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Stage/Phase Theories of Development; What are the flaws in this lens?

How do we interpret the beginnings of children's art?

Donna Basik

on 5 September 2018

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Transcript of Stage/Phase Theories of Development; What are the flaws in this lens?

Recap: Bio-behavioral Species-Centric Theory of Art
Key Assumptions
-Artistic behaviors were "selected for" survival.
-Those early humans who engaged in art-like behaviors creating rituals, special objects and images to make visible their beliefs and values, were more likely to survive than those who did not.
-Doing so created a sense of group "oneheartedness".
What are kindergarten children doing when they draw?
Developing a repertoire of marks
The Bio-behavioral
Theory of Art
Judith Burton
Arts in Infancy
Constructing schemas

What does that interpretation tell us about how we view development of artistic thought through later childhood and into adolescence?
...from the moment when the infant achieves hand-eye coordination and realizes that they are responsible for the markings that mysteriously appear before their eyes, they also learn that they have created “’something where nothing was before’.
-Human beings are born prepared to engage in a multi-sensory world.
Jean Piaget
Is drawing development
an orderly process comprised
of recognizable phases in pictorial thinking and
problem solving, or is it
merely the product of
social conventions?
Can drawing development be described in terms of stages in logical thinking?
What role does talent play in this development?
What propels the changes observed over time and with experience, and what is the impact of the medium?
Questions raised are intimately related to how we conceive of the nature of progress in drawing.
Vienna 1900s Art classes for children.

Included the teaching of drawing as a means of self-expression.

Rejected teaching methods for teaching the rendering of space i.e. perspective.

Klee, Picasso, Kandinsky, Miro and others rejected the naturalistic traditions of art.

Childhood was viewed as a period of authenticity, inspiration and truth.
Roots of 19th & early 20th C fascination with child art lie in the Romantic Movement
This concept of childhood implied an unspoiled, authentic vision with direct access to the sensory world.
This vision led to innovations in the teaching of children--protect this innocence from the corrupting inpact of civilization & its social conventions
Rousseau predicted
developmental stages
of growth.
*Presents drawing as a
"significant behavior".

Brings Cizek's stage theory to America
in the 1940s
Authored Emile:life
& growth of 2 children Sophie & Emile
The Romantic Movement exhaulted
the naivite of the child
CIZEK (stages based on his classes
in Vienna.

Scribbling and smearing
rhythm of spirit and hand
Abstract symbols
Introduction of types
Differentiation of color;
form and space
Pure unity of gestalten
LOWENFELD - 1947 wrote
Creative and Mental Growth

Scribbling- disordered, longitudinal, circular, named scribble
Dawning Realism
Crisis of Adolescence
Artistic Developmental Stages
Research focus on the artistic-aesthetic development of children & adolescents.
"Beginnings of Artistic Language"
-prerepresentational markmaking
"The First Visual Symbols"
-early symbolism
"Visual Events" -symbol making stage
"Representing Experience:
From Imagination and Memory"
-pre-adolescent stage
"Representing Experience:
Ideas in Search of Forms"
-adolescent stage
How are we all alike?
Are there multiple & divergent routes to artistic accomplishments or is there one steady path toward ever increasing optical realism in the depiction of 3D space?
How do we interpret the beginnings
of children's art?

Lawrence Kolberg
Concluded that children were not
less intelligent than adults,
they simply think differently.
Children are not just short adults!
Who else thinks
about growth &
Intellectual development
Erick Erickson
Personal, emotional
and social development
Moral Development
Key Assumptions of
Developmental Theory

-Predicatable stages.

-One stage prepares ground for the

-Progress is from simple to complex.

-Humans are both symbol-users and
meaning makers.
-The senses and the intellect are
interconnected, not separate.

-Drawing is an act of intellegence;
based on problem solving behaviors.

-Drawing makes thoughts visible.

Beginnings of
thinking about
the whole learner
and holistically.
-Art must be viewed as
an inherent universal (or biological)
trait of the human species...
Ellen Dissanayake
Babies video
how it all starts
the human infant journeys
through to autonomy
Mugglesam video
Idea of childhood as
unique & special
Intellectual development in
the first five years of life.
Jean-Jacque Rousseau
Authored "Developing Minds" article series
in School Arts

The order of the articles corresponds to
stages and phases of Lowenfeld.
Current thought places more emphasis on
progression than age.
Attached an age range to the
different stages.
finding commonalities
Babies video
An economic equivalent for
what they know of the world
Organizing the picture plane
Adding detail; elaborating
YouTube video Child Development
birth through age three
The young child brings to school many natural propensities:
-a love of mark making
-an interest in tools
-a desire to make, construct,
-an affinity for storytelling
-a love of imaginative play
-and the understanding that marks carry meaning
their actions
outcomes of actions on materials
inner sensations & experiences evoked in them
Young children come to recognize...
a direct connection
What happens to these inherent human propensities depends a great deal on
the choices teachers make
Changing Conceptions
of the Learner,
Art, and Art Education

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