School Resources

Practical ideas for enhancing visual arts in your centre

In this webinar, Dr Sarah Probine (Manukau Institute of Technology) and Jacqui Lees (Head teacher at Pakuranga Baptist Kindergarten) discuss how rich visual arts practices can be developed through collaboration and creativity. The discussion provided practical ideas and advice for teachers to employ in their centres and aimed to build the confidence of teachers to try new ideas and approaches.  

To help you navigate the webinar easily, there is a list of the key topics covered in the session below, including the time each was discussed. The key ideas discussed in this webinar are also shared in a short insight article

Topics discussed in this webinar 

Times shown in minutes and seconds from the start of the video

1.27What are the visual arts? 
3.38The benefits of visual arts for children’s learning 
10.42The role of the teacher 
18.52How to offer visual arts experiences in a sustainable way 
24.56Visual arts with infants and toddlers 
29.54Planning provocations for visual art experiences 
33.48How much should teachers direct art experiences? 
35.34How to offer teaching or scaffolding in the visual arts 
37.21Should teachers offer visual examples? 
41.08Supporting children’s culture and identity through the visual arts 
43.00Responding to children who say ‘I can’t draw’ 
45.50Concluding comments  

Questions for exploring the key ideas from this webinar 

  • What opportunities do the children in your setting have for communicating and expressing ideas through the visual arts? 
  • What changes do you notice in the children’s thinking about what they are representing when they change the media or materials with which they are working? 
  • How often do you encourage children to revisit their artistic representations and products in order to revisit the ideas they were exploring? 
  • In what ways do you get engaged with and participate in children’s art-making experiences? 
  • How might thinking about the visual arts as aesthetic experiences for infants and toddlers, or as a process for thinking and exploring for older children, change your practices and pedagogies in relation to the visual arts? 

Further reading 

Take a look at Dr Gai Lindsay’s ECE Art blog   

Lindsay, G. (2016). Do visual art Experiences in early childhood settings foster educative growth or stagnation? International Art in Early Childhood Research Journal5(1) Retrieved from:  

Brooks, M. (2009). What Vygotsky can teach us about young children drawing. International Art in Early Childhood Research Journal1(1) Retrieved from:  

McArdle, F. (2016) “Art education” in the early years: learning about, through and with art. International Art in Early Childhood Research Journal5(1) Retrieved from:  


Sarah Probine

Sarah Probine is a senior lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology. She teaches on the Bachelor of Education (Early childhood teaching) predominantly in the areas of the arts, creativity and inquiry-based learning. She is currently completing her PhD research. Her study has explored the contextual influences that shape how young children come to value and use the visual arts in their learning both in their early childhood centres and their home environments.

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