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Lesson Plans

Re: seeing/drawing window?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mon, 02 Nov 1998 19:51:47 -0600

HI all,
I find Marvin's letter very interesting. But it does bring up questions and
concerns. Would observational drawing take some of the joy out of early childhood
drawing? Are we to be only concerned with training little drawers? What about
just developing a healthy appreciation of art in general so they will be life long
learners? The comparison to the Suzuki violin training is interesting. But if the
window is closed early in life how do we explain the wonderful results adults get
with drawing programs such as Mona Brooks. I always tell my kids if they want to
become great drawers- practice ,practice and practice. How much they are
determined to practice seems to depend on if they have developed a love of art and
if they have a personality that perseveres.
Well, I'll be interested to hear more on this facinating topic.

Marvin P Bartel wrote:

> Artsedneters,
> I'm sorry if this has been discussed before, but I am wondering if any of
> you know of any relevant research of teaching experience related to teaching
> observation drawing at a very young age. If so, please respond to me or to
> the group.
> Background:
> Brain research tells us that there is a limited window of only a few years
> before the brain is hardwired and it becomes much harder to learn some types
> of stuff. In music, if the study and the listening doesn't start when
> children are young enough, they never learn good hearing sensitivity to
> pitch. Those who have perfect pitch are likely to come from homes where
> music is important. Languages are easy to learn when children are learning
> to speak because they hear and say the sounds easily without thinking. This
> gets much more difficult after they are older and the brain has lost its
> flexibility to be programmed. Some are also finding greater intelligence for
> those who have heard and studied music at a young age.
> The question for us:
> When is the ideal window of opportunity for learning to see and to draw?
> What if children were given formal lessons in seeing and drawing in the same
> way they are given formal Suzuki violin lessons when they are only 3 or 4.
> Is anybody studying this in seeing and drawing? Does anybody know of any
> "Suzuki" drawing teachers? Is any research being done related to the best
> age (most optimal) to learn observational drawing? Are their any programs or
> studies that work with very young children to help them discover their
> seeing/drawing potentials while their brains are still malleable?
> We all know of a few children who happen to become very good at
> observational drawing. Might this be because they happened to practice and
> learn it at the right time (younger than we now suspect) during their brains
> development? If we could prove this, how would it change the way we teach art?
> Reading and writing is universally taught beginning at age 5 or 6 and
> sometimes younger. Why don't art teachers universally teach observational
> drawing at a certain age? Why do the National Visual Arts Standards dance
> around this issue without ever mentioning observational drawing skill as a
> measurable standard of seeing ability? Isn't seeing and being able to draw
> an important way of knowing and communicating about our world? The Standards
> certainly cover many other important issues, but this one seems conspicuous
> be its absence.
> Again, if you have tried teaching observation drawing at the preschool age,
> what did you learn? If you know of research along these lines, please
> respond. Thanks.
> Marvin
> ***********************************************
> Marvin Bartel, Ed.D., Professor of Art
> Goshen College, 1700 South Main St., Goshen IN 46526
> Office (219) 535-7592 Fax (219)535-7660
> Studio (219) 533-0171
> ***********************************************
> My October, 98 exhibition:
> Fax (219) 535-7660
> e-mail marvinpb
> ***************************
> "Plant trees. It's a good thing."