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Early childhood narratives through drawing

Ring, Kathy and Anning, Angela (2004) Early childhood narratives through drawing. Tracey.

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The role of drawing in children's learning is frequently misunderstood. Even within early years settings, where the opportunity to draw is often freely available, there is usually an adult focus upon 'mark making leading to writing' rather than communication and creativity. Drawing, however, is one of the many languages, which children use to 'talk' about their world in informal settings, both to themselves and to others (Kress, 1997, Pahl, 1999, Lindqvist, 2001). Through drawing children can re-present action, emotion, ideas or experiences and tell complex stories (Dyson, 1993, Gallas, 1994, Malchiodi, 1998, Matthews, 1994, 1999).

This paper draws on data collected as part of a three year, longitudinal research project about young children drawing within the home, pre-school and school context. Examples are highlighted of children 'taking in the world' and their relationship to significant events, places, objects and people, analysing them for significance and representing them out of their interest, through drawing.

Their drawings reflect versions of meaning making from the socio-cultural context in which they construct their narratives: from TV, videos and signs; from book, magazine and computer based imagery. Yet each child demonstrates a unique drawing style and an exploration through line of intensely personal responses to experiences. 'In doing so they participate in the making of their culture' (Kress, 1997) and show themselves to be able and powerful storytellers.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/87

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