Children's Drawings: Developmental, Socio-Cultural and Pedagogical Aspects


Reading list for the Graduate Course on Children's Drawings: Developmental Perspective

  •  Jacqueline Goodnow (1977): Children's Drawing, Open Books, London.
         Selected experimental tasks from Jacqueline Goodnow to be administered to children of ages 4-7 years.
  •  Howard Gruber and Jaques Voneche (1977): The Essential Piaget, Basic Books, pp. 594-611.
     Drawing tasks from Piaget and Inhelder’s The Child’s Conception of Space to be administered to children of ages 4-7 years.
  •  Annette Karmiloff-Smith (1995): Beyond Modularity: A Developmental Perspective on Cognitive Science. Bradford Books, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Chapter 1: Taking Development Seriously
Chapter 6: The Child as Notator

Socio-Cultural Perspective

  •  Margaret Brooks (2002): Drawing to Learn, Ph.D. thesis, University of New England, Australia.

  •  Maureen Cox (1998): Drawings of people by Australian Aboriginal Children, In Journal of Art & Design Education, Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 71-79, February 1998.
  • J. Gavin Bremner (1999): Children's Drawings and the Evolution of Art. In Handbook of Human Symbolic Evolution. Andrew Lock and Charles Peters (Eds.) Oxford Science Publications, Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 501-519.

Pedagogical Perspective

  • Ramadas J. (1990): Motion in children's Drawings, In Constructionist Learning: A 5th Anniversary Collection of Papers. I. Harel (Ed.), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
  •  C. Natarajan, S. Chunawala, S. Apte and J. Ramadas (1996): Students' Ideas about Plants, Diagnosing Learning in Primary Science (DLIPS) Part-2, Technical Report No. 30, Homi Bhabha Centre For Science Education, Mumbai.
  •  Marilyn Fleer (2001): Visual Thinking in Technology Education. In Thinking Through the Arts, W. Schiller (Ed.), Routledge, pp. 163-176.
  • Shannan McNair and Mary Stein (2001): Drawing on their Understanding: Using Illustrations to Invoke Deeper Thinking About Plants. ERIC Document No. 453083.

  •  Shannan McNair and Mary Stein (2002): Science Drawings as a Tool for Analyzing. Conceptual Understanding.

Review questions on Karmiloff-Smith (K-S) "Beyond Modularity", Chapter 6: The Child as Notator

In Jaqueline Goodnow's book the emphasis is on empirical data on children's drawings. In Karmiloff-Smith's writing on the other hand, we have to understand her theoretical stance and examine how the data supports her theory or otherwise. These questions are aimed at facilitating this correlation of theory and evidence.

Humans are unique in being able to produce "external notations":

  1. What is meant by "external notation"?
  2. What makes human "notations" different from marks produced by other animals?  

In the context of iconic and non-iconic notations, precedence does not imply derivation:

  1. What historical evidence does K-S recall in support of the above claim? 

  2. How does she support her argument that etymology may be iconic but the resultant language is non-iconic?  

  3. What is the evidence to show that drawing and writing are bothaspects of general notational development?

  4. Does K-S raise any doubt about this evidence or its interpretation?  

  5. Why does K-S feel that infant studies are relevant for testing the domain-generality vs specificity claims?  

  6. Why is it important in the above to study the process as well as the product?  

  7. What constraints are toddlers found to impose on the microdomains of drawing, writing and number notation? What is the significanceof these findings for the nativist view?  

  8. Karmiloff-Smith argues for the existence of system-specific constraints in the notational domain. What evidence does she present in support of this claim?  

  9. Does K-S say that these constraints are innate? Why? What is the paradox here and how does K-S attempt to resolve it?  

  10. Describe the two tasks that K-S uses to probe microdevelopmental change in the notational domain. Which of the stages I, E1, E2, E3, are inferred from the results of the two experiments? Explain.  

(Sindhu Mathai) Here are some questions to think about with reference to Beyond Modularity K Smith (my part of the 6th chapter):

  • Why does K-S choose subjects who have adequate conceptual knowledge about the objects to be drawn?
  • How does it facilitate the study of representational redescription (RR) by asking children to draw a house which does not exist?
  •  How did older and younger children differ in their performance on the above task?
  • How did older and younger children differ in the conditions under which they were able to draw a `house with wings'? What is K-S's interpretation of this observation?
  • Why is drawing a house with wings easier than drawing a man with two heads for the 5-7 year olds?
  • Does representational change involve sequential constraints? How does K-S explain this comparing drawing across domains?
  •  What analogy does K-S draw from classical artificial intelligence to explain developmental changes in RR ?
  • Does K-S claim that the analogy works for children's drawings? Why or why not, according to her?
  • Why does Freeman (1980) call drawing formula driven? How does K- S support and counter this argument?
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