A Review of Children's, Teachers' and Parents' Influences on Children's Drawing Experience

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Abstract:

Abstract

In this article we argue that research into children's drawings should consider the context in which drawing occurs and that it is crucial to investigate the attitudes and practices of teachers, parents and children themselves that shape children's drawing experience and the drawings which they produce. We review the findings of seven empirical studies reporting data collected through direct observations, interviews and questionnaires from the three main players (teachers, parents and children) on the attitudes and practices shaping children's drawing. Issues covered include teachers' perceptions of the purposes and importance of drawing, support offered by teachers, parents and children for children's drawing endeavours, and possible factors that may lead to an age-related decline in the amount of drawing children choose to do.

We end the review by reporting some preliminary findings from our own large-scale interview and survey study of 270 5–14 year old children, their parents and teachers, that provides a comprehensive assessment of attitudes and practices influencing children's drawing experience at home and at school. The findings provide further insight into the aforementioned issues, particularly children's, teachers' and parent's explanations of why children's drawing behaviour might decline with age. It is hoped that by reporting these preliminary findings some additional understanding of the context in which children produce their drawings can be gained and new areas for debate opened up.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-8070.2006.00500.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Staffordshire University, College Road, UK 2: Centre for Child Development and Learning, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, The Open University, Briggs Building, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, UK

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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