1 Department of Educational Anthropology, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 Forskningsprogram for Medier og IT i læringsperspektiv, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Aarhus University3 Visuel kultur som pædagogisk fagområde, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Aarhus University4 Danish School of Education - Didaktikuddannelserne, Emdrup, Danish School of Education, Arts, Aarhus University5 Danish School of Education - Didaktikuddannelserne, Emdrup, Danish School of Education, Arts, Aarhus University
The creative drawing process Associated Professor Ingelise Flensborg, PhD The Danish University school of Education, Aarhus University Tuborgvej 164 København NV Why are children's drawings important for the development of cognitive structures and for their development in a visual society? In my research I have been investigating the connections between body and space - the body-space interaction established through movement and the implications this relation had for the layout or spatial arrangements of children's drawings. It is my hypothesis that we are able to see how children understand spatial relationships through their drawings and to identify their cognitive development in their construction of schemata or mapping abilities. Gibson's theory on the picking-up of invariant features through movement comprises an understanding of the fact that normally we do not make use of cognitive maps (schemata), but that our spatial orientation is purely perceptually based. For the purpose of explaining how we remember and recognize spatial positions and relations, the schema concept was invoked, by way of Neisser, as an example of a cognitive agency of structuring or a connecting link between perception and higher mental processes. By this means it also becomes possible to explain the schema concept in a developmental perspective. A schema is a mental structure that is constantly modified by experience through perceiving, action and movement, and some of its structure can be identified in the representational schemata in children's drawings. Perceiving changes the perceiver and the schema undergoes what Piaget calls accommodation and so does the perceiver. A schema functions as a plan for finding out about objects and events and for gaining more information's. It is a pattern of actions as well as a pattern for action In my doctoral thesis I discussed the connection between spatial orientation and visual representation (as a form of knowledge). I wanted to show the developmental possibilities within spatial cognition in art-education. I used the dynamic theory of perception (Gibson 1979) saying that by movement in the environment we gather invariants in change. Through empirical investigation in children's drawings I investigated to what degree the spatial representations of children were influenced by the dynamic perception and how this eventually was expressed through their drawings. The apprehension of body and space together with movement is of decisive meaning for the understanding of reality and formation of the self to small children. The graphical spatial activity that creates visual form is supposed to be derived from a bodily-spatial understanding, which is supposed to be our most basic cognitive structure. The body's interaction with the environment is decisive for children's spatial representations. In my theoretical and empirical investigations I found that this interaction creates the basic form of cognitive structures. The child is constructing a relational reference system which can be translated to graphic forms of representations, which act as a sort of ‘‘meaning -maps''. Flensborg, I. (1994) Rumopfattelser i børns billeder - relationer mellem rumlig orientering og visuel repræsentation, DLH Flensborg, I. & Holm Sørensen, B. (1997). Billeder på begyndertrinnet. København: Dansklærerforeningen. Gibson. J.J. (1979) The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, Boston: Hougton Mifflin Goodnow, J. (1978). Børn tegner. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag, Hart,R.(1973) Children's Experience of Place, New York: Irvington Publishers Havskov Jensen, B. (1986). Børns billeder. København: Borgen.