2014 Research Journal #1

International Art in Early Childhood Research Journal

Andri Savva, Ph.D.

University of Cyprus, Cyprus


The 5th International Art in Early Childhood Conference was held in June 2013 at the University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus.  The conference provided a platform for academics, researchers and educators interested in early childhood art education to discuss, exchange ideas and create new venues for research and practice. The conference theme “Identities, Places and Communities” was based on the premise that art in early childhood education is essential for giving meaning to life and as such it requires an exploration of one’s self and the places we inhabit locally and globally.  The conference subthemes included the following questions:

Identities: How can art in early childhood education develop our sense of being?  How can art in early childhood nurture children’s local, national and global identities? What is the relation between visual arts and other forms of art (e.g. music) and how these may influence young children’s identities in the 21st century?

Places: How can art in early childhood education develop a sense of belonging? Where do young children learn and where may teachers teach art? How can art in early childhood contribute to sustainable development? Which contexts and processes inspire young children’s engagement in art learning?
Communities: In which ways does art in the early childhood curriculum prepare and involve teachers and young children to get involved in the processes of community building? How can art in early childhood nurture empathy and inspire collaboration between children, teachers and the community? How can we create communities of learners for promoting creativity e and critical thinking?

The present volume of International Art in Early Childhood Research Journal attempted to answer some of the aforementioned questions. It serves as a vehicle for further exploration, reflection and even generates more questions. Including articles from Great Britain, New Zealand, Cyprus and Slovenia the 4th edition intends to continue the dialogue in Early Childhood Art Education.

Research by Emese Hall provides insights into the thesis that drawing in the early years “offered spaces for intellectual play and identity construction” (Hall, 2014).  Avgousti, Chrysostomou & Psaltis through a description of an arts based project in two school settings in Cyprus, argue for creative processes enabling children to investigate and construct social and personal identities.  While Lisa Terreni based on Bourdieu’s theories of habitus, cultural capital, and field discusses the EC sector’s access to, and use of, art museums in Aotearoa New Zealand, Brigida Strnad exemplifies practices involving young children, taking place in Maribor Art Gallery in Slovenia.  Finally, Fiona Bailey & Victoria de Rijke as part of a small-scale community of practice research explore narratives of student teachers in relation to nature and outdoor art learning, and Janette Kelly features one child’s photographs and interpretations taken during a group learning journey navigating a mountain track near the sea.

Through reading these articles it becomes evident, that Art in Early Childhood Research Journal continues to open up spaces in between research and practice, in between different continents  and in between thinking and action.

Andri Savva, Ph.D.
University of Cyprus, Cyprus

Margaret BrooksUniversity of New England, Australia.

Sophia DiamantopoulouInstitute of Education, University of London, UK.

Angela EckhoffOld Dominion University. Norfolk, USA.

Janette KellyUniversity of Waikato, New Zealand.

Ourania KouvouNational and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.

Eleni Loizou, University of Cyprus, Cyprus

Elisavet PitriUniversity of Nicosia, Cyprus.

Lesley  PohioThe University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Rosemary RichardsAustralian Catholic University. Australia.

Sinikka RusanenUniversity of Helsinki, Finland.

Kristine Sunday, Penn State University. U.S.A.

Christine Marmé ThompsonPenn State University, USA.

Lisa Terreni, University of Wellington, New Zealand. 

Betty Wong, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong.

Disclaimer: The views in this journal do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors

Article 1 Brigita Strnad
Contemporary art or just something: Young children learning through art at the Maribor Art Gallery in Slovenia
Article 2
Nicoleta Avgousti, Andriani Chrysostomou & Dr Iacovos Psaltis 
Interconnections between contemporary visual arts and drama in the Cyprus educational context
Article 3 Lisa Terreni
It’s a matter of distinction: Bourdieu, art museums, and young children attending early childhood services in New Zealand
Article 4
Fiona Bailey & Victoria de Rijke
Mud Mess and Magic: building student teachers’ confidence for art & the outdoors in early years
Article 5
Janette Kelly
“See what I see”: Photography as a window to children’s meaning making
Article 6
Dr Emese Hall
Unique ways of seeing: Five children’s approaches to observational drawing

For more information about the International Association of Art in Early Childhood and our teaching resources, please contact us.