Product vs Process

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Rachel Torkelson
Art, Music & Language Arts

“Process vs. Product” in Early Childhood Art

It has been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is probably truer when viewing preschool art. During the early years of childhood, children are developing their self esteem, which will impact their personalities and attitudes in the world thus making the process of art an important one.

Young kids do art for the fun and enjoyment of just doing art. The young child does not really care what the art will look like when done. The young child just enjoys doing the project. Where on the other hand an adult or older child cares more about what the end product will look like. The older child will take more time to think a project through and think about the end results. A young child just wants to jump in and “get dirty”. In the process of “getting dirty” the young child will discover mystery, creativity, joy and frustration, all items they will experience in their lifetime.

The process can be as simple as discovering the feeling of paint in their fingers, or the mystery of colors blending together. The process could be a little more difficult by having them cut their own pictures out. Art is a great way to release some energy. Sometimes adults don’t realize that they are encouraging their child to look at the end product over the process it took to get there. Parents and others ask questions about what the picture is, instead of questions like “How did you get those great colors?” If adults ask the right questions about how something is made they will be encouraging the child to explore the process of making a picture instead of the end product.

Process art is like a freestyle art. Process art focuses more on the process or the experience itself. Examples of process art include finger painting, or collages. Product art is more of a theme or the end product of an art project. Product art helps children learn to follow directions to get to the...
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