ERIC Number: EJ1060421
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Reference Count: 22
Social Learning and Drawing: What Children Learn by Copying the Images of Their Peers
Laroche, Gaetano A.
Art Education, v68 n3 p19-25 May 2015
In this article, the author provides a brief synopsis of a study he conducted about the nature of children's drawing among first and second grade students. Laroche noticed that when first and second grade students sat at a table of four or had their individual desks grouped in fours, frequently the drawings from that group of students had similar imagery. He shares his observations of student interactions within these groups, and asserts that children learn to draw by looking, copying, and creating anew. When a child looks at his neighbor's drawing and realizes that a triangle on top of a rectangle makes a house, or that zigzagging lines create scary and ferocious teeth, then he has learned something. Today he may copy his peer's house. Tomorrow, he has a schema for a house in the woods with wolves all around. As Carolina Blatt-Gross (2010) discusses, there is growing research into the functioning of the brain by neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists that points to "the distinctly social nature of the human brain and the role art plays in satisfying this" (p. 353). According to Johnson and Johnson (1991), in cooperative environments, children with the least skills or understanding can benefit greatly from working with peers who possess greater skill and understanding, and the more-advanced students can develop a deeper understanding of the content by teaching it. As it is essential to the psychological well being of children that they have healthy peer interactions, the art teacher can promote both growth in the discipline and educate the whole person by designing and allowing for communication and interaction between children in the classroom.
Descriptors: Socialization, Freehand Drawing, Childrens Art, Imitation, Elementary School Students, Grade 1, Grade 2, Early Childhood Education, Imagery, Cooperative Learning, Peer Teaching, Peer Relationship, Well Being, Art Education
National Art Education Association. 1916 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 703-860-8000; Fax: 703-860-2960; Web site: http://www.arteducators.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 2
Authoring Institution: N/A