Monthly Archives: April 2017

What are the benefits of art classes for kids?
Apr 26

What are the benefits of art classes for kids?

By ShaiCoggins | Educational Essays

When people ask: “Why should I send my child to art classes?” I’m not even sure where to start when it comes to all the benefits of art education in children’s development.

The Arts and Australian Education: Realising potential (PDF) written by Robyn Ewing and published by the Australian Council for Education Research (2010) shares a number of studies that highlight the need for arts education, not just for the ‘talented’ but for all children. It also mentions the different intrinsic and instrumental benefits of quality arts education, which include cognitive, attitudinal and behavioural, health, social, and economic benefits.

Ewing also mentioned Arts Corps, a Seattle-based organisation focusing on increasing students’ access to quality arts programming. According to Ewing, Arts Corps “cites tolerance for ambiguity and the ability to think metaphorically as important capabilities in solving problems and fostering creative habits of mind.”

Here are the key creative indicators:
• Imagining possibilities
• Critical thinking
• Persistence
• Discipline
• Courage
• Risk-taking
• Reflection

What are the benefits of art classes for kids?

Do you need formal art classes to reap such benefits? No, not at all. If you’re able to provide quality art enrichment activities at home or elsewhere, then your child is already developing these important skills that he or she can gain from art classes. However, if your child is not able to obtain such art-related education in their current routines, then it might be worth considering to find ways to supplement your child’s experiences.

Here are some ways that you can improve the quality of arts education in your child’s development:

1. Provide a “Maker Space” in your home. It doesn’t have to be a big space. Just a small tray of art and craft materials on a child’s table would be enough. Just make sure that your child is able to access it at any time and they won’t be afraid to ‘make a mess’ in that spot.

2. Make art as part of day-to-day and special activities. Display art at home. Go to art galleries and museums. Give art materials and books as gifts. The more your child is exposed to art, the more it would become part of their lives.

3. Take the time to make art together. Paint, write, colour, sing, dance… Usually, children like to model their parents, so if they see you doing it, they are more likely to follow your lead.

4. Share your support for the arts at your child’s school. Ask about the school’s art program. Encourage them to get artist residencies, run art clubs and art shows, etc if they’re not doing so already. Let them know that this is something that you would like to see as part of your child’s development and education.

5. Consider sending your child to specialist art programs in your local area. Find an art class near you and take your child. There are usually preschool art programs where parent and child can do sensory art together, or consider after school and weekend programs for your school-age child (or even teens!).

If you’re in Adelaide, Australia – let me know if you would like to chat more about an art program that’s suitable for your child. We might just have a place for you at Creative STEAM Studio.

Creative STEAM Studio - STEAM Education Adelaide Australia
Apr 26

Welcome to Creative STEAM Studio!

By ShaiCoggins | News and Announcements

Hello! I’m so glad you’re here.

Creative STEAM Studio is the space for this arts, literacy, and STEM education practice.

For those who may not be familiar with the term, STEAM stands for Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics.

Currently, I’m primarily operating from my home studio in the Southern suburbs of Adelaide, Australia. However, in-person classes and workshops for kids and adults may be held in various locations.

My name is Shai Coggins and I’m the resident artist and teacher here at the Studio. I’ve been practising as an artist for as long as I can remember. Although I’m primarily self-taught, I’ve taken various art classes and workshops in Australia (Adelaide Central School of Art, private studios and tutors, etc ), Singapore (La Salle – SIA College of the Arts, private tuition, etc), and the Philippines (Artist’s Gallery, etc). Some of my art have also been exhibited and sold in different parts of the world.

Two years ago, I was invited by a local art studio in Adelaide to teach art to adult learners. And, more recently, I began teaching a sketching workshop when a local art shop invited me to teach in their premises. The workshop was booked out and had tremendous feedback, so I got invited to teach more art classes.

I have a Master of Teaching degree from Flinders University, specialising in Primary and Special Education. During my studies, I maintained a high GPA and I received the University Award for Literacy Education from ALEA (Association of Literacy Educators in Australia). And, I’m now officially a registered teacher in Adelaide, South Australia.

I also have a Master of Social Science in Applied Psychology degree and a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Prior to taking on teaching, I was practising in the field of psychology, and later on, in digital media. I am currently running a digital media business called Vervely, where I have been privileged to work with some amazing clients, including Microsoft.

It has been a lifelong dream to combine my different interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics – and Literacy. That’s why Creative STEAM Studio came to life.

Although the Studio has only officially started in 2017, it really began when my two children were old enough to hold pencils and brushes.They were officially my first STEAM students.

C, aged 3, painting at home

C, making art when he was about 3 years old

M, aged 2, making art at home

M, making art when she was about 2 years old

Before having kids, I taught communication and literacy skills to children, teens, and adults at SpeechPower in the Philippines. Since then, I have done practicum teaching in primary schools here in Adelaide, Australia.

In my classes, I take special effort incorporating an integrated, multidisciplinary learning approach, whereby students develop skills and meet Australian Curriculum Standards across various subjects and strands. An example of this teaching approach may be found through this class website that I created for one of my classes.

Teaching a STEAM session in a Special Education Unit at a Primary School.

Shai uses hands-on and integrated techniques in classroom teaching. This was a science and health lesson on grouping fruits and vegetables, etc. in a Special Education Unit at a primary school in Adelaide, Australia. Later, an art lesson was introduced in conjunction with this lesson. The students were taught how to make “fruit faces”.

My hope is that through Creative STEAM Studio, I will be able to continue sharing my love of learning, literacy, and STEAM.