About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3238-3245
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

GRAPHIC DIALOGUE BETWEEN ADULTS AND CHILDREN: TEACHING CHILDREN TO DRAW BASED ON THE VYGOTSKIAN NOTION OF PROXIMAL DEVELOPMENT

O. Kouvou

Athens University, Department of Early Childhood Education (GREECE)
The so-called theory of child art is based on the modernist assumption that children are natural artists with innate expressive potential. Their visual products are therefore subject to universal norms free from academic rules and societal conventions that govern the production of adult artists. The artifacts of children are the product of individual creative energies, independent of cultural influences and indeed their natural flowering would be disrupted by adult intervention and tutoring. This is the “grand narrative” of art education that has dominated educational practices over the past century.
This modernist/naturalist account of artistic development is currently being replaced by a post-modern cultural understanding of children’s visual products as depending on various forms of cultural influence and instruction. Every visual artifact produced by a young person both in and out of school, is the result of the acquisition of a variety of different cultural images children are exposed to in their everyday life as well as, either conscious or unconscious, adult intervention.
A post-modern art education would then have to open to alternative areas of exploration in order to understand young people’s visual products in new ways. It would have to abolish the distinction between high and low art, popular art and mass culture and the idea of simulating and borrowing from these fields, a practice so prominent in the unsolicited creations of children. It would also reconsider the role of the educator as a passive spectator in favor of that of an informed agent contributing actively to the development of his pupils’ graphic achievements and their subsequent understanding of the multidimensional and complex culture they live in.
Challenging the non-intervention notion of child art theory, this presentation focuses on a new method of instructing drawing to young children which is based on the collaborative graphic creations between adults and children. In this case, the role of the educator is to enable the child to pass from that which he can achieve alone, to that which he can achieve with the adult's assistance. Child and adult draw side by side the latter enabling the former either through his slightly more demanding drawing schemata or appropriate verbal prompting, to find richer and more meaningful pictorial solutions. The starting point is the child's own level of graphic accomplishment as well as the images he draws from the ever present mass media. This practice is partly inspired by Vygostky's educational philosophy based on social constructs and particularly his notion of "scaffolding" understood here as the graphic intervention of the adult on the child’s drawing. Using the Vygotskian vocabulary, the adult (teacher, parent etc) creates that environment within which the child is able to graphically develop in ways he could not manage unsolicited.
In exploring the potential of this new educational practice, students of Athens University Department of Early Childhood Education have conducted a research with preschool and primary school children with whom they initiated graphic dialogues over a period of time. The results of this two-year research as well as the relevant literature show the degree to which adult informed tutoring enables children to overcome blocks in their drawing development and elicits their creative engagement into the largely visual culture they live in.
@InProceedings{KOUVOU2010GRA,
author = {Kouvou, O.},
title = {GRAPHIC DIALOGUE BETWEEN ADULTS AND CHILDREN: TEACHING CHILDREN TO DRAW BASED ON THE VYGOTSKIAN NOTION OF PROXIMAL DEVELOPMENT},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {3238-3245}}
TY - CONF
AU - O. Kouvou
TI - GRAPHIC DIALOGUE BETWEEN ADULTS AND CHILDREN: TEACHING CHILDREN TO DRAW BASED ON THE VYGOTSKIAN NOTION OF PROXIMAL DEVELOPMENT
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 3238
EP - 3245
ER -
O. Kouvou (2010) GRAPHIC DIALOGUE BETWEEN ADULTS AND CHILDREN: TEACHING CHILDREN TO DRAW BASED ON THE VYGOTSKIAN NOTION OF PROXIMAL DEVELOPMENT, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 3238-3245.
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