Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Art Education


Art Education

First Advisor

Dr. Pamela Taylor


This thesis examines the strategies young children use to develop a common set of goals when collaborating on a group art work. Teachers at Sabot School spend a great deal of time in discussion of children's group work. By concentrating on one project in my preschool classroom, I reached a greater understanding of the way children work together on a group project. This understanding enriched my practice of teaching so that I could become a better facilitator of similar projects in the future. The information is valuable to me and the other Sabot School teachers when planning future group projects, especially when discussing strategies for supporting children's group processes. It is also be of value to teachers and education students who are interested in learning about the Reggio Emilia approach in American classrooms, social constructivism in the classroom, and the possibilities of art in early childhood. In this project, my four and five year old students worked together to create a clay sculpture of a wild area outside the playground fence at our school. I was interested in the way I could support this group project using Vygotsky's idea of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). In the ZPD a child can accomplish tasks they are not developmentally ready to master if they have the support of a teacher or more skilled peer. This study revealed that children and teachers can use words and actions to support cognitive as well as social-emotional learning while working together.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Art Education Commons