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Learning to speak is a process involving give and take. It logically begins as we talk to tiny ones, naming things and narrating activities, but for children to learn language, they need to respond even if early on they babble. They must engage in verbal exchanges for them to understand how and why to communicate. Images are perfect subjects for early communication; consider their omnipresence in children’s literature. Reading stories should start with reading pictures, not bypassing them in a rush to get to the text. And the process of using pictures to engage children in conversation can be incorporated into various means of supporting language development in preschool.
In this talk, renowned museum educator Philip Yenawine will make the case for imagery as a vehicle for language development in early childhood. He will demonstrate a tried and true method of using images to spark and extend discussions among three- and four-year-olds, Visual Thinking Strategies. It’s been in use in many progressive nursery schools for years, including many that are Montessori-inspired. It’s a method parents can use too. The presentation will build in time for discussion, comments, questions, and book signing.
About the presenter: Philip Yenawine is the co-founder of Visual Understanding in Education (VUE) and the co-author of the VTS curriculum. He has been developing curricula and professional development that is used in hundreds of schools and institutions around the world since the early 1990s. Philip was the Director of Education at the Museum of Modern Art, New York from 1983-93. He also worked in 1992-94 as consulting curator at the Institute for Contemporary Art, and during the academic year 1993-94, as visiting professor of art education at Mass College of Art, both in Boston. He is on the Board of Art Matters, a foundation supporting contemporary artists. Yenawine is the author of How to Look at Modern Art, Key Art Terms for Beginners, and has written six children’s books about art. His newest book, Visual Thinking Strategies for Preschool: Using Art to Enhance Literacy and Social Skills, will be available for purchase.
As Creative Director at Watershed Collaborative, Philip continues to work closely with teachers and inquiry-based learning. He remains an ambassador for VTS, speaking at museums and other forums around the world.
This presentation is sponsored by the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Image: Remedios Varo, La llamada (The Call), 1961; Oil on Masonite, 42 x 31 x 1 1/2 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift from Private Collection