Making Meaning is a synthesis of theory, research, and practice that explicitly presents art as a meaning making process. This book provokes readers to examine their current understandings of language, literacy and learning through the lens of the various arts-based perspectives offered in this volume; provides a starting point for constructing broader, multimodal views of what it might mean to 'make meaning'; and underscores why understanding arts-based learning as a meaning-making process is especially critical to early childhood education in the face of narrowly-focused, test-driven curricular reforms. Each contributor integrates this theory and research with stories of how passionate teachers, teacher-educators, and pre-service teachers, along with administrators, artists, and professionals from a variety of fields have transcended disciplinary boundaries to engage the arts as a meaning-making process for young children and for themselves. As a teacher and teacher-educator, Marilyn J. Narey has extensive experience in both art education and early childhood education. During her tenure as a K-12 public school art teacher and department chair in southwestern Pennsylvania, she received multiple grants and recognition for her innovative child-centered curricular projects and partnerships. Her work in the private sector focused upon developing a successful pre-K through primary program that featured arts-based learning. Currently she is a professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. Driven by a vision of quality early childhood education that transcends disciplinary boundaries, Dr. Narey has received National and state awards for teaching excellence for her work in general education, as well as art education. Her research and publication interests include teacher quality, reflective practice, creativity, curriculum design, literacy, and instructional technology and she has presented nationally and internationally on these topics.
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