International Journal of Art & Design Education

Representation and Experience in Children’s Drawing

Volume 12.1   1993



Atkinson is interested in the unique propensities of art that enable even the youngest children to adapt graphic `language' to the precise notation of features they themselves discover in the act of drawing objects placed before them. `Looking and seeing' is a cliche which, for him, obscures the great probability that children take interest in different aspects of what they see – interests that do not necessarily conform to the perspectival assumptions of stage theorists. He presents convincing evidence of children, engaged in what might otherwise be regarded as conventional still-life work, deriving fundamentally different logics of hierarchies of forms, their relationships and their relativities, to those that routinely govern teachers' critical evaluation. Atkinson argues that teachers must address the intentionality that drives each child's graphic constructs, and evaluate it in the child's own terms; and (implicitly) the National Curriculum for art must provide opportunities for children to initiate graphic rationales that are presently unrecognised.