April 10, 2012
Parents take heart – the alarmingly abstract masterpieces produced by your children could be teaching them how to reason like an adult.
A research project just completed by Murdoch University lecturer Caroline Nilson has suggested that encouraging artistic expression in children may play a key role in establishing critical thinking skills.
Ms Nilson observed the artistic endeavours of 150 children from four local schools who participated in the Mandurah Stretch Festival, a major regional arts festival that uses arts and culture to connect the community.
“By the end of the project we saw the children had grown confidence in their artistic decisions and had learned a great deal about action and consequence, which are both signs of critical thinking.
“This study has shown that critical thinking abilities are developed in children as young as eight and nine years of age through engagement in creative arts.
“Every child needs to have critical thinking dispositions and abilities to survive in today’s rapidly changing world.”