ERIC Number: ED449899
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Researching Children's Art: Systematic Observations of the Artistic Skills of Young Children.
This paper discusses research methods used to examine children's art. The first part of the paper presents information on four theoretical approaches to the examination of children's art and discusses the teacher's role within that approach: (1) psychological approach, using art to discover the child's inner conflicts; (2) behavioral psychological approach, using art to examine the child's thinking processes; (3) developmental arts approach, comparing the child's visual expression to what is expected at a particular age level; and (4) artistic/aesthetic view, helping children develop a basic vocabulary for the visual language of expression. The second part of the paper examines the methods used for conducting research on children's art, noting that art and creativity must not be excluded from scientific research. This part describes the observational research into the creative process as carried out by Project Zero at Harvard University and provides a rationale for using qualitative research methods. The third part of the paper identifies three observational techniques that can be used by educator-researchers: (1) direct observation; (2) participant observation; and (3) indirect observation. The paper notes the need for an ethnographic, holistic, and natural on-site approach when researching children's art activities. The paper concludes by asserting that better conceptualizations of human thought, feeling, and creativity will likely contribute to more effective visual arts education programs. (Contains 69 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A