Healing and Education through Art

Art and creativity is one of the important approaches of learning. It provides opportunity to express children’s feelings and potentials. Children express their emotions by performing various art activities on their own which make them free of mental and physical problem. Healing and Education through Art (HEART) is one of the approaches which supports in holistic development of children in ECD centers. Setogurans and Sunshine Community Development Organization with the support of SCI introduced HEART in the ECD centers of two districts, first time in Nepal, to gauge its effectiveness in ECD pedagogy. After one year of its implementation, Setogurans with the help of SCI launched a study to evaluate the significance of HEART in ECD.

The purpose of the study was to identify the relevancy and efficiency of HEART pilot project in conflict affected children in the ECD centers of Baglung and Kapilbastu districts. The study also aimed at assessing the role of Art activities in enabling children to express their feelings, thinking, perception, etc. and how it persuaded ECD centers, parents and stakeholders to address the need of holistic development of children in the target area of the ECD centers of the districts.

Qualitative and quantitative inquiries were adopted to meet the purpose. Personal views, perception, understanding of the stakeholders towards HEART was explored qualitatively based on FGD (Focus Group Discussion), observation, interaction, interview, etc. Some special cases were explored and narrated to prove how Art activities in ECD centers caused healing and education among the children. Similarly, checklist and questionnaire were used to collect quantitative information for this study. Quantitative data were processed and outputs were obtained using SPSS. They were later presented in table. The data were analyzed and interpreted descriptively.

The findings of the study asserted that HEART approach contributed a lot in enhancing children’s ability, facilitators’ competence and environment of the ECD centers. It contributed to change the attitudes of facilitators and parents in the way that they began to think Art is not only an activity to engage children just for holding them at ECD centers but it can also be used as a means of therapy such as regulating hyper activity and negative emotions of children, and so on. The parents and the members of the management committee were also deliberately accepted to incorporate Art as the basic part of ECD pedagogy. HEART, in this way, appeared as one of the vital components to promote quality ECD practices.