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Introducing Zentangle in the Early Years

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People of different ages, skills, and interests enjoy Zentangle as a visual arts practice. It is adopted as a hobby with the intention of creating an abstract art form comprised of drawn images and using repetitive and structured patterns. Zentangle has an associative language and a method that is easy to learn. Participants of Zentangle report feelings of wellbeing when engaged in the meditative drawing activities. In the field of education, research on the potential of Zentangle to support student learning is limited; in early childhood education, the benefits are unreported in the academic literature. This research project aims to fill this gap. The project examined the educational benefits of Zentangle for young children. The project was conducted over a ten-month period in two kindergarten classrooms (with children aged 3-5 years) at a Western Australian independent community school inspired by the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy. Two case study findings showed that Zentangle supported the development of children’s fine motor skills and enriched their language experience through the accommodation of cultural and linguistic diversity. Zentangle also provided opportunities for children to demonstrate the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia outcomes.
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Keywords: Early Years Learning Framework for Australia; Zentangle; early childhood education; fine motor skills; language; mindfulness

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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  • Curriculum and Teaching is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal publishing original research. It uses a balanced and comparative perspective to consider curriculum design and development, evaluation, curriculum models, comparative studies in curriculum, innovation and policy, planning, and educational administration.
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