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Young Audiences Celebrates Two Years as a WolfTrap Affiliate

Published: February 2, 2012

Louisiana Wolf Trap has been a regional site of The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts since 2010. The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, a program of the Wolf Trap Foundation, was established in 1981 under a grant from the Head Start Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services serving children birth through kindergarten. The goal of the Institute is to provide early childhood educators with professional development training in the use of performing arts techniques within educational curriculum goals and outcomes for young children. The infusion of arts-based techniques into daily routines provides powerful teaching strategies that can be used to enhance all areas of development including emergent literacy, self-esteem and socialization, problem solving, receptive and expressive language, motor skills and self-regulation, science and math, conceptualization and creativity and provides a solid foundation for all future learning.

The centerpiece of all Institute programs is the preschool classroom residency in which a Wolf Trap teaching artist and a classroom teacher work together to enhance instructional goals with performing arts techniques to meet the needs and goals of the teacher and class; the residency also provides additional support to the community through the offering of interactive family workshops. This partnership strengthens the teacher’s knowledge of the important role the performing arts play in child development and learning and enables the teaching artist to gain in-depth understanding of early childhood education theory and best practice in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

The use of the performing arts as a teaching tool accommodates individual learning styles or multiple intelligences, encourages active participation and creates motivation and enthusiasm for learning. Opportunities for children to contribute their thoughts and ideas through open-ended questions and performance-based experiences are essential elements for fostering the creative process and providing connections and scaffolds to the learning hierarchy.

 
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