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Title: Development of drawing ability and the attitudes and practices towards children's drawings in Steiner and National Curriculum schools
Author: Rose, Sarah Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 0220
Awarding Body: Staffordshire University
Current Institution: Staffordshire University
Date of Award: 2014
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Among educationalists there is some uncertainty about how best to teach children drawing skills and among psychologists there is uncertainty about how different approaches might influence children's drawing development. In the National Curriculum children are taught both expressive and representational drawing ability, but there is concern that the arts are being 'squeezed out' in favour of more 'academic' subjects. In contrast, children in Steiner schools experience less directive instruction in drawing, but experience an education where the arts and creativity are highly valued. However, little is known about the home drawing experiences of these pupils and the views of their teachers. This thesis aimed to identify similarities and differences in the drawing abilities and styles of pupils and the drawing attitudes and practices of the pupils, their parents and teachers. In study one expressive, representational and free drawings of 180 pupils (age 6 to 16 years old) were assessed for ability, style and creative intention. In study two 180 pupils, their teachers and parents were surveyed about attitudes and practices relevant to children's drawing experiences. Steiner pupils were found to have superior representational drawing ability but no consistent between-school differences were found in expressive drawing ability. Stylistic difference were evident in the free drawing. Drawing attitudes and practices of children were generally positive and few between-school differences identified. Parents and teachers associated with the Steiner schools tended to value drawing more highly, were more aware of the wider benefits of children engaging in art. However, National Curriculum teachers and parents tended to be more involved with children's drawing experiences. The studies presented in this thesis represent ground breaking research comparing drawing ability, and the art attitudes and practices that shape children's artistic experience in their respective Steiner and National Curriculum schools as well as their homes. More similarities were identified than anticipated. This suggests that school and home drawing environments may be less influential than previously thought. Alternatively, there might be fewer differences between the school types than the curricula suggest. Consequently, future research should consider the artistry of teachers and parents and observational data of classroom art lessons and home drawing experiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: L300 Sociology ; X100 Training Teachers ; X200 Research and Study Skills in Education ; X300 Academic studies in Education