> What Brookes DOES advocate is
> teaching children to draw. In other words, giving them drawing
> instruction, like teaching them to look for, identify and draw the
> basic shapes. Or teaching children shading and/or modeling techniques,
> perspective devices, etc. I know that this particular topic has in the past
> been somewhat controversial, as some feel that this stifles the child's
> creativity and is contrary to the child's natural developmental stages in
> Perhaps this issue still is controversial and others on this list could
> speak to it? I would be interested in such a discussion.
> What do you think?
This interests me also Ruth. Eisner says kids learn "inside out and
outside in." As teachers, we are the outside part trying to smoosh
stuff into students' brains. I think we have to balance what the
students bring to the classroom (as far as their abilities) with what
we want to share, introduce, and teach. We have to balance the
inside and the outside.
I think some students are ready to be taught certain drawing
techniques and skills while others might not be. As the teacher you
have to know the students well enough so that you can decide if they
need to grow "inside out" some more or if they are ready for some
I was showing a film about the developmental levels of children's drawings
to my elementary education majors the other day and the narrator noted the
negative effect a big sister had on her little first grade brother's
drawing (she instructed him on the correct way to draw girls). I
didn't think it was such a big deal. I think the brother was ready
for some "outside in" learning, otherwise, he would have ignored her
completely and kept drawing the way he had been.
I think Marjorie and Brent Wilson did research on children's drawings
and the images they incorporate. I think they found that kids learn to draw on
their own, from their friends, from their siblings, and probably a
little from their teachers.
University of Central Arkansas