International Journal of Art & Design Education

Art and the Pre-adolescent Child: Applying Robert Witkin's Theory of Subject-Reflexive Action to the Primary School

Volume 1.2   1982



The authors discuss Robert Witkin's analysis of the creative act and his concepts of subjective-reflexive knowing and subject-knowing. A research project is described which aimed to provide children with a variety of media so as to promote a process of what Witkin describes as 'successive approximations', and subsequently, subject reflexive action. In their evaluation of the project the authors conclude that a change occurred in the process of the children's thinking, in relation to the development and transformation of ideas about each subject (conceptual structure) and in the nature of expression. This change appears to have been brought about by the use of successive approximations that allow development towards the centre or core of a feeling or idea.