Friday, January 28, 2005
Today Dorothy Pulsifer of Bridgewater (MA) State College presented an inservice lecture to
our pre school-grade 2 staff on the developmental stages of drawing. She pulled out her
Lowenfeld (CREATIVE AND MENTAL GROWTH) and shared her wonderful collection of slides
with our teachers. Some time back I became aware that many education/early childhood
teacher preparation programs do not include this study any more. What a loss! As Pauline
used to tell me, "mark making is a basic human need" and human beings all over the world
and through time have marked and scribbled and then made the enormous cognitave leap
when they realize that they can make these marks and that marks can stand for something
else. One of the most important moments in human learning--and we all have
experienced this moment, as did Michalangelo, Pollock, Einstein, etc. Why this is not part
of teacher education eludes me, but at the very least, spontaneous child art is a wonderful
diagnostic tool, showing us where children are at a particular time. In our school we have
children who are entering Lowenfeld's "Gang Age" and some who are still in the pre-
schematic stage. Must all of these children move in lockstep through the curriculum with
no recognition of where they are developmentally? Is anyone still studying this? Are you
familiar with Lowenfeld? or Rhoda Kellogg (she collected thousands of pre-school
drawings from all over the world) or Betty Lark-Horowitz (UNDERSTANDING CHILDREN'S
ART FOR BETTER TEACHING) If I remember correctly this is how Howard Gardner got his
start, collecting and looking at the "unschooled" art of small children. And what happens
to children when they do come to school? What happens to their art?
Monday, January 10, 2005
When students say something vivid about art (usually in passing) I ask their
permission to put their quote up on the wall. This first grader has decided
to post her own quote each week. On Friday she posted "Make art. See art.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
A seven year old boy loves making intricate drawings of animals. He is
especially interested in scales and fur details. He uses animal books for
reference and has recently begun mentoring a friend who would like to learn to draw
like he does.
This patient third grade girl worked six weeks on a landscape where she
explored creating depth. She finished in time to take it home for Christmas.
A student fascinated by videos (currently, SPIDERMAN 2) connects with a
puppet maker: the result a theater ("therder") with moving curtain and two end of
class performances. Now two girls have auditioned to be female leads and are
writing a script, some songs and other more organized contributions. I am
re-arranging the schedule for this grade three class to allow time for
performances at class end each week.