Children must be strong, confident, and capable, according to the Reggio Approach. They should be able to express themselves, communicate their feelings, and make independent judgments as a result of these characteristics. To allow youngsters to be themselves and collaborate, adults should encourage them by listening to their ideas and believing in them enough to make responsible judgments. Adults should learn with the children as they collaborate, rather than adults making the decisions. The adult's job is primarily confined to giving kids a starting point for exploring the open-ended resources they'll need to complete their work. This technique permits these children to grow in their thinking and learning abilities. The function of the adult primarily entails listening, observing, and guiding their children through their learning process.
Thus, by choosing the topic of self-portraits, children can explore expanding their thinking. Self-portraits of any type keep children inspired and allow them to indulge themselves more profoundly. They can notice the fine details of themselves and convert the information they observe from their point of view onto paper with the maximum amount of artistic freedom.
In such an exercise, children stand in front of a mirror, analysing their faces from a different perspective before being asked to reconstruct a face of themselves. They will eventually be creating an eloquent statement of themselves, which integrates the image they saw in the mirror and the interpretation of their own experiences of themselves. As mentioned by Ann Pelo, “When we look at her self-portrait, we see a child as she sees herself. The story of self-portrait work is a tender story to tell.”
At Astor International School the students were provided with a mirror to look at themselves. Then, using the teacher as an example as a start-up, the teacher draws an image of her face followed by the eye. Thereafter, the teacher signals to the children the need to add an extra detail like the eyelashes over the round/oval-shaped eye.
Creating a self-portrait is about perceiving oneself. A self-portrait helps these children express their own emotions. Thus, different images from different days can be very different depending on their moods on these days. It becomes a bold declaration of their own identity as both subject and artist, with all images having a tender story to tell.
Such drawings can also help pre-schoolers in numerous ways as we can assess their fine motor skills. Furthermore, we can better understand these children’s understanding of their image, which is an indication of a child’s perceptual awareness.