Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Undersea Mural Collaboration

Last term, over many weeks, Bridget (Elliott and Victor's mum) guided the tamariki in using the medium of fabric to show their growing understanding of the sea and its many inhabitants. Often working with each child individually, Bridget was able to scaffold the children's emerging skills of drawing, sewing, cutting and gluing to a point where they could create their individual representations of different sea creatures for the mural. Educational psychologist Lev Vygotsky explained this sort of learning situation as the child's zone of proximal development (ZPD) - a place where alongside a more experienced person they are able to achieve more than they would on their own. The proximity of the expert (which could be a peer) facilitates the development of skills and understanding - hence the value of group learning situations and of volunteers like Bridget sharing their knowledge with the children at the kindergarten. This is a core tenet of socio-cultural learning and of our ako/teaching and learning, at Manaia Kindergarten.
The photographs below celebrate the process Bridget took the tamariki through, and the wonderful results of their creativity.

Bridget's reflections on the project: "I was very excited on the prospect of creating a mural with the
children.  As much as I was excited I was nervous as to how it would go.  Would the children be keen?  Would I be sitting there getting sidelong glances of 'what is she doing?'.  When I prepared the calico to be painted for the background I got a bunch of very enthusiastic children wanting to help paint it, and looked forward to the next step which was cutting hessian up for rocks and the children decided where their rocks should go on the seabed.  Then they were painted.  Some of the children were very keen to get creating their favourite sea creatures.  Others observed from the sidelines for a few visits before they decided they wanted to add something.  Some of the children told me they couldn't draw their creatures, but when I encouraged them to give it a go and they found they could they were delighted.   As more and more art was added more children were keen to participate and get their own patch up on it.  It was very rewarding working along side the children and watching them create this amazing mural."

The completed undersea mural collaborative work. 

Many thanks go to Bridget for all the time and ako she gave to this project with the tamariki and for her photographing and labeling of each child's finished work. 

  Posted by Anne

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