Voices of Children International Project
LITTLE PEOPLE...BIG VOICES
Children can and should influence the world around them
The importance and benefits of arts experiences in the early years are widely documented (Bamford, 2009; Ewing, 2010; Garvis, 2012a; Vecchi, 2010; Wright, 2012). Indeed, arts-based pedagogies are considered central to children’s learning in early childhood settings (Clark & de Lautour, 2009; Garvis, 2013; Kelly & Jurusich, 2010). The Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, Article 31) states that children have the right to access and fully participate in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities. Therefore, in order to nurture and educate the next generation of holistic thinkers, communicators and problem solvers it is imperative that teachers and families value, model and teach using playful arts-based approaches to education (Lindsay, 2017a). Through art children are empowered to share what is special about their lives, producing and creating individual and unique responses to share with other children across the world
……Let’s be sure to listen and pay attention to them as they speak through heart, hands and mind
Building on an international project established by the University of Wollongong in Australia (Brown et al., 2010) fourteen years ago, the Voices of Children project invited for the first time children 3 to 6-year-old from across the world to submit their artworks which describe their place in the world, including a brief written message.
More than 1500 children in 12 countries have engaged in visual arts projects in their respective settings. Children’s artworks were exhibited in both a virtual gallery exhibition, and a gallery exhibition at the Foundation of the Hellenic World in Athens to coincide with the 2022 Bright Start International conference. The online gallery featured 300 artworks and 294 children’s messages
Young children wonder big things and think big things. Though they still have much to learn, they have already learned so much! Children can teach us so much about fairness, equity, love and care…for the earth, for family and for each other…. Children can teach us how to treasure the things that really matter…if we care to LISTEN. – Dr Gai Lindsay