theoretical framework for the visual arts and young children. ‘Drawing to learn’ is a scholarly construction of a Vygotskian theoretical framework with lots of illustrations of theory into practice. Vygotsky and visual arts is a marriage made in heaven. ‘Authentic art with Children’ provides teachers with many examples of authentic visual art practices and lessons that will boost their confidence. They present a new way of thinking about the visual arts as a leading activity in development such that it is lifted to the fore front of curriculum.
I really love this suite of books. Just what is needed in the field, and in teacher education courses. I think there is a HUGE market for both.
The first book, which showcases such a broad range of Art techniques is beautiful, and so inspiring. But importantly, this publication gives teachers and educators in universities resources for the development of their skill sets – makes the Art concepts SO visible. I particularly like how there is a continuum of skills visible, and there is no age assumption associated with them. This is so respectful, and so in line with current thinking on the cultural development of children in the Arts and more broadly in psychology.
The second publication is brilliant. I am well versed in the collected works of Vygotsky – and I can see that Margaret fully understands the concepts – this is a rarity, as most take short cuts and just go to one summary book of the concepts – but Maraget has captured the key concepts and has presented them in such a digestible way. This is true scholarship of the highest order. Elegantly presented but deeply theorised. I fully endorse this book. It is an absolute MUST. Should be on everyone’s book shelf.
This elegant and practical book by Dr Margaret Brooks draws upon her years of experience and practice as an artist and early childhood academic. It offers early childhood professionals clear and illustrated guidance to enhance their visual arts knowledge and build their visual arts confidence to engage in meaningful visual arts learning alongside children.
A ‘braided’ manifesto, aligned with examples from Margaret’s work and research alongside children, twists threads of theory, studio practice and quality curriculum standards to provide educators with tools for reflection about the elements of authentic, quality visual arts play and pedagogy in their own early childhood contexts.