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Talking the line: Inclusive strategies for the teaching of drawing

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This paper reports on a series of drawing workshops held at the Royal College of Art (RCA), London, which tested an original pedagogical strategy designed to help dyslexic and/or dyspraxic art and design students who had reported difficulties with their abilities to make accurate representational drawings. A group of non-dyslexic/dyspraxic RCA students volunteered as control group, and both cohorts completed three days of workshops in the Drawing Studio of the RCA. Results of recorded interviews eliciting student observations as they drew, and a questionnaire in the form of a Likert scale, administered before and after the workshop, indicate positive shifts in both cohorts’ attitudes towards specific aspects of the stages involved in the production of accurate representational drawings of still-life set-ups, the human skeleton and the clothed life-model. Assessment of the drawings produced indicates positive shifts in the two cohorts in geometric accuracy and other qualitative criteria embedded in the teaching strategy such as control of scale, proportion and illusions of depth. Both cohorts displayed similar positive attitude shifts and both sets of drawings indicated similar positive shifts in visual qualities. An interim conclusion posits that the pedagogical strategy appears to enhance the abilities of both dyslexic/dyspraxic students and non-dyslexic/dyspraxic students to make accurate representational drawings. This result correlates closely with the findings of an earlier, prototype workshop held at the RCA in July 2012. It is suggested that similar pedagogically inclusive strategies might produce positive results in the context of secondary schools as part of a more inclusive curriculum.
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Keywords: art students; drawing; dyslexia/dyspraxia; inclusivity; pedagogy; teaching strategies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Royal College of Art 2: Swansea College of Art 3: Middlesex University 4: University College London 5: Goldsmiths, University of London

Publication date: November 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice promotes and disseminates drawing research with a focus on contemporary practice and its theoretical context. This journal seeks to reestablish the materiality of drawing as a medium at a time when virtual, on-line, electronic media dominates visuality and communication.

    This peer-reviewed publication represents drawing as a significant discipline in its own right and in a diversity of forms: as an experimental practice, as research, as representation and/or documentation, as historical and/or theoretical exploration, as process or as performance. It explores the drawing discipline across fine art, science and engineering, media and communication, psychology, architecture, design, science and technology, textiles, fashion, social and cultural practices.

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