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Painting dinosaurs – the ways in which a Reception class context shapes and limits children’s opportunities to creative expressive art

Hallam, Jenny and Lee, Helen and Das Gupta, Prajna (2011) Painting dinosaurs – the ways in which a Reception class context shapes and limits children’s opportunities to creative expressive art. In: Exploring Children's Creative Narratives. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon., pp. 111-131.

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Abstract or description

The study of children’s drawings is well established within developmental psychology and has been an area of interest since the 19th century (Coates & Coates, 2006). Traditionally, this body of research uses experimental methods to identify and map out key developmental milestones in children’s drawing development. Research in this area aims to give a comprehensive insight into drawing development by proposing a general stage theory (Luquet, 1927, 2001) and addressing specific aspects of drawing such as the representation of the human figure (Cox, 1993). The focus on drawing in most developmental research however, presents a narrow presentation of artistic expression; children create artwork using diverse media such as paints, pastels, clay and collage. Furthermore, the use of primarily experimental methods means research into the wider social, cultural and educational contexts which shape the creation and interpretation of children’s artwork (other than drawing) has been marginalised.

This chapter applies arguments drawn from critical psychology and social constructionism to provide an insight into how children and teachers in a Reception class understand and co-construct art. The focus here is on how an art activity (painting dinosaurs) is introduced to a Reception class by their teacher and how a piece of artwork, co-created by a child and the teacher during the class, is interpreted. The methodology employed in this chapter enables children’s artistic development to be studied in a naturalistic context, within which the activity makes sense to the child. In summation, the chapter moves beyond a traditional, individual based, approach by investigating the educational contexts which shape the development of expression in children’s artwork.

Item Type: Book Chapter or Section
Subjects: C800 Psychology
W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design
X100 Training Teachers
X900 Others in Education
Faculty: Faculty of Health Sciences > Social Work, Allied and Public Health
Depositing User: Helen LEE
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2012 16:11
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2012 16:11
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/159

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