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  • Author: Daniela Valachová x
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Using Artistic Expression as A platform for Learning About Children

Abstract

Introduction: We perceive artistic expression as a suitable form of knowledge, investigation, and construction of understanding through the use of creative representation. The main goal of a broader conceived research then is to explore the prospects of that same artistic expression as a personal representation of a child and develop possible pedagogical diagnostics. The presented study is focused on detecting the level of trauma of refugee children and helping them to get through their suffering using artistic and pedagogical diagnostics of expression. The inquiry was carried out over two months with five children.

Methods: Methods of observation, content analysis, and unstructured interviews were used during the research. Several themes were employed in meetings, but for the purpose of this paper we will analyze only one – that being “my house”. This theme was aimed through relaxation activities with clay, finger games, own world, reconstruction, and imagination of new space. It was a joint work that reflected children’s experiences using artistic expression with the clay.

Results: Clearly, from their own creation, children transformed their house into abridge, which could be interpreted as a transition to a better house than they have experienced. Signs that appeared in children’s creations led to following interpretations and communications that brought us closer to the children’s issues which, in turn, were often related to the disturbance they had experienced and are still experiencing.

Conclusions: It is precisely the art expression that proved to be the right mean for eliminating negative emotions and consequent problems arising from trauma. The effort of art expression is that the child, on their initiative, could break the barrier of secrecy related to his or her creation and could look for the connection between their own creation and their inner experience.

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