International Journal of Art & Design Education

Art Learning in Developmental Perspective

Volume 15.2   1996



The paper is not about picture-production, nor is it about children's responses in the presence of particular pictures. The focus is not on the child in the role of artist or in the role of beholder, but on children's general ideas on what pictures are. One way of putting the matter is to say that children acquire a theory of pictures. If some of the aims of art education are to help children develop a love of art, an understanding of art, and a sympathy for the efforts of artists, we need to know how to talk children through the issues. One way to address children's concerns is to address their theory. So here we begin to diagnose what is in a child's theory of pictures. The important word is 'begin'; for children have very rich and complex minds, and we cannot give a full account.