EARLY CHILDHOOD AT PLAY IN THE ART MUSEUM By AMBER JENKINS A CAPSTONE PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art 2013 Amber Jenkins
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art # Acknowledgements Thanks to my husband and daughter for their constant support and to the professors who guided this project. Thanks also to my grandma who taught me that we should never be done learning
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art $ ABSTRACT OF CAPSTONE PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS THE TITLE OF YOUR PROJECT TYPED SINGLE SPACED HERE IN UPPER CASE By Amber Jenkins August 2013 Chair: Jodi Kushins Committee Member: Craig Roland Major: Art Education Abstract Early Childhood at Play in the Art Museum used research on the use of play in art museum programs for early c hildhood and preschool visitors to create a guide for parents/caregivers/educators to use while visiting art museums with y oung children. The research was grounded in an exploration of current approaches to working with young children in museums through research in professional literature and on museum websites. Of particular interest were the types of play allowed or encourag ed through programming in the art museum setting. The literature research influenced the creation of a parent/caregiver survey looking at specific issues and needs for adults visiting art museums with young children. The research and survey, together, poin ted out a gap in programming for this age group leaving untrained adults to guide art museum experiences for young children The museum guide is intended to encourage families with young children to play together in art museums by providing information on age
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art % appropriate ways for them to interact with works of art in the museum setting. View the printable guide and website at www.playintheartmuesuem.weebly.com and on Issuu.com
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art & Contents Title Page ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 1 UF Copyright ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 2 Acknowledgements ................................ ................................ ............................... 3 Abstract ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 4 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 8 Statement of Problem ................................ ................................ ...................... 10 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ........................ 11 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ................. 12 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ................................ 13 Playful Learning ................................ ................................ ............................... 14 Play and Creativity ................................ ................................ ........................... 15 Playing with Art ................................ ................................ ................................ 16 Play in the Museum ................................ ................................ ......................... 17 Freeing Play ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 19 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 20 Research Site ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 23 Data Collection Procedures ................................ ................................ ............. 23 Project Design ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 24 A Walk Through Playing at the Art Museum ................................ .................... 27 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 39
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art Future Direction ................................ ................................ ............................... 39 References ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 41 Appendix A ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 45 Appendix B ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 48 Appendix C ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 49 Appendix D ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 52 Appendix E ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 53 Biography ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 54
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art ( Introduction Kids today are museum savvy. They have been welcomed with open arms into science and children's museums that cater to them with hands on exhibits and lots of space to interact with materials, run, and make noise. However, most art museums still pose a chal lenge. The large, quiet rooms can be intimidating and the strict no touch rule is extremely hard to follow. Add to this the traditional l ack of programming for early childhood and preschool age groups and the art museum can seem off limits to many parents and caregivers who wish to expose their children to art. I was inspired to create this Capstone Project through my work at the Portland Children's Museum's Paint and Play classes. These classes are influenced by the Reggio Emilia philosophies and include children 18 months to 3 years old and their caregivers. When I started at the museum, the class was messy and noisy and the children wer e encouraged to experiment and move materials around the room creating works of art of their own inspiration The result was an exciting space where caregivers and children felt relaxed and open to trying new things. A change in staff resulted in the class being organized more like a traditional classroom with craft projects focused on product rather than process. Gone were the excitement, the mess, and the sense of experimentation. I realized that play was the missing ingredient. As I thought about it, I b egan to realize that play would work in other formats for teaching early childhood and
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art ) preschool students about art. Play would make a great connection between traditional art museums and a child's everyday life. Play brings engagement and exciteme nt to the learning environment, providing a foundation for activities like exploration and experimentation activities that are at the heart of any museum visit. It is a process that comes naturally to children and is the method by which they explore and develop an understanding of their world. The open ended aspect of play allows for creative thinking and exploration because there is no fear of failure. Children know there are no wrong answers in play. This makes it a natural learning tool for art investigation and art making in art museum settings. Parents, educators, and caregivers who understand the benefits of bringing play into their interactions in the art museum setting can make use of this learning process. Children are learning to investigate a work o f art and think about how it makes them feel as they play with it looking for types of food or finding items in a treasure hunt. They are exploring what art is and where it comes from (Chang, 2012) as they imitate poses in a painting or create sculptures i nspired by what they saw at the museum During artisti c play, students learn what a particular medium feels like, what it can and can't do, and what inspires them about it (Rasmussen, 2010). Creativity and experimentation are at their best during these tim es when there are no wrong answers and children develop a sense that it is acceptable to take chances and try new things (Gude, 2010).
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art *+ For this study, l researched and analyzed current literature on play in museums and art education. In addition, I studi ed websites from art museums around the country to learn about their programming for young children and families. I sought to understand how play is currently used in art museums and the perceived benefits and issues with its use. The information gathered le d me to acquire a better understanding of methods for effectively engaging students in playful activities in the creation and investigation of works of art. As a final outcome of this project, I developed a learning guide for parents, caregivers, or educ ators to use during art museum visits with their early childhood and preschool visitors. The guide included information on engaging young children in meaningful playful interactions with works of art and creating their own work. Statement of Problem The l oss of playtime in children's lives affects them creatively, socially, and academically. Although many parents and educators are beginning to recognize that over programming children's free time and teaching to tests is ineffective in educating students an d preparing them for the future, there is still a push for standardization and movement away from free play time (Robinson, 2010). Play needs to be revisited as an opportunity to bring creativity back into the lives of children instead of its current position as the opposite of work ( Seargeant Richardson, 2012). C hildren have the time and freedom to think and act independently and make connections to their world through play (Elkind, 2008) the result is c hild led learnin g that i s engaging, exciting, and filled with
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art ** lasting impressions (Fawcett & Hay, 2004). The creativity and freedom that come from play make it an excellent tool for exploring art making and art appreciation in a museum setting (Krakowski, 2012). Art museums trad itionally lack programming for children younger than school age. This leaves untrained parents/caregivers/educators the responsibility of introducing young children to art and the art museum (Bowers, 2012 ) At best, it is intimidating and many museums furt her the alienation by creating environments that are not family friendly. My research aimed to discover how play is currently used in art museum programs and activities for early childhood and preschool children and how play could be used more effectively to create meaningful and engaging experiences in the art museum. These issues led me to the development of a guide for parents/caregivers to use in creating their own experiences at the art museum with their child. Research Questions This research project was guided by questions regarding the use of play in the museum programs for preschool and early childhood visitors and how to use it to develop quality programs. How is play currently used in art museums and early childhood art education to engage young children, their teachers, and caregivers? How can play be used to create an engaging art museum experience for early childhood and preschool age visitors?
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art *" Significance of the Study Many museums do not provide programs for early childhood and preschool children. Though the reasons range from lack of staff to questioning whether this age group belongs in the museum (Bowers, 2012), the result is the same. P arents and caregivers are given the responsibility of introducing these young children to art and art museums without the benefit of education and/or training in art. This study was needed to gain a better understanding of the museum programs available for this age group as well as the most effective methods of engaging children in play for learning. Loo king at the use of play through other curriculums shows that there a re clear benefits to the child and the learning environment (Fawce tt & Hay, 2004; Walker, 2003). Play helps children gain academic, social, and creati ve skills not supported by other style s of learning (Elkind, 2008). Individually, young children can find ways to express themselves and find meaning (Pitri, 2001). In groups, they develop skills in collaborating and sharing of knowledge (Milbrandt, Felts, Richards & Abghari, 2004). Developing an understanding of play as it is used in art education and the benefits it brings to learning led to the information needed to create a useful and encouraging guide for parents and caregivers. The guide help s adults engage children in meaningful and memo rable art appreciation and art making activities in the art museum. A parent survey was conducted to look at concerns parents have with taking children to the art museum and information they feel would be helpful and
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art *# encourage more visits. The survey show ed that parents and caregivers feel they lack the information and resources needed to introduce their child to the art museum. Without this information, parents/caregivers often avoided the art museum feeling it would be a struggle to manage behavior and t hat the child was too young to experience art in this way. This project is significant because it brings together the engagement and experimentation of play with the discovery and creativity of art to provide parents/caregivers with a guide to exploring ar t alongside their child. Literature Review My literature research for Early Childhood at Play in the Art Museum focused on developing appropriate content for the parent/caregiver guide For this literature review I looked for theoretical approaches to working with young museum visitors and their caregivers, information on programs currently available for this age group, as well as what programming was missing. Detailed descriptions of successful programs as well as challenges faced in providing programs for young children were equally valuable. Websites of art museums throughout the United States were also reviewed to gain an understanding of current programming. The literature showed that play activities of all kind s lead to learning and creativity through spontaneity and openness, even when guided by adults. This makes play an excellent tool for connecting art to children's lives outside the museum, resulting in lasting memories and exciting learning environments.
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art *$ Playful L earning Research shows that kids learn while they play. Children play to make sense of their world and everything in it (Krakowski, 2012 p. 49 ). Everything from walking to making friends is learned through the open ended, spontaneous focus tha t comes with the freedom to play. This process begins in infancy as babies explore their world and continues through childhood as children develop social, physical, and intellectual skills that can only be found through play (Elkind, 2008). When free play is part of a child's everyday experiences, they are comfortable experimenting and exploring new ideas and skills without fear of making mistakes. As a result young children try on new role s, ideas, and behaviors during play and create scaffolding to build and organize their learning, moving to increasingly more complex levels (Zollinger & Attencio, 2007). Children's play generally involves their whole bodies and all of their senses, m aking the learning that happens most memorable (Bruehl, 2011). The Reggi o Emilia approach to education provides an excellent example of the benefits of combining play, art, and education (Greibling, 2011). Reggio Emilia programs bring art into all areas of education through the use of play and maintain a full time artist on st aff known as the atelerista (Bowley, 2007). The atelerista works with a wide range of materials and learning styles to provide each child with the opportunity to share their voice through art (Fawcett & Hay, 2004). The combination of art with open ended, c hild led play empowers children to take on any role they are interested in, from artist to inventor. They learn that
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art *% they can ask questions of the world around them (Fawcett & Hay, 2004). Those who support Reggio Emilia feel that the element of play encour ages children to take risks and innovate, preparing them to lead in the future (Bowley, 2007). Play and C reativity Creative play gives young children the chance to explore and experiment with their environment and materials a stick changes from a cane to a fairy wand or a ball of clay becomes a pancake to serve at a feast. This type of play is a key exercise for the creative mind and develops such skills as imagination, fantasy, and curiosity (Elkind, 2008). Creating and interacting with art provides o pportunities for creative play, giving children the time and guidance needed to develop important thinking and seeing skills such as openness to experimentation, reflection, persistence, and visual spatial thi nking (Winner & Hetland, 2008). Ishikawa stated "making art is equivalent to appreciating art, as both actions are creative." (Ishikawa, 2012 p. 88 ) showing that both experiences are important in developing creativity in children. As children play with art materials they learn to take risk s experime nt, and adjust their thinking (Cabaniss, 2005; Pitri, 2001). Victor D'Amico (as cited in Rasmussen, 2010) felt that allowing students to play with materials and processes first gave them the opportunity to find inspiration from their environment while lear ning to think and see as an artist Without these skills, we are losing artists and innovators of the future.
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art *& Play ing with A rt Learning to look at and think about art is accessible to children at a much younger age than most adults think. "Long before yo ung children can speak, their responses to shapes, colors, and other stimuli around them helps to form their indigenous styles of interacting with their world (Danko McGhee, 2006 p. 21 ). With guidance, adults can use this interest and natural response to introduce young children to art concepts, ideas, and activities. Young children can take the lead in art museums, sharing thoughts and feelings about what they see and guiding adults to new knowledge along the way (Weier, 2004). Early childhood and presc hool children happily engage in exploring works of art though activities like games and storytelling (Yenawine, 2003). These activities build on their interest in art by connecting it to meaningful experiences in their everyday lives. George Szekely set th e foundations for the importance of play in art and points out that playfulness helps both adults and children tap into their creativit y to find new ideas (Szekely, 1983 ). While children don't need facts to learn about art, they do need opportunities to engage art through their own interests (Chang, 2012) at their cognitive level, and to discuss their thoughts and feelings with involved adults (Danko McGhee, 2006). This open ende d exploration and play with art ideas leads to the discovery of new ways of looking and thinking. Playful learning translates to learning to mak e, look at, and think about art through the interactive, hands on activities in which young children learn best.
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art *' Play allows children to work out abstract ideas through concrete objects (Szekeley, 1983). These activities invite children to play with ideas and materials (Danko McGhee, 2006) and enhance learning about art by providi ng a goal for the child and giving the child an active role in their own learning (Chang, 2012). These don't need to be traditional, quiet museum activities; instead they can involve interacting with art through activities like movement, role play, laughte r, and the sharing of ideas. Play in the Museum Museums bring out a sense of adventure, exploration, and experimentation in many visitors. These same feelings are present in free, unstructured play. This connection makes museums a potentially powerful ve nue for the playful learning that is central to childhood (Zollinger & Attencio, 2007). Museums provid e inspiration and give visitors of all ages opportunities to develop their own meanings and knowledge through connections with real and unique objects (Bo wers, 2012). Seeing a work of art firsthand provides engagement and inspiration not often found outside the museum. Learning in museums is influenced by social and physical contexts in addition to the motivation and interests of the child (Falk & Dierking 2000) T he use of play as a way to interact with objects in the museum pr ovides for activities that are motivating speak to children's interests, allow for social interaction, and create a connection with the physical environment resulting in a learning e xperience that is engaging and exciting. The social atmosphere of play is one
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art *( that young children find important (Chang, 2012). In this context children can learn from each other and begin to accept other 's points of view A child's play outside of the museum can provide a framework for his or her learning i nside the museum. Using a child's play themes and interests as a guide for museum learning activities can lead to engagement and excitement as well as connections to the child's world (Krakows ki, 2012). A favorite color can become the basis for the visit or a treasure hunt can be held inside the museum. These activities encourage engagement and interaction with individual works of art. The challenge, for adults, is to create interactions that r emain true to the content of the museum (Adams, Moreno, Polk, & Buck, 2003) The goal is to provide interactions that are playful and engaging but not at the expense of learning about the works of art. A review of museum websites (s ee Appendix A) shows a l ack of early childhood programming involving looking and thinking about art and few art making activities involving play missing a connection between known and unknown for museum visitors. Many museums, like the Dallas Museum of Art, relegate family lear ning to separate rooms or special days once a month. While these spaces and activities allow for touching and hands on interaction, many lack content relevant for younger children. A few museums, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, do have activities that include early childhood and preschool ages. The Met provides a "Start with Art" class for 3 to 7 year olds and an adult. Museum educators lead activities including sketching in the galleries, listening to
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art *) stories, and creating a unique work of art. This t ype of programming allows young children the opportunity to connect firsthand with works of art, develop comfort in the museum setting, and begin to look and think like an artist. Freeing Play Play has changed from a child led and invented activity to on e that is managed by adults (Seargeant Richardson, 2012). Many early childhood programs follow a structured curriculum rather than allowing time for playing on the playground. As parents and educators, adults play a critical role in creating time for and e ncouraging open ended free play in children (Zollinger & Attencio, 2007). Willingness to play is influenced by a sense of freedom that comes from children feeling that the environment is safe and open to experimentation (Cabaniss, 2005), the rules are ada ptable as the game changes, tools have many uses, and they have the skills and powers to influence these other elements (Seargeant Richardson, 2012). To be effective, guided play must retain the spontaneity and openness of free play while aiming children t oward educational goals (Krakowski, 2012). Adults have the challenge of creating environments that encourage these feelings of freedom, then standing back to let the children guide the learning that happens Play is a powerful and motivating force in the life of a child. A review of the current literature shows that the open ended creative thinking that comes with playing leads to learning and skill development. As a result, play proves to be an
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art "+ excellent method for learning about and creating art because experimenting and exploring are encouraged, leading to a sense of empowerment and engagement in young children. Museums provide a place where play and art come together through games and activities, extending learning and the development of meaning throug h connections to a child's world and interest level. Adults encourage engagement in play by creating physical and psychological environments that feel safe for the free thinking experimentation that comes with playfulness. The result is an experience that is as memorable as it is meaningful for all involved. Methodology The study of play in art museum programming for early childhood and preschool children was influenced by my work at the Portland Children's Museum. The museum was founded on the philosophi es of Reggio Emilia. Programs throughout the museum allowed for learning through exploration, experimentation, and play. It i s a noisy, exciting place full of kids of varying ages interacting with each other and with their parents, grandparents, or other c aregivers. These philosophies once carried over to the art classrooms in the museum. Classes for early childhood visitors and their caregivers focused on exploring materials and experimenting with making art. More recent leadership has lead to a decrease in freedom in this space which caused me to question what had changed, what was missing, and how we might get back to where we
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art "* were. The excitement and engagement students once felt in our studio also inspired me to think about how art museums approach w orking with early childhood visitors. Clearly the totally immersive, hands on environment doesn't work in a traditional museum setting. But, I believe, play can be used as a method for introducing this age group to a more traditional setting while giving t hem the opportunity to explore and experiment with learning to look at art and make their own. My research into Early Childhood at Play in the Art Museum consisted of literature research, website reviews, and a parent/caregiver survey. The literature rev iew focused on current literature, most written in the last ten years, regarding the work being done with young children in museum settings. I also investigated the use of play, its influences on learning, and its uses in educational settings. Methods and uses of play in the art museum were gained through the review of museum websites. I reviewed 15 art museum websites from across the country for information on programming and activities available to children under five years of age and their adult companio ns. This information provided the basis for the survey and parent guide that uses play as the foundation for activities in my local art museum. Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers participating in the Paint and Play toddler classes at the Portlan d Children's Museum received the survey ( s ee Appendix B) during class time. The survey included questions regarding experience with art museums, successes and challenges as well as information
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art "" adults would find helpful when visiting art museums with their young children. The questions for the survey were based on information gained through the literature review regarding activities and information found to engage early c hildhood visitors and improve parent/caregiver confidence during museum visits. If they chose to participate, participants were asked to place the completed surveys in a closed box to maintain their anonymity. I distributed 20 surveys and received 13 in re turn. This group provided a sample of the wide range of ages and relationships of adults who attend art museums with children. Responses from the survey informed decisions about information included in the museum guide and resulted in a change in focus for my project from focusing on how to use play in the museum to including information on how to prepare for and manage a visit with a young child The IRB02 form ( s ee Appendix C ) was completed and submitted after review by my committee members. The application included an Inf ormed Consent letter ( s ee Appendix D ) as part of the survey form to be handed out to participants. Filling out and handing in the survey implied consent to the conditions of the survey. A letter from the Portland Children's Museu m Education Programs Manager, granting permission to conduct the survey in the museum rounded out the application. The IRB form detailed plans for conducting the survey to ensure that all survey activities are ethical. Together, data gathered through the survey, website reviews, and research provided a picture of how play is being used in art museums today. This
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art "# information was used to create a guide for parents/caregivers to use during art museum visits with early childhood students. The guide includes in formation on preparing for visits, how to use play to manage the visit, questions and definitions to include in conversations, and games and activities for encouraging interaction with the artwork. My hope is that this type of guidance will help adults fee l more comfortable in introducing young children to a traditional art museum setting and provided a foundation for talking, making, and thinking about art with them. Research Site Survey research was conducted at the Portland Children's Museum in Portlan d, OR. The museum is designed around the philosophies of Reggio Emilia and provides a variety of hands on, interactive exhibits for young children and their caregivers. The museum offers a small selection of classes that allow young children and their adul ts in depth exploration of a subject area. The museum serves more than 300,000 children from birth through age 10 a year. Additional art museum research was conducted via the Internet on a selection of museums throughout the United States. These museums d iffer both in size and demographics. The final guidebook was geared toward touring the Portland Art Museum but can be adapted to other settings. Data Collection Procedures Literature was reviewed to discover suggested methods for the use of play with p reschool and early childhood students. Websites were reviewed to collect information on early childhood and preschool programming at a variety of
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art "$ museums. Particular attention was paid to tours and activities involving children and their caretakers as wel l as classes offered to attended and unattended children. Survey results were used to cross check research in categories such as information parents are interested in and their successes and struggles at the art museum. Project Design The parent survey re sults (s ee Appendix E) provide d an interesting look at the issues parents/caregiver face and the information they feel is missing from their museum visits. 69% of parents visit the art museum with their child with 55% visiting once a month or less. 44% of those visits occur without any guidance from museum educators or docents and another 44% of the visits are some combination of visiting without guidance and guided tours. The main concern parents/caregivers feel they face in visiting the art museum is keeping the interest of their child Additionally, they worry about managing crowds and how to make the artwork relevant to the child. The quietness of the museum and the fact that most of the artwork is positioned too high for the child to view effectively round out the list of concerns. 85% of parents/caregivers feel that having suggested activities and games for the art museum visit would help make it more interesting and manageable. Information on talking to children about art, language to introduce, and follow up activities are also hi gh on their list of information needed. The survey shows that parents/caregivers recognize the value of visiting the art museum with their child but feel the lack of programming
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art "% and information on sharing art with early childhood and preschool aged childre n leaves them ill prepared to introduce art and a traditional museum setting on their own. R esearch from Early Childhood at Play in the Art Museum led t o the booklet in both print and online at Issuu.com, and associated website Play in the Art Museum: An Art Museum Guide for Preschool Kids and Their A dults (see Figure 1 Cover for Play in the Art Museum: An Art Museum Guide for Preschool Kids and Their Adults
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art "& Figure 1) Information in the booklet is influenced by current literature as well as the infor mation gained from the parent survey. Unlike family guides found on museum websites and at the library, this guide is specific to preschool aged children and contains information for planning and extension activities in addition to the visit to the museum. The booklet contains seven sections to consider before going to the art museum with eight additional cards parents/caregivers can take with them during their visit to the museum. The booklet can easily be used at any museum but the cards would need to be modified as some were designed with the Portland Art Museum's collection specifically in mind. The overall layout of the booklet and cards is influenced by the three part visit suggested in two articles (Krakowski, 2012, (Trimmis & Savva, 2004) with pre vi sit and post visit activities enhancing and building on the learning and excitement of the visit itself. Play is presented as a way to visit the museum that is intrinsically motivating because it is fun (Csikszentmihalyi, 1995) and provides the mindset of remaining open to possibilities (Burnham, & Kai Kee, 2011). The goal of the booklet is to provide adults with the information and activities they need to create meaningful and engaging museum visits with their children, all in an unintimidating, easy to us e, and inviting package.
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art "' A Walk Through Playing at the Art Museum Inspired by the survey showing parents/caregivers looking for ways to make art museum visits interesting and relevant to their child, "Why play in the art museum" (see Figure 2) is an introduction to the value and possibilities of using play to engage young children in looking at, thinking about, and making art at art museums. The section describes connections between play, art, and muse um visits. The t hree activities each inspire similar feelings of exploration, experimentation, and engagement with a subject. The definitions and connections were influenced by Zollinger and Attencio (2007) who describe play as "children's work" and the ti me when children can scaffold their own learning Figure 2 Why play in the art museum section
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art "( through trying behaviors, thoughts, experiences, roles, and skills out at a level above their normal cognitive level and in a safe arena (Zollinger & Attencio, 2007, p. 246). The goal of this section is to open parent/caregivers minds to the importance of play in children's lives and its value as a tool in learning. "How to use play in the art museum" (see Figure 3) gives more specific information on how play fits into the museum environment without alienating more traditional visitors. This section came out of information from the parent survey showing that 85% of parents/caregivers who responded felt that having suggested activities and games for the art museum visit would help make it more Figure 3 How to use play in the art museum section
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art ") interesting and manageable The focus of this section is the idea that parents/caregivers needn't give up control of their child to bring playfulness, games and activities into the visit. Burnham & Kai Kee (2011) suggested that adults play an important role in interpretation by engaging children and keeping the conversation moving. The role of the adults in both management and encouragement of playfulness is emphasized in this section The requirements for successful play are, therefore, listed as a guide for adults planning an art museum visit. Seargeant Richardson (2012) discusses the importance of play in de veloping creativity and provides the most interesting look at the factors chi ldren need met to truly e ngage in play. Her list includes open environments flexible tools modifiable rules and superpowers It was this idea of superpowers of encouraging children to use their own physical and mental skills to challenge the rules of t he game, which spoke to me as the best definition of play. The goal of the section is to prepare parents/caregivers for the effective use of play in the art museum setting by providing criteria and suggestions for creating the perfect setting to encourage playfulness.
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art #+ "Before you go" (see Figure 4) guides parents/caregivers through the process of gathering the information and supplies they will need to prepare for their visit and keep their child engaged and moving throughout the visit. With 88% of parents/caregivers who responded answering that they spent all or some of their visits touring on their own, it became important to include information on how to get them in the door of the museum and past the intimidation and stress This section provides recommendations for planning the museum visit inclu ding becoming familiar with the muse um layout, available exhibits, and child specific areas of the museum in advance of one's visit to help alleviate the stress of Figure 4 Before you go section
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art #* negotiating the museum on arrival and facilitate movement through the museum by focusing on areas of interest. Introducing the child to the museum is an important component of this section, suggesting that the parent/caregiver share the museum map and information as well as rules and personal expectations before leaving for the museum. Falk and D ierking (1992) state that this type of introduction allows the child time to prepare and develop his/her own agenda for the visit. Suggestions for planning a visit that connects to the child's interests and for choosing a theme that provide s a hook (Krako wski, 2012) to learning lead parents/caregivers t hrough the process of plan ning museum visits that make meaningful connections for their child and lead to lifelong learning. This section also includes recommendations for toys and books to include in the vi sit and how to incorporate them as both a break from walking through exhibits and connections between the child's everyday life and the artwork he is viewing. The final suggestion for planning for the art museum visit is that parents/caregivers make art w ith their child before heading to the museum. This provides the child an opportunity to experience some of the materials he/she will view as well as the opportunity to develop an understanding of the process of making art. The section is influenced by Krak owski's description of a museum visit to the Warhol Museum with a preschool class. The use of the children's play interests as a theme for the visit allowed educators to focus on a few works of art and provide activities that were playful and surprising at each piece. The result
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art #" was a learning experience that led to comfort in the museum and excitement about the art the students saw and made even a year after the visit. Setting out rules and goals for the visit was influenced by Csikszentmihalyi's (1995) idea of flow which points out that understanding goals in advance allows the child to immerse himself completely in the visit. Providing parents with planning information is intended to help them prepare for the museum visit, limiting stress and confusion and allowing for better use of their visit. Choosing art" (see Figure 5) is a quick and easy guide to choosing artwork that is engaging and age appropriate. This information is an important part of preparing for a museum visit and allows playfulness to be the focus of the Figure 5 Choosing Art section
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art ## visit. I shared with parents/caregivers the fact that children are ready for aesthetic experiences with art and choosing pieces the child ca n connect with can be the key to a successful visit. A list of things to look for, like identifiable subjects and mixing mediums and cultures, is also provided. This section was greatly influenced by Yenawine's Jumpstarting visual litera cy: Thoughts on im age selection." The author compares viewing art and learning to read and explains the need for adults to provide "the right challenge at the right time" (Yenawine, 2003 p. 6 ). This section is intended to take some of the guessing and intimidation out of c hoosing which works of art to spend time with at the museum.
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art #$ Talking about art" (see Figure 6) is meant to encourage conversation between parents/caregivers and children and eliminate fears parents/caregivers may have abo ut saying the wrong thing The section begins by sharing that the elements of art like color and shape, tend to be part of daily conversations with young children as they explore their world and expand their vocabularies. The use of questions is given as a specific tool to use with this age group, letting them know their responses are valued and encouraging deeper thinking about the artwork. Talking about art in this way was influenced by the philosophies of Reggio Emilia and Visual Thinking Strategies (V TS). Both encourage children to share their thoug hts and feeling and to learn by listening to others. Bruehl (2011) Figure 6 Talking about art
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art #% suggests that children need to be encouraged to develop creativity, discernment, and curiosity in their learning. Parents can encourage this open mindedness and perspective by listening, providing provocations, and helping children manage any information they are uncertain of (Bruehl, 2011). The result is parents and children taking the opportunity to listen and learn from each other, expandin g their thoughts and understandings of art. "Keep Going" (see Figure 7) provides information for the third phase of the art museum visit, the follow up activities. Here, I point out the value of multiple short visits to the art museum and of reinforcing each visit with activiti es at home Figure 7 Keep Going section
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art #& that build on those done in the museum. I've suggested specific activities like reading books on a particular artistic movement or artist and creating collections of objects at home Thes e activities allow for inspiration found at the museum to carry over into the everyday life and build on the learning that happens inside the museum. Trimmis and Savva (2004) influenced this section with the suggestion of a three part visit. The y argue the third part of the visit should be a time to recall the time in the museum and use the artwork seen to extend ideas and inspiration to one's own works of art. 54% of parents/caregivers surveyed were interested in inform ation on making connections beyond th e art museum. "Keep Going" is intended to provide the information parents/caregivers are looking for to extend learning opportunities, creativity, and inspiration through activities that revisit the museum experience. The final section in the booklet is More resources". This section is intended to provide parents with links to further reading on sharing art and museum experiences with their child. There are links to a variety of museums, blogs for sharing art activities, and articles further detailing art experiences. In addition, a short list of children's books to share at the museum is included. These are books that talk about art or museum experiences from a child's point of view The section is intended to encourage parents to look at sharing art with their child beyond one visit to the art museum.
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art #' The eight cards (see Figure 8) included at the back of the booklet are intended for use as quick guides during the museum visit. The se t includes four suggested tours that explore shape creature color and family providing for a wide variety of interests. The tours are designed to give parents /caregivers an idea of how to set up a tour, how many pieces to include, and how to make connec tions between a v ariety of mediums and cultures. While based on the collection at the Portland Museum of Art, these examples can be applied to other museums. A fifth card provides a treasure hunt for the contemporary art galleries. This is meant as an intr oduction to artwork that can be more challenging for younger children but is still interesting and engaging. The idea behind the treasure hunt is to encourage both par ent and child to connect with works of art that can seem intimidating by finding things f rom their everyday life like shapes, Figure 8 Eight cards included at back of book
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art #( colors, or activities happening in a variety of mediums The remaining cards provide helpful information for parents/caregivers creating their own tours or looking for additional talking points during the suggested tou rs. These were designed to meet the needs of parents/caregivers looking for specific language and activities to use with their child. The "Words to Use" card provides a short list of words introducing parents/caregivers to the vocabulary of art and encouraging them to use these words in conversations at the museum The "Questions to guide" card provides a general list of questions parents/caregivers can use when talking about a work of art with their child The questions include those suggested by Vi sual Thinking Skills as well as questions included in Yenawine's "Jump starting visual literacy: Thoughts on image selection". The "Play in the museum" card includes games and activities to encourage children and parents/caregivers to look more carefully at a work of art while playing and interacting with each other The suggested tours as well as the activity cards use playful activities including movement, drama, and art making to encourage interaction with works of art. The cards provide parents/caregiv ers with a set of tools to take into the museum setting in an easily usable format available for quick glances as they move through the museum with their child. Play in the Art Museum: An Art Museum Guide for Preschool Kids and Their A dults i s designed to take into consideration a wide variety of research including museum websites, literature review, and a survey of parents. Greatly influenced by the parent survey, t he booklet covers the wide variety of
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art #) informat ion and activities parents' feel i s missing f rom their attempts to visit the art museum with their child. Playful activities provide the connections adults are looking for to provide opportunities for looking at, thinking about, and making art in a relevant and engaging way. Leading educators and wri ters in the art, educati on, and museum fi elds influence the information included in the guide as well The result is a short, easily accessible guide that takes the guesswork out of taking an early childhood or preschool child to the art museum. The intimi dation of the museum setting is removed by providing parents/caregivers a way to successfully introduce their child to the more traditional museum setting in a way that combines fun and learning for all involved. Conclusion Future Direction Early Childhood at play in the art museum has potential for expansion in many areas. Cooperation from the art museums could lead to more in depth tours geared toward this age group and supported by the museum staff. In addition, the booklet could be expand ed with general tours applicable to any art museum or a wider range of museums. Expansion of the parent survey to include parents/caregivers who aren't enrolled in art classes with their child would give a broader understanding of how to encourage visits t o the art museum with young children by understanding the needs of those parents/caregivers who don't engage in art activities with their child. Finally, the creation of an application useable for smartphones and tablets would expand the audience for the b ooklet
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art $+ and make sharing the information easier while drawing in those parents/caregivers who enjoy using technology in a museum setting. Expanding the project will allow relevant access to information for a broader group of parents/caregivers as they look to experience the art museum with their child in an exciting and playful way that will build lifelong museum visiting and love of art. Conclusion The number of parents/caregivers looking to experience the art museum with their child increases each year as museums are seen as great places to learn. The lack of programming for young children, however, leaves many adults struggling to find ways to make these visits relevant and engaging as well as educational. Play in the Art Museum: An Art Museum G uide for P reschool Kids and Their A dults provides parents/caregiver with the information needed to prepare for, engage in, and follow up on art museum visits with their preschool or early childhood child in one spot for easy access. The information is presented in a relaxed, unintimidating way that allows parents/caregivers to feel comfortable in approaching art and the art museum with their child. Parents/caregivers can use the information to connect the playful learning that comes naturally to young children to the beauty and aesthetic experiences of a museum. The guide fills the gap left by the lack of programming and encourages a new generation of museum goers to see the art museum as a place that fits their needs and interests.
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art $* References Adams, M., Moreno, C., Polk, M., & Buck, L. (2003). The dilemma of interactive art museum spaces. Art Education 56 (5), 42 52. Bowers, B. (2012). A look at early childhood programming in museums. Journal of museum e ducation 37 (1), 39 48. Bowley, G. (2007, September 23). The garlanded classroom. The New York times Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/23/nyregion/thecity/23regg.html?page wanted=all&_r=0 Bruehl, M. (2011) Playful learning: The playful learning guide to raising lifelong learners New York, NY: Retrieved from http://info.playfullearning.net/ebook childrens learning guide?hsCtaTracking=6f66234d 5063 421d 9b7e 2c4024 8f641d|b9190edf af9d 4f51 803d b8f0df2309a6 Burnham, R., & Kai Kee, E. (2011). Gallery teaching as interpretive play, Teaching in the art museum:interpretation as experience (pp.126 133). Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum. Cabaniss, T. (2005). The uses of play. Teaching artist journal 3 (4), 241 248. Chang, E. (2012). Art trek: Looking at art with young children. International journal of education through art 8 (2), 151 167. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1995). Education for the twenty first century. Daedalus 124 ( 4), 107 114. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20027334
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art $" Danko McGhee, K. (2006). Nurturing aesthetic awareness in young children: Developmentally appropriate art viewing experiences. Art e ducati on 59 (3), 20 35. Elkind, D. (2008). The power of play: Learning what comes naturally. American journal of play 1 (1), Retrieved from http://www.journalofplay.org/sites/www.journalofplay.org/files/pdf articles/1 1 article elkind the power of play.pdf Falk, J. H., & Dierking, L. D. (2000). Learning from museums: Visitor experiences and the making of meaning Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press. Falk, J. H., & Dierking, L. D. (1992). The museum experience. Washington, D.C: Whalesback Books. Fawcett, M., & Hay, P. (2004). 5x5x5 = creativity in the early years. International journal of art & design education 23 (3), 234 245. Griebling, S. (2011). Discoveries from a Reggio inspired classroom: Meeting developmental needs through the visual arts. Art education, 64 (2), 6 11. Gude, O. (2010). Playing, creativity, possibility. Art education 63 (2), 31 37. Ishikawa, M. (2012). Young people's encounters with museuem collections: Expanding the range of contexts for art appreciation. International journal of education through a rt, 8 (1), 73 89. Krakowski, P. (2012). Museum superheroes the role of play in young children's lives. Journal of museum e ducation 37 (1), 49 58.
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art $# Milbrandt, M. K., Felts, J., Richards, B., & Abghar i, N, (2004). Teaching to learn: A constrictivist approach to shared responsibility. Art education, 57 (5), 19 33. New, R.S. (2003). Reggio Emilia: New ways to think about schooling. Educational leadership 60(7), 34 38. Pitri, E. (2001). The role of artistic play in problem solving. Art education 54 (3), 46 51. Rasmussen, Briley. (2010). The laboratory on 53 rd street: Victor D amico and the museum of modern art 1937 1969. Curator 53 (4), 451 64. Royal Society for the encouragement of arts, manufactures and commerce. (2010). Sir Ken Robinson: Changing education parafigms (Video animation taken from a speech by Sir Ken Robinson). Retrieved from http://comments.rsablogs.org.uk/20 10/10/14/rsa animate changing education paradigms/ Seargeant Richardson, L. (2012, December 12). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http:/ /www.fastcodesign.com/1662826/frog design the four secrets of playtime that foster creative kids Szekely, G. (1983). Preliminary play in the art class. Art Education 36 (6), 18 24. Trimis, E., & Savva, A. (2004). The in depth studio approach: Incorporating an art museum program into a pre primary classroom. Art e ducation 57 (6), 20 24. 30 34.
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art $$ Weier, K. (2004). Empowering young children in art museums: letting them take the lead. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood 5 (1), 106 116. Winner, E., & Hetland, L (2008). Art for our sake: school arts classes matter more than ever but not for the reasons you think. Arts education policy review 109 (5), 29 31. Yenawine, P. (2003). Jumpstarting visual literacy: Thoughts on image selection. Art e ducation, 56 (1), 6 12 Zollinger Henderson, T. D., & Atencio, D. (2007). Integration of play, learning, and experience: What museums afford young visitors. Early Childhood Education Journal 35 245 251. D oi: 10.1007/s10643 007 0208 1
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art $% Appendix A Art Museum Website Review -./0.1 234565450/! 789!$!:! .;<09 =04>5?/ Art Institute of Chicago Yes Family Room w/ interactive stories and games, original works and related books; Family self guide; Gallery game Children's Museum of the Arts Yes hands on art museum; WEE art studio for 5 and under w/ music, storytelling, and art making; exhibits feature work by children and adults; WEE Arts workshops are drop in multi sensory classes; Classes for 1 and up and adult Cleveland Museum of Art Yes Gallery One interactive w/ multi touch screen, StudioPlay, Shadow Puppets, Mobile building, games; 2 nd Sunday Family Days w/ free art making, explore museum through dance, music, hands on activities; My Very 1 st Art Class art making, story telling, play, and movemen t Columbus Museum of Art Yes Wonder Room hands on playful activities; Tote Bag with activities focusing on works in the exhibit; Family Gallery; Family Adventures guided tour with family working as team; Gallery Fun hands on activities in the galleries Dallas Museum of Art Yes (we)ekends look in gallery then join art making activities, change monthly; Sketching in the Galleries supplies available at Art Cart; First Tuesday 5 and under visit gallery for activit ies, story, art making; Classes for 2 to 3 and 3 to 5; Interactive Gallery Tour with education staff; Art Spot Denver Art Museum Yes
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art $& -./0.1 234565450/! 789!$!:! .;<09 =04>5?/ Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art Yes Art Studio open for all ages; Reggio Emilia inspired Kimbell Art Museum No The Metropolitan Museum of Art Yes Start w/ Art 3 to 7 yr old plus adult look, sketch, listen to stories, make art; How did They Do That all ages handle tools and explore how art is made; Sunday Studio; Family Guides MoMA Yes Gallery Guides; Audio Tours; MoMa Art Labs to play and create through hands on activities National Gallery of Art No The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art Yes Weekends have hands on activities, close looking and conversation; Family Festivals; Storytime for preschoolers 2 nd Sunday; Family Gallery Guides; Classes for 3 and up. Portland Museum of Art No Seattle Museum of Art Yes Family Fun! D ay of activities on Saturdays during select months, Knudson Family Room Toledo Museum of Art Yes Family Center; Family Time Tours relate to works on view in Family Center; Gallery Gear for 2 to 8 yr olds tote bag with hands on activities, books, multimedia materials and family guide;Gallery Hunts; Classes for 3 to 5 with parent
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art $' -./0.1 234565450/! 789!$!:! .;<09 =04>5?/ Walters Art Museum Yes Art Tots art making and tour for 2 3 and adult; ArtKids tour and art activity with adult; Art Cart; Discovery Quilts; Family Guides for intergenerational exploration; Art Sacks: Family Audio Guides; Wondrous Journeys Passport 6 stamps earns prize; Family Art Center Whitney Museum of American Art No
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art $( Appendix B Early Childhood at Play in the Art Museum Survey 1. Do you visit art museums with your child? Y es / no 2. If yes, how often? 3. When you visit an art museum, is it as part of a program or to tour the galleries on your own? 4. What challenges do you face when visiting and art museum with your child? 5. What have you found successful when visiting the art museum with your child? 6. What resources or information would be helpful in encouraging / improving art museum visits? Select all that apply. P re visit planning activities / games to complete during visit how to talk about art with young children how to choose art work to view language to introduce during your visit other: follow up activities
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art $) Appendix C UFIRB 02 Social & Behavioral Research Protocol Submission Form This form must be typed. Send this form and the supporting documents to IRB02, PO Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611. Should you have questions about completing this form, call 352 392 0433. Title of Protocol: Early Childhood at Play in the Art Museum Principal Investigator: Amber Jenkins UFID #: 9022 2110 Degree / Title: MFA Art Education Mailing Address: ( If on campus include PO Box address ): 2121 SE Belmont St, Apt 209 Portland, OR 97214 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Departme nt: Art Education Telephone #: 503.734.9717 Co Investigator(s): UFID#: Email: Supervisor (If PI is student) : Jodi Kushins UFID#: !"#$ % &!!' Degree / Title: Professor Mailing Address: ( If on campus include PO Box address ): 143 E Dominion Blvd Columbus, OH 43214 Email : email@example.com Departme nt: Art Education Telephone #: 614 499 6176 Date of Proposed Research: April 2013 June 2013 Source of Funding (A copy of the grant proposal must be submitted with this protocol if funding is involved): none Scientific Purpose of the Study: Gain an understanding of parent/caregiver needs and interests regarding visiting an art museum with their children. The information will be used to create a guide for use in art museum visits.
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art %+ Describe the Research Methodology in Non Technical Languag e: ( Explain what will be done with or to the research participant.) A survey of 6 questions 4 open ended, one checklist, and one dichotomous on paper will be handed out to parents and caregivers currently enrolled in an early childhood art class. Surveys will be placed in a box when completed. Participation will be anonymous and voluntary Describe Potential Benefits: Understanding the information and guidance parents and caregivers are interested in or feel they need will assist in developing an engaging and useful art museum visit guide for early childhood and preschool children and their parents/caregivers. Describ e Potential Risks: ( If risk of physical, psychological or economic harm may be involved, describe the steps taken to protect participant.) The surveys will not include any personal or compromising information so there is no risk to participants. Describe How Participant(s) Will Be Recruited: Participants will be chosen based on their participation in an early childhood art class. Maximum Number of Participants (to be approached with consent) 24 Age Range of Participants : 24+ Amount of Compensati on/ course credit: $0 Describe the Informed Consent Process. (Attach a Copy of the Informed Consent Document. See http://irb.ufl.edu/irb02/samples.html for examples of consent.) A letter explaining the project and survey will be included as part of the survey. (SIGNATURE SECTION) Principal Investigator(s) Signature: Date: Co Investigator(s) Signature(s): Date: 4/12/2013 Supervisor's Signature (if PI is a student): Date: Department Chair Signature: Date:
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art %*
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art %" Appendix D Dear Parent/Grandparent/Caregiver: I am a graduate student at the University of Florida in the Art Education program. As part of my coursework I am conducting a survey, the purpose of which is to learn about art museum visits with young children and information parents and caregivers would find useful in encouraging and enhancing such visits. The survey is 6 questions and will take about 15 minutes to complete. You will not have to answer any qu estion you do not wish to answer. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law and your identity will not be revealed in the final manuscript. There are no anticipated risks, compensation or other direct benefits to you as a partic ipant in this interview. You are free to withdraw your consent to participate and may discontinue your participation in the survey at any time without consequence. By filling out the survey, you give me permission to report your responses anonymously in th e final manuscript to be submitted to my faculty supervisor as part of my course work. Questions may be directed to my supervisor, Prof. Jodi Kushins, at (614) 499.6176 or myself, Amber Jenkins, at (503) 734.9717. For additional questions about your rights as a participant in this study, contact the University of Florida's IRB Compliance Hotline at 352 392 0433. Thanks, Amber Jenkins
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art %# Appendix E @>9?A!BC5?4!D?>A!5;!4C0!294!-./0.1!E.960A!F0/.?4/ =8!A8.!65/54!4C0!>94!1./0.1! G54C!A8.9!3C5?!A0>9 ""I & L *"!4510/!>!A0>9 ##I G00M?A $$I NC0;!A8.!65/54!>;!>94!1./0.1K! 5/!54!>/!O>94!87!>!O98P9>1!89!48! 48.9!4C0!P>??0950/!8;!A8.9!8G;H Q8.9! *"I 2?8;0 $$I R84C $$I NC>4!3C>??0;P0/ ->M5;P!54!90?06>;4 *%I Q88!S.504! (I T00O5;P!5;4090/4 $&I 294G89M!488!C5PC! *%I B98G! *%I NC>4!C>/!U00;!/.330//7.? D90 L O?>;;5;P (I E;>3M/ (I @V49>!><.?4! *%I BC5? (I W>15?5>954A (I X8G09!>94!?5M0!/3.?O4.90! *%I F0/8.930/ D90 L 65/54!O?>;;5;P #(I Y8G!48!4>?M!48!A8.;P!3C5?<90;! >U8.4!>94 &"I X>;P.>P0!48!5;498<.30!<.95;P! A8.9!65/54 %$I W8??8G L .O!>34565450/ %$I 234565450/ZP>10/!48!381O?040! <.95;P!65/54 (%I Y8G!48!3C88/0!>94G89M!48! 650G #(I 84C09
Early Chi ldhood at Play in the Art %$ Biography Amber Jenkins was born in and spent most of her childhood in Kansas City. She obtained a Bachelors Degree from Kansas State University. In 2003, Amber returned to school and obtained a BFA in Graphic Design. The next several years were spent doing freelanc e website and identity design for local small businesses. In 2012, Amber moved to Portland, OR where she currently resides with her husband and daughter. Amber is currently a student in the University of Florida's online Masters in Art Education program. She is an assistant with the children's art classes at the Portland Children's Museum. Upon completion of the program, she hopes to continue working with preschool and early elementary students teaching art.