How Mosaic Art Assists Childrens’ Learning Abilities

I’ll be meeting with a primary school this week to discuss a potential artist in residence opportunity and create some work with their students. The prospect is an exciting one but I am also keeping a level head about it at this early stage… This, together with the children’s workshop I will be facilitating through the Sydney Children’s Festival in October, motivated me to put in writing how mosaic art affords some real, concrete learning opportunities for children. This is what I came up with. I’m sure I’ll be updating this post as time goes by so please let me know if you feel there is anything not listed here.

Mosaic art assists in the development of:

  • Counting
  • Matching
  • Sorting
  • Recognition
  • Assembling
  • Decision making
  • Manual dexterity
  • Concentration
  • Attention
  • Patience
  • Problem solving
  • Memory
  • Logic
  • Perception
  • Imagination
  • Creativity
  • Intuition
  • Trust
  • Spatial and visual organisation (basics of geometry)
  • Fine motor skills
  • Coordinating a child’s thoughts and actions
  • Hand and eye coordination – extremely important step to help a child achieve difficult tasks easily, including reading and writing
  • Correlation between seeing and doing (sight and touch senses)
  • Math skills as the child learns about basic calculations, surface area, the best way to break down a larger area into smaller ones, shapes, spatial visualisation
  • Skills children will need to learn to read and write
  • Curiosity
  • Language skills as the child listens and follows instructions and talks about what they are doing
  • Creative self expression
  • Self exploration
  • Self discovery

In addition to the above, larger community projects teach:

  • Peer to peer interaction (subtly helps children to understand the relationships between people while learning to deal with them effectively)
  • Collaboration
  • Cooperative learning strategies
  • Self esteem
  • Confidence
  • That a child is one of many, each as valuable as the other
  • Tolerance
  • Difference
  • That a whole is made up of many parts – each one valid, each one value-adding
  • Community spirit
  • Responsibility
  • Safety
  • Friendship
  • That a child’s voice is heard, valid and celebrated
  • Art appreciation

How does mosaic art help the teacher/parent/caregiver?

  • Making mosaics provides an opportunity for formal learning experiences
  • The care provider can watch children work alone or in groups
  • They can monitor they way in which the children speak, move and concentrate
  • It allows for observation of a child to assess their development
  • It also allows for the care provider to understand what interests the child has, what engages them and why

Most importantly, kids love it!!

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10 Comments

Filed under Art, Artists, Australia, Canberra, Community Projects, Kids' Projects, Mosaic, My projects, Round the World, Schools, Uncategorized

10 responses to “How Mosaic Art Assists Childrens’ Learning Abilities

  1. Pauline

    WOW!! Great ideas to help children and to keep art in your community for the youth:) I will use some of your words in our next grant and compliments to you and your great work:)

  2. Pingback: School Mosaic Projects: What can they provide for schools? « MakeMosaicTrace’s Blog

  3. Love this Kim,
    A friend and I submitted an application to our local art council for a small grant to teach mosaic classes in the local schools. We had to adhere to the overwhelming state teaching curriculum and word every learned skill percisely in a way that applied to their required standard. It was overwhelming to say the least. That is excessive government functioning at it’s best! Love to work try again though and your is very inspiring. Thanks, Andi

  4. great Kim!, reading the list, one thinks, yes, of course, but it’s seeing it all in one place really drives home the power of making mosaics, not only for children but adults too. thanks for sharing this!

  5. Beautifully stated Kim! No doubt we’ll all be quoting you. 🙂

  6. Thanks for posting, Kim. Great list. I have been working on a similar list, aligned to specific “course of study” standards in my district. For older children, mosaic terminology can help with vocabulary (Greek and Latin derivatives) and you can also get some history out of it, too. Glad to see the resource from bamm. I took a workshop in Chicago on school mosaics from Hilary Sloate, but have had difficulty in finding any written info or documented research on the educational benefits of a mosaic curriculum.

  7. John O'Brien

    Well done Kim. I fully agree with you on this. I have also found that making mosaics in small groups with children improves behaviour and I rarely have discipline problems – even with the “naughty” children.
    It is also the case that the art that the children produce is long lasting and eye catching. Making mosaics on the back of kitchen tiles produces useful trivets which children can give as gifts to parents and these gifts are treasured and durable – they don’t get stuck on the fridge for a while then thrown in the bin.
    There is really useful information on this on the BAMM site – http://www.bamm.org
    in the section called Education Resources.
    Keep it up – you will be creating the next generation of mosaic artists, mosaic lovers and mosaic buyers.

  8. Donna Luker

    Absolutely awesome!

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