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Title: Expression, representation and drawing in early childhood
Author: Matthews, John Sydney
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 1990
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Using detailed longitudinal studies of 43 children, the thesis describes the onset and development of important modes of expression and representation, in children 0 - 5 years of age, and focuses especial attention on one of those modes - drawing. The study shows that the beginnings of drawing, far from being haphazard, meaningless scribblings are, on the contrary, highly intentioned acts which have structure and organisation. Whilst not extensive, the main findings of the present research are supported by other recent studies made independently but in parallel to that of the present author. The work shows that drawing development cannot be accounted for solely in terms of imitation of cultural models, nor in terms of motorskills development alone. Rather, the present account shows that infants use mark-making and drawing as one member of a family of early symbolic modes which they spontaneously generate to form descriptions of reality. The study traces drawing development from its origin in early infancy - in the actions the infant performs upon objects in the physical environment, and also in the actions performed within an interpersonal, psychological environment formed between infant and caregiver. Using detailed micro-analysis of recorded observations (video, film and stillJj1otographic techniques were employed, as well as continuous transcription of these in longhand-journals) a description of drawing development is constructed which shows the child moving through a series of modes of representation, each having its own internal infra-structure and powerful meanings for the child. The study shows that at every level, from the earliest mark-making, to the graphic descriptions of objects and events, the child is generating powerful representational and expressive modes which many research paradigms and methodologies have missed but which in fact play an essential part in the developnent of cognition and affect. The important implications of this for education are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available