artistic practices + development:understanding children’s art in contextedpsy502winter 2010sarahj. ward<br />
guiding question	<br />Children’s artistic development is significant for a number of reasons including the development of...
fine motor skills<br />stringing beads<br />using scissors<br />drawing<br />painting<br />what we know about artistic pra...
planning skills
abstract through (pictures as symbols)</li></ul>as both fine motor skills and cognitive skills advance together,<br />chil...
what we know about context:<br />	Even the self is a social construction, a self definition generated through interaction ...
why continue art development research?<br /><ul><li>  We ask that children and adults alike be creative, and yet we haven’...
    Children’s culture is in some ways similar to adult culture but it is wrong to assume that they are exactly the same
    If adults cannot fully enter into childhood, then it is understood that to study artistic development as it happens na...
It should avoid the trap of an ‘adultist’ top-down approach to the research and the choice of methods and not seek to appr...
				a ski trip memory<br />				if you had your very own 			world, what	would it look like<br />				mom + dad<br />				anyt...
lyla<br /><ul><li>Increasingly concerned with realistic pictures
Average of ten parts a person including hair, eyes, pupils, ears, arm and fingers, leg and foot
 People and objects in motion
 Creates effective compositions
 Selects ideas that reflect personal experiences and culture
 Can create artwork based on observations
Can express ideas about artwork in detail
 Gives more complex reasons for what he or she likes and dislikes about a piece of art
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creatures of social creativity

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  1. 1. artistic practices + development:understanding children’s art in contextedpsy502winter 2010sarahj. ward<br />
  2. 2. guiding question <br />Children’s artistic development is significant for a number of reasons including the development of motor and cognitive skills. <br />There is a tendency to objectify creativity. It’s a trait you have or a trait you don’t. <br />The research that follows seems to agree: <br /> creative and artistic development has been studied in individual children and their work, but continues to ignore the child governed worlds that are critical to all sorts of growth. <br />how are children’s artistic practices influenced by their social context?<br />
  3. 3. fine motor skills<br />stringing beads<br />using scissors<br />drawing<br />painting<br />what we know about artistic practice and development:<br />cognitive<br /><ul><li>spatial awareness
  4. 4. planning skills
  5. 5. abstract through (pictures as symbols)</li></ul>as both fine motor skills and cognitive skills advance together,<br />children move from scribbling  identifying shapes in scribbles  drawing shapes  combining shapes to make objects  objects to pictures, with increased realism<br />
  6. 6. what we know about context:<br /> Even the self is a social construction, a self definition generated through interaction with other people. Since the self in interaction with others is an ongoing process, people can change and grow as they learn more about themselves through this interactive process <br /> Merriam & Associates, 2002 <br />Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development<br /><ul><li> children influence, collaborate and achieve goals in a social context:</li></ul>Learning awakens a variety of internal developmental processes that are able to operate only when a child is interacting with people in his environment and in cooperation with his peers<br />Vygotsky, 1978,<br />
  7. 7. why continue art development research?<br /><ul><li> We ask that children and adults alike be creative, and yet we haven’t looked at how one person’s creativity influences another’s</li></ul>Over and over again, creative individuals stress the importance of seeing people, hearing people, exchanging ideas and getting to know another person’s work <br />Csikszentmihalyi, M., 1997<br />Creativity is not a single aspect of intelligence that only emerges in particular activities… it is a systematic function of intelligence that can emerge wherever our intelligence is engaged <br /> Robinson, K. 2001<br /><ul><li> If art is a form of creativity, and creativity is an aspect of intelligence, and yet artistic development is usually squelched around ages 7 – 9, what effect does this have on other forms of creativity?</li></li></ul><li>approaches to research<br />What has been considered so far : <br />artwork<br />role of the adult<br />motor skills development<br />cognitive development<br />Left to themselves, children will draw representationally when they are ready. They will want to picture something from their own lives, from stories read to them or their own fantasy world. They will do this in their own good time without adult representation. <br /> Kellogg, 1968<br />Why researching children is unique: <br /><ul><li> Researchers have already passed through childhood and therefore bring to the table their own biases of what they believe to be childhood
  8. 8. Children’s culture is in some ways similar to adult culture but it is wrong to assume that they are exactly the same
  9. 9. If adults cannot fully enter into childhood, then it is understood that to study artistic development as it happens naturally with peers means that context is crucial </li></li></ul><li> the kiddos! see what research says about their development based on their age<br />the method<br />the <br />research<br /> their amazing artwork<br />excerpts & pictures from the d + t experience<br />analysis<br />observations<br />reflections<br />
  10. 10. It should avoid the trap of an ‘adultist’ top-down approach to the research and the choice of methods and not seek to approximate the child’s world to that of the adult’s. The possible limitations in language and articulation of younger children may, in fact, actually be reinforced by adult attempts to place their own interpretation on the words and drawings of children…. [researchers] need to create the potential for children to have their own ideas and explanations heard and understood <br /> Milburn & McKie, 1999, p.397<br />draw + tell<br />d + t was originally introduced to health education circles in 1989<br />Grounded in a philosophical position which is concerned with how the social world is interpreted, understood, experienced or produced<br />Methods of data generation are flexible and sensitive to social context<br />Methods of analysis and explanation building involve understandings of complexity, detail and context <br />Drawings have been used to project what is not overt <br />Assist communication b/t children and adults <br />(Milburn & McKie, 1999)<br />
  11. 11. a ski trip memory<br /> if you had your very own world, what would it look like<br /> mom + dad<br /> anything you’d like<br />draw + tell topics<br />I chose the draw + tell technique because it enabled me to come up with topics that I knew they were familiar with and also those that would show their individuality. <br />I had them all draw at once, which was a challenge in itself because paying attention to 4 kids and their interactions with one another is a lot. If I were to conduct this research again I would use a video recorder so that I could go back and review the scene from different angles.<br />
  12. 12. lyla<br /><ul><li>Increasingly concerned with realistic pictures
  13. 13. Average of ten parts a person including hair, eyes, pupils, ears, arm and fingers, leg and foot
  14. 14. People and objects in motion
  15. 15. Creates effective compositions
  16. 16. Selects ideas that reflect personal experiences and culture
  17. 17. Can create artwork based on observations
  18. 18. Can express ideas about artwork in detail
  19. 19. Gives more complex reasons for what he or she likes and dislikes about a piece of art
  20. 20. Understands there are different responses to art and knows that people’s experiences can influence art
  21. 21. Experiments with light and color to create visual effects
  22. 22. Works with geometric shapes and principles to create artistic designs. </li></ul>8-years old <br />(pbs.org, 2010)<br />
  23. 23. saxton<br /><ul><li>Pictures aren’t just symbols, they start to tell stories
  24. 24. Uses collection of objects to create pictures
  25. 25. Increase dexterity in fine motor skills
  26. 26. Creates images that combine a variety of colors, forms, and lines
  27. 27. Selects ideas for works of art
  28. 28. Seeks to increase independence by trying new activities on his own
  29. 29. Appreciates others' ability to depict objects realistically
  30. 30. Describes in simple terms how different materials, techniques, and processes cause various responses (e.g., says, "The color blue in the picture makes me feel sad.”)
  31. 31. Often selects artwork that show families and groups
  32. 32. Can express ideas about personal artwork
  33. 33. Knows how people's experiences (e.g., cultural background, human needs) can influence art
  34. 34. Expresses ideas about personal artwork that may or may not refer to the image (e.g., describes a schematic drawing (circle for head, circle for body, lines for legs and arms) as a picture of her dog eating)
  35. 35. Discusses artwork in terms of likes and dislikes
  36. 36. Identifies simple ideas about original artwork, portfolios, and exhibitions by peers and others</li></ul>6-years old <br />(Kellogg, 1967, p84-87; pbs.org, 2010)<br />
  37. 37. lake<br /><ul><li>Starts to put shapes (circles, ovals, squares and rectangles, triangles, crosses, X’s) into structured forms
  38. 38. Create designs by adding shapes and sticks to a few favorites
  39. 39. Develops his own, recognizable style
  40. 40. Confident
  41. 41. Pleased with mandalas because of perfect balance
  42. 42. Lots of people drawings (with big heads)
  43. 43. Not looking for human likeness but only to place things in a way that looks right while striving for balance, design and variety
  44. 44. Hats and funny ears to help balance top heavy drawings
  45. 45. Creates unplanned art, but may assign content to the image after
  46. 46. .Chooses colors and media that match his or her mood
  47. 47. Can describe what is pleasing about his or her own art</li></ul>4-years old <br />(Kellogg, 1967, p13, 43-65; pbs.org, 2010)<br />
  48. 48. peck<br />2-years old <br /><ul><li>Scribbles with multiple strokes, shape is implied and not contained within a boundary line
  49. 49. There is no ‘plan’ in mind, not until he’s finished does he assign meaning
  50. 50. Enjoy the sensory pleasures of the art materials and focus on the process of creating art
  51. 51. Uses art to manage feelings
  52. 52. Shows a preference for favorite colors and styles of art
  53. 53. Increased dexterity  fine motor skill development</li></ul>(Kellogg, 1967, p13 & 29; pbs.org, 2010)<br />
  54. 54. mom + dad<br />your ski trip<br />your very own world<br />anything you’d like<br />
  55. 55. I’m still drawing this because its going to be extra good! … You could see everything on the mountain – but mostly fog <br /> - Saxton describing the ski picture<br />Pecky, what are you drawing? - me<br />finishes scribbling looks at picture, looks at me<br />A mirror. - Peck<br />What’s in the mirror? - me<br />Pecky. - Peck<br />My best memory from the ski trip was skiing – Lake<br />Yeah, it was Lake’s first time up the chairlift – Lyla<br />It was really fun, right Lake? – Sax<br />conversation about chairlift and mountain continues. They each end up drawing the chairlift<br />You don’t need to draw everything in that color - Sax to Lake <br />Why did you choose that green Lake? - me<br />Oh I can answer that! Because it’s his favorite – Lyla<br />Yeah, he does everything in that color - Sax<br />Mom, come here, I want to look at you – Lyla as she carefully draws her mom in the outfit that she’s wearing that day<br />(Sax, will go on to draw his mom by looking at Lyla’s picture for guidance)<br />Basically, it’s a world in the sky and the guys who live in it look like this – Dum Dums! And they have fire shoes to fly!<br /> - Lyla describing her very own world<br />Hey Lyla, why’d you draw that sunset? – me<br />Because I’m good at it! - Lyla<br />I’m going to guess what daddy’s wearing: a light blue shirt and shorts… just like me! – Lake<br />Lake draws his dad, James, on a plane – Emily, his mom, asks if it’s because daddy’s coming home on a plane the following day. Lake says “yes.”<br />
  56. 56. discussions/observations<br />Children used each other to tell stories <br />Lyla and Sax were especially comfortable stepping in and answering questions for the younger kids and also explaining their own and their siblings work<br />Peck knew exactly which colors he wanted to color with. He chose one color/picture<br />Lyla paid meticulous attention to what Emily, her mom, looked like that day – down to shoes and eye color<br />Lake sought affirmation as he worked and after he was finished<br />Lake was able to leave the task at hand, draw something new, and then come back to the task while still incorporating what he wanted to be drawing (an airplane)<br />Lyla labeled her pictures with names<br />There is a definite progression of people and objects becoming more “life-like” <br />While the children didn’t “teach” one another directly this particular day, they used social cues and stories to give meaning and validity to their pictures<br />
  57. 57. what did we learn?<br /><ul><li> children’s experiences and conversations about those experiences can influence what they choose to draw
  58. 58. prompting from peers as well as adults guides the artistic process
  59. 59. children use each other’s pictures as guides to help them draw their own
  60. 60. research has for the most part ignored context
  61. 61. children are able to effectively praise, help and critique one another </li></li></ul><li>reflections<br /> I think more time was needed to really see this project develop, as well as in depth interviews with the kids. Because there is so much importance put on creativity as an individual trait, a lot of that shines through even over just a few hours. The notion that art is meant <br />to allow us to self create is powerful,<br />Of all the things we normally do, interaction with others is the least predictable <br />Csikszentmihalyi, M., 1997<br />and in that sense of course it is so often viewed from behind a lens that is solely focusing on the individual. It was difficult to even attempt to break through that and really see the ZPD side of things, especially over the course of only a few hours. <br /> The in depth interviews with the kids would have also led to a greater understanding on my part. It’s difficult to figure out how they are making meaning without adding my own adult assumptions without being able to talk with them and poke in their minds just a bit further. <br /> It was really interesting to see very clearly the “stages” of development and how fine motor and cognitive skills go hand-in-hand. <br /> Although I have only just noticed the disconnect between research and practice (artistic practice with peers that is), it seems like it is a key to understanding creativity and making creativity less of an object, and therefore a trait that all people have – it’s just a matter of access. Perhaps in understanding creative practices such as drawing in context, acknowledging greater types and outlets of creativity will become more widely accepted – even, perhaps, the notion that creativity does not exist in individuals, but in communities. <br />questions for future research <br />How can we study artistic creativity in relation to other creativity? <br />Can creativity and/or artistic progress be measured by observing the context?<br />What does this say about school art practice? Informal settings? <br />
  62. 62. references<br />Backett-Milburn, K. & McKie, L. (1999). A critical appraisal of the draw and write technique. Health Education Research : Theory and Practice. 14(3), 387-398. <br />Berk, L.E. (2002). Infants and children: Prenatal through middle childhood. Boson: Allyn and Bacon<br />Csikszentmihaly, M. (1997). Finding flow: the psychology of engagement with everyday life. New York: Basic Books. <br />Csikszentmihalyi, M., Gardner, H., and Feldman, D.H. (1994). Changing the World: a framework for the study of creativity. Westport: Praeger. <br />Kellogg, R., and O’Dell, S. (1967). The Psychology of Children’s Art. New York, New York: Random House. <br />Merriam S.B. & Associates (2002). Qualitative research in practice: Examples for discussion and analysis. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass<br />PBS Parents. Child Development Tracker. http://www.pbs.org/parents/childdevelopmenttracker/three/creativearts.html (Feb. 12, 2010). <br />Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: the development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. <br /> <br />

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