Almost Like Us – Getting Familiar with another Historical Period in a Pre-school Group
International Journal of Learning and Teaching
This study reports on pre-school age children becoming familiar with their hometown's cultural history through children's literature, personal stories, and craft products. The aim of this study is to discuss the educational value of arts-based activities and authentic learning environments from the perspective of visualizing children's experiences. In the learning process, children create stories and craft products based on a picture book of a home museum in their town and the experience of
... ting the museum. The research is in line with the curriculum of Finnish pre-schools (valid from 2016), according to which children should be offered opportunities to empathize with their immediate environment using a variety of arts-based methods as support. The theoretical framework of this study is based on Kolb's model of experiential learning, different approaches of arts-based learning and the theory of situated learning by Lave and Wenger. The data consist of children's oral follow-up stories and craft products. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis, which is a valid replicable method for making specific inferences from text to other states or properties of a source. It appears that different learning environments and arts-based, experiential activities contribute to learning in a child-centered way and may vizualize children's thoughts and experiences, for the teacher, for the children themselves, and for other learners. The different stages of the experiential learning process proved to be beneficial to each other: The materials the children produced during the experiment could be used to activate educational discussions in pre-schools and make them more child-centered. In addition, the literature element and the authentic experience gave the children ideas for their own products..