International Journal of Art & Design Education

The Attitudes and Practices that Shape Children's Drawing Experience at Home and at School

Volume 29.3   2010



Concept: Few empirical studies have investigated the influence of teachers, parents and children on children's drawing experience. The current study aims to examine the attitudes and practices of these three key players that shape children's drawing experience.

Method: A survey methodology was used, as typically found in previous research in this area. Participants were 270 5–14 year old children, 44 of their teachers of the National Curriculum for Art and Design, and 146 of their parents. The teachers and children participated in individual interviews and the parents completed a postal survey. Responses to most interview questions were transcribed and content analysis used to identify salient themes. The other questions involved responses on five-point scales, these were analysed by reporting percentages.
Results: The findings are discussed in five sections. First, the positive perceptions of children's drawing behaviour and attitudes. Second, the perceived importance and principal aims of the National Curriculum for Art and Design Education. Third, the numerous sources of encouragement and support for drawing development. Fourth, the differing perceptions of what constitutes a good and bad drawing. Fifth, issues surrounding an age-related decline in children's drawing activity.

Conclusions: The findings are related to theories of drawing education, and implications for children's drawings and drawing pedagogy are discussed.