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The Arts in Early Childhood: A Powerful Tool for Development and Learning

Four story brick building with adjacent courtyard

United South End Settlements' Children's Art Centre is proud to announce that we will be participating in this years BAEYC Annual Building an Inclusive Community Conference on April 12, 2014. We have designed a CEU credit course entitled The Arts in Early Childhood: A Powerful Tool for Development and Learning where educators gain hands-on practical and theoretical knowledge on the impact of arts-based learning on healthy child development and family engagement.


Workshops are available either on-site at your organization (in the greater Boston area) or at United South End Settlement’s South End House. Please contact for more information or to schedule a workshop for your organization.

In this hands-on, interactive workshop, educators will gain practical and theoretical knowledge on the impact of arts-based learning on healthy child development and family engagement. Participants will engage in a presentation and dialogue about how the arts promote development and learning across cognitive, social/emotional, and physical domains, and will explore how the arts can be linked to areas of learning such as literacy and STEM learning. Special consideration will be made on unique ways to engage families through the arts, as well as using the arts to reach children with diverse learning styles. Participants will learn about several “case studies” representing applied best practices in early childhood arts education, and will then have an opportunity for hands-on exploration of innovative, developmentally appropriate arts-based learning.  Participants will come away with practical applications of best practices to take back to their classrooms and the children and families they serve.

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  •  Identify at least two ways art impacts development in each developmental domain (cognitive, social-emotional, physical).
  • Define and distinguish between product- and process-oriented projects, and explain the importance of the latter.
  • Define and understand the concept of arts integration.
  • Link an art activity to specific developmental objectives in each content area (language, literacy, mathematics, science and technology, social studies).
  • Define and give examples of appropriate “art talk.
  • Explore and experiment with new arts materials and methods in the domains of visual arts, music and movement, and dramatic play.
  • Develop a plan for enriching the art area of their classroom.
  • Plan a specific strategy for using the arts to increase family engagement.

Topics covered include:

Introduction to Different Arts Modalities; The arts as language; The Arts and Development; DAP and the arts; What is arts integration?;  Art As Evidence: Using the Arts to Meet and Assess Developmental Objectives; Arts Integration in Action: Bringing the classroom into the art studio, and the art studio into the classroom; Families and the Arts: Challenges and Opportunities

About the facilitator:

Helen Schroeder is an award-winning EEC licensed early childhood arts educator with unique skills, knowledge, and experience at the intersection of early childhood education and the arts. Schroeder has experience teaching and facilitating arts-based learning with children, educators, and parents in diverse early childhood settings, with parent-child playgroups, and in family childcare homes.

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