ERIC Number: ED182760
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Sep
The Orthography of Disaster: Children's Drawings of Wrecked Cars. Technical Report No. 10.
Pariser, David A.
A study was undertaken to determine how children of different ages used drawing to present an atypical situation, to what extent children's responses were governed by their increasing cognitive competence, and to what extent children's responses reflected an increasingly articulate grasp of the medium itself. A total of 137 children in kindergarten through sixth grade were asked to make pairs of drawings of an unwrecked and a wrecked car. Each child's drawings were compared to identify the kinds of graphic devices used to mark the condition of the car. Proceeding from J. S. Bruner, R. R. Olver, and P. Greenfield's distinction between enactive, ikonic, and symbolic modes of thought, two kinds of line quality were identified: gestural line (highly enactive) and distorted line (iknoic/symbolic). On this task, the use of enactive line decreased as a function of age and the use of ikonic/symbolic line increased with age. Younger children reverted to the enactive mode, relying heavily on the manner in which the image was made to mark the condition of the car. Older children understood that the image itself--the residue of drawing activity--and not just the activity itself, must be changed if the image is to convey information to the viewer. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Harvard Project Zero.