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Two-year-old children’s artistic expression in a group setting : interaction and the construction of… Tarr, Patricia R. 1992

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TWO-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN’S ARTISTIC EXPRESSION IN A GROUP SETTING:INTERACTION AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF MEANINGbyPatricia R. TarrB.A., The University of California, 1964M.Ed., The University of British Columbia, 1980A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIANovember 1992INTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standard© Patricia R. Tarr, 1992Signature(s) removed to protect privacyIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(SignaturDepartment of Visual and Performing Arts in EducationThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate October 7, 1992DE-6 (2/88)Signature(s) removed to protect privacyABSTRACTThis field study of two-year-old children using art materialsin a preschool setting was concerned with how children constructedmeaning about the art-making process through their interactionswith others. The study was theoretically grounded in the work ofGeorge Herbert Mead, Herbert Blumer and Lev Vygotsky, who share acommon view that meaning is socially constructed throughinterpersonal interactions. The study focused on children’s earlyuse of art media and their social interaction as a significantfactor in their artistic expression.Monthly videotaped and written observations documented four2-year-aids’ participation with art media during their attendanceat weekly parent-2-year old program. Over two subsequent years,the data were expanded to include observations of additional 2-year-aids, and parent and teacher interviews. Observations in a3 and 4-year-old classroom coupled with extensive teacherinterviews provided insights into teachers’ assumptions and valueswhich guided their interactions. Observations of the 2-year-oldswere coded into art episodes, and analyzed in terms of behaviours,interactions, and values.Based on Vygotsky’s idea that children’s shift from biologicaldevelopment to higher cognitive functioning occurs throughinterpersonal interaction, children’s exploratory use of materialswas described. Analysis of their explorations revealed thatintentionality and visual interest were crucial components in theirart experiences. Analysis suggested that children as young as 211years possess aesthetic sensitivity. There did not appear to beany single factor that could account for children’s selection orplacement of colors or marks on a piece of paper.Social interactions around art-making occurred within spatial-temporal frames which contributed to the way the art-making contextwas defined by the participants. Through interpretations derivedfrom interactions with peers and adults, children constructedunderstanding about cultural values for work, production,ownership, and neatness. They learned little about art skills orthe relationship of their art-making experiences to art in theadult world.The study concludes with presentation of an interactionistmodel of children’s artistic expression which describes thedialectical relationship between biological development and socialinteraction. The model eliminates the need to debate issues aroundinnate or cultural origins of children’s visual expression,through its inclusion of biological and social components. Usingthe interactionist model and Vygotsky’s notion of scaffolding canhelp teachers address conflicts surrounding the definition ofdevelopmentally appropriate art education for young children.iiiTABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT iiLIST OF FIGURES viiiPREFACE . . . . . ixACKNOWLEDGMENTS XiCHAPTER I. THE RESEARCH PROBLEMStatement of the ProblemStatement of the Research QuestionsBackground to the ProblemPersonal SearchA Contextualjst-Jnteractjonjst ViewPiagetian Dominance of Child Development TheoryVygotsky’s Social View of DevelopmentSignificance of the StudyDefinition of TermsOverview of the StudyCHAPTER II. CHILDREN’S ARTISTIC EXPRESSIONIntroductionDevelopmental Stages: Assumptions and CautionsPerspectives and Guiding QuestionsChild-Centered StudiesLack of Research About Children’sNon-Representational FormsPossible Reasons for Lack of ResearchSources of Art Expectations for Two-Year-OldsDevelopmental Studies .Lowenfeld and BrittainGestalt perspectiveCriticismCase StudiesEngMatthewsGardnerMotor ActivityProduction Strategies .Development in Other MediaPaintingClay/Play dough . .The Relationship of Media toMulti-Domain Symbol SystemsMedia StudiesSocio-Cultural StudiesStudies in Non-North American CulturesPeer or Adult InfluencesArt Understanding• 11226• 7912• 141516• 1818182022Representations2223252525262929303132333537373842424547475154ivSummary .. 55CHAPTER III. THEORIES AND FOUNDATIONS OF INTERACTIONISM . . 59Symbolic Interactionism and Children’sDevelopmentLinks to Artistic ExpressionSummaryCHAPTER IV. METHODFieldwork TheoryAssumptionsEthnographic RootsDescriptive Research in Art EducationPhenomenological AspectsPreliminary ProceduresResearcher ReflexivityProject SelectionStudy DesignSite Selection .GatekeepersSite DescriptionThe Observed GroupRole of the Researcher as ParticipantPhase IData CollectionLimitations of collection methodsReliability and ValidityTriangulationRefocusing to Increase TriangulationPossibilities“Indefinite triangulation”Constructing a Taxonomic AnalysisReflection and Refocusing Leading to Phase IIPhase IIOriginsSite SelectionDescriptionResearcher’s RoleProceduresPhaseIllSummary of Phases I, II and III .LimitationsDefinition of TermsArt materialsEpisodesInteractionTransitional EpisodeInterrupted Activity949696979898100101102102105105105106107107Artistic5968727373737476777879798181828283848686888989909192vCHAPTER V. HOW CHILDREN USED ART MATERIALSChildren’s Responses to InherentMaterialsDrawing MaterialsPaintGlueCollageScissorsClay/Play DoughIntentionalityAttention ShiftsAesthetic SensitivitySocial FactorsProperties of109109110112114116117118119123124127FramesDefinition: Frames in the ECE SettingPhysical Space ExpectationsRoutines as Temporal FramingMedia Centered Routines and RitualsDrawing routinesPainting routinesClay/Play dough routines . .Glue and collage routines . .InteractionsInteractions as Defining ActivitiesNonverbal InteractionsVerbal InteractionsLabellingRecognitionScaffoldingCHAPTER VII. CONCLUSIONSReview of the StudySummary of the FindingsChildren’s Use of the Tools and Art MediaHow 2-year-old children used tools/implementsand art media in a social settingHow adults frame the art-making process forchildrenHow adult-child interactions define theart-making processHow child-child interactions define theart-making processCHAPTER VI: INTERACTION IN THE CLASSROOMValues, Frames, and InteractionsIntroductionValuesWork and PlayProduct and OwnershipMessy Art as Purification• . • 128128128130• . . 135137• • . 140144• • • 144145148• . • 149• • . 153• • • 154• • . 157• . • 159• . . . 161• • . • 161• . . . 161• • . . 170• • • • 170173• . • 174• • . . 182182• • . . 183• • . • 183183185187188viThe relationship between tool use and meaningacquisition for 2-year-olds using artmaterials 189An Interactionist Model of Children’s Artistic Expression(Diagram) 191An Interactionist Model of Children’s ArtisticExpression 192Implications of the Study 194The Interactionist Model of Children’s ArtisticExpression . 194Limited Comparative Possibilities 194Uncovering Teachers’ Values and Assumptions 196Conclusion 199REFERENCES 200APPENDIX A DETAIL OF ART AREA 216APPENDIX B TWO-YEAR-OLD CLASSROOM 217APPENDIX C THREE AND FOUR-YEAR-OLD-CLASSROOM 218APPENDIX D AGES OF TARGETED CHILDREN 219APPENDIX E DATES OF OBSERVATIONS 220APPENDIX F OBSERVATION AND INTERVIEW DATES . 221APPENDIX G STAFF MEMBERS 222APPENDIX H ART BEHAVIOURS TAXONOMY 223APPENDIX I MESSY AND NON-MESSY ART ACTIVITIES 229APPENDIX J SAMPLE PARENT-TODDLER SCHEDULE . 230APPENDIX K ART BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE 231viiLIST OF FIGURESAn Interactionist Model of Children’s Artistic Expression 191viiiPREFACEArticles based on the work described in this thesis haveappeared in publication. Segments of the discussion aboutscribbling in Chapter II, and some of the anecdotal episodes cited,appeared in my 1990 article, “More than Movement: ScribblingReassessed”, published in Visual Arts Research, 16(1), 83-89 andreprinted in L. Y. Overby (Ed.) (1991). Early Childhood CreativeArts: Proceedings of the International Early Childhood CreativeArts Conference (pp. 112-120). Reston, VA: American Alliance forHealth, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.Portions of the discussion about values, which emerged fromthe study of the 3 and 4-year-old classroom, will be publishedunder the title, “Preschool Children’s Socialization Through ArtExperiences.” It will be included in an anthology of articles aboutearly childhood art education published by the National ArtEducation Association.An original version of the discussion of Mead, Vygotsky andsymbolic interactionism was published in 1987 as “SymbolicInteractionism as a Theoretical Perspective for the Study ofChildren’s Artistic Development” in Working Papers in Art Eduction,(6), 69—77.I originally cited the quotation from Elizabeth Peabody andincluded some of the ideas based on Efland’s description of schoolart in a 1989 article, “Pestalozzian and Froebelian Influences onContemporary Elementary School Art.” This was published in Studiesin Art Education, 30(2), 115-121.ixSome of the episodes described in this study appear in thevideotape, Beginnings in Art, which I wrote (David Rosenbaum, filmeditor) and which was produced by the University of BritishColumbia Child Study Centre.xACKNOWLEDGMENTSI would like to express my appreciation to my advisor, Dr. RonMacGregor and Dr. Glen Dixon, Centre Director, who provided initialencouragement and support for this project. Ron facilitated theproject through providing funding from a Social Sciences andHumanities Research Council Grant. I am grateful that theycontinued in their encouragement and support as mentors throughoutthe time it has taken to bring this project to fruition. Dr. RitaWatson and Dr. Elvi Whittaker guided me to Vygotsky, Mead andBlumer.The study would not have been possible without the cooperationof the teachers, parents and children; Jeanette Andrews and LaraLackey, observers; Isabel Spears,typist; and Sheila Hall, RayHartley, David Rosenbaum, and Shawn Wilson, camera operators.Computer assistance was provided by John Risken, Gerry andLynn Hushlak, and Sean McLennan. A number of colleagues and staffat the University of Calgary, especially Helen Diemert andKatherine Ylitalo, read drafts and offered helpful comments.A special thank you to my family. Jennifer spent part of hersummer editing this paper. My husband, Richard Hirabayashi,supplied intellectual challenges, phenomenological insights, andpractical support. I am unable to express my gratitude to mymother, Audrey Sandkuhle, for her contribution so I dedicate thisthesis to her.xi1CHAPTER I. THE RESEARCH PROBLEMStatement of the ProblemThe problem investigated in this field study is how childrenused art tools and materials and how they constructed meaning aboutthe purposes of these media through interaction with peers andadults. This study is an attempt to broaden understanding ofchildren’s artistic development, and to present evidence for atheoretical model that includes social interaction as a significantfactor in children’s artistic development.This contextually-based investigation focused on 2-year-oldchildren who used art materials provided regularly as part of aweekly 2-hour, 8-month preschool program. The study wastheoretically grounded in symbolic interactionism and Vygotskianpsychology.Theengaginga)study focuses on three aspects of the process of childrenin art experiences:how children use materials (how children hold brushes,select colors, make marks, etc.);b) how children construct meaning about art-making throughinteraction in a group setting (a physical and socialenvironment); andc) how these two components of the process of art-making arerelated.2Statement of the Research QuestionsTo facilitate identification and analysis of the relationshipof social interaction to children’s artistic activity, fivespecific research questions were addressed:1. How do 2-year-old children use tools/implements and artmedia in a social setting?2. How do adults frame the art-making process for children?3. How do adult-child interactions define the art-makingprocess?4. How do child-child interactions define the art-makingprocess?5. What is the relationship between tool use and meaningacquisition for 2-year-olds using art materials?Background to the ProblemMany researchers have regarded learning how to draw as auniversal process (Arnheim, 1967; Lowenfeld & Brittain, 1975;Schaefer-Simmern, 1948/1961). Systematic description andclassification of children’s drawings in an age-related, sequentialmanner has existed, with variations according to individualresearchers, for approximately one hundred years, beginning withSully’s (1896) description of three stages: formless scribble,primitive design, and sophisticated treatment of humans andanimals. More recently, Lowenfeld (1947), Brittain (1979), andKellogg (1970) have delineated variations of these stages. Inherentin the universal developmental model is an assumption that thereis a factor (or factors), innate within the child, which directs3the child to follow a predictable progression of visual lineformations. Underlying the work of researchers seeking to identifyrules which children employ when drawing (Goodnow, 1977; Freeman,1977; Willats, 1981; Wolf & Perry, 1988), may be an assumption thatinnate, organic factors play a role in determining the course ofrule acquisition, even if children are “learning” the rules thatthey apply to the drawing task. However, Gardner (1980) stated,“no simple set of factors is likely to provide a satisfactory, letalone exhaustive accounting of how drawing skills develop” (p. 37).Most research in child art has focused on children’srepresentations in drawing to the extent that studies in child arthave become almost synonymous with drawing. However, there havebeen a few studies of children’s representation in other media suchas painting (Smith, 1972), and clay or play dough (Golomb, 1974;Brown, 1975). This study does not focus exclusively on drawingmaterial because the transition from tool use to higher symbolicfunction is not limited to drawing, and because a variety of artmedia are included as part of a typical preschool art program.In the field of developmental psychology, “development” hasbeen used ambiguously to imply both innate or qenetic factors andehange that results from learning (Reber, 1985). This ambiguityis reflected in the literature on children’s artistic development;researchers in children’s art can be found positioned at variouspoints between the poles of innate and learned behaviour.Developmental stage theory also carries with it an assumption4that the forms children create, although mystifying in theirorigins, are still the result of a relatively simple processresting primarily with the individual child, who expressesidiosyncratic and universal aspects of human development.During the past ten years, art educators (Hamblen, 1985;Lewis, 1982; Rush, 1984; Swann, 1985; Wilson & Wilson, 1981) havebegun to debate the usefulness of developmental stage theories, andhave begun to seek other ways of investigating and understandingchildren’s art. Hamblen argued for a sociopsychological frameworkto examine children’s artistic expression on the grounds that,although developmental theories have permitted descriptions of thecommmon forms children create, these theories are inadequatebecause they are based on a predefined end (realism). Culturalinfluences are minimized, and the relationship between child artand adult art, other than the former being preparation for thelatter, is ignored. Rush (1984) wrote in a similar vein,cautioning against the use of developmental stages asprescriptions of children’s potential, rather than as descriptionsof what untrained children do when drawing and painting. Hamblen(1985) stated, “Artistic expression needs to be considered asconsisting of selections or choices for reasons and outcomes thatmake sense within a given context, rather than as a development topredefined ends that are prescribed for all instances” (p. 76).Wilson and Wilson (1981) have assumed that stage theory implies aninnate unfolding of development and cannot account for all thedifferences in children’s art. They have questioned cross-cultural5or cross-generational application of age-related norms, a viewsupported by Hagen (1985). In response to Wilson and Wilson, Lewis(1982) countered that not all those using developmental theoryagree with an innatist position. She argued that developmentaltheory does not necessarily preclude environmental influences.Without abandoning developmental stage research, Lewis concludedthat other research strategies will provide insights intochildren’s art. Golomb (1992) has also rejected a rigid definitionof developmental stages. She makes a case for “an intrinsicallyordered sequence of graphic development” (p. 338) but suggested,“we still need to examine the role of social and culturalvariables” (p. 338). Swann (1985) proposed that developmentalstage theory is perceived to be inadequate because research hasfocused almost exclusively on the products children create, andsuggested there is a need to undertake studies of children involvedin the process of art-making.Common to many of the critiques of developmental theory is thenotion that social or cultural factors must also be considered whenformulating accounts of children’s art work (Alland, 1983; McFee& Degge, 1980; Wilson & Wilson, 1984). Even those individuals whoespouse a universal view of artistic development acknowledge thatcultural differences appear after children begin school (Kellogg,1970; Hamblen, 1985). Korzenik (1979) suggested that it isimportant to examine children’s drawing in the context ofsocialization. Gearhart and Newman (1980) have suggested that someaspects of learning to draw are socially constructed through6teacher-child interactions. Johnson (1982) used an interactionistperspective to examine children’s understanding of their art-makingexperiences.Personal SearchAs an early childhood educator and art specialist, workingwith a group of 2-year-olds for the first time in 1983, my beliefin the adequacy of developmental stage theory in art was challengedwhen I reviewed video tape recordings of classroom activity andnoticed how frequently children who were engaged in using artmaterials watched other children. Although I knew that watchingbehaviour by 2-year-olds had been clearly documented (White, 1975),my knowledge of the literature on the artistic development of youngchildren, including an extensive review of the literature on thesubject during teacher training and independent study, had notprepared me for the behaviour I was observing on video tape. Iobserved children engaged in using art materials, whilesimultaneously involved in many varieties of interactions withtheir teachers, parents and peers. I also observed these 2-year-oldchildren operating at levels and in ways beyond what the literaturehad led me to expect.I acknowledge the important role that understanding artisticdevelopment has had for me as a preschool teacher, because I haveobserved, first-hand, children creating marks and forms in agenerally predictable manner. I have used this information in mydiscussions with parents about their children, and as one basis for7program planning. However, following extensive video observation,I became aware that perhaps I was understanding only part of amore complex process. This problem triggered my personal searchfor a perspective from which to study children’s artistic behaviourwithin the preschool classroom. It might incorporate those commoncharacteristics or universal aspects of art development I hadobserved, while expanding to include those social interactionsoccurring simultaneously within the classroom. I also became awareof how my knowledge of the literature on children’s art hadaffected not only my expectations of children, but alsothe very way I planned and structured the art program, setting upan interactive and mediated set of relationships between the child,the materials, and myself as the teacher, in a network of socialinteractions.A Contextualist-Interactionist ViewAs Swann (1985) pointed out, previous studies of children’sart have focused on the products children create, so there islittle in the developmental literature which provides an adequatetheoretical stance from which to examine the process of art-makingin a particular setting. Here, process is intended to meanexperience, rather than a series of procedures. The search for ameans of understanding the artistic process from this contextualview, rather than from the perspective of developmental norms, hasled me to seek theoretical and methodological support in the fieldsof social psychology, anthropology and sociology. Thus, thetheoretical roots underpinning this study originate in the8pragmatic philosophy of William James, John Dewey and GeorgeHerbert Mead which Pepper has labelled “contextualism” (Mueller &Cooper, 1986, p. 7).Pepper has identified the contextualist stance as one of fourperspectives governing western philosophical and scientificthought. The contextualist view emphasizes the primacy of theimmediate situation as an area of research over a search fornatural laws awaiting discovery. I will adopt the term“contextualist”, rather than the more common term of “pragmatist”,for the purpose of this study, because contextualist will servemore clearly as a reminder that the focus of the study is aparticular situation, or context.Support for social interaction as a factor in artisticdevelopment, as suggested by Gearhart and Newman (1980), can befound in the theoretical position of symbolic interactionism.Grounded in contextualism, symbolic interactionism is based on theteachings of G. H. Mead, and delineated by the sociologist HerbertBlumer (1969). A second source is found in the writings of theRussian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky. Although Mead and Vygotskydiffered in many of their ideas, they shared a conviction thathuman thinking results from a process of interpersonal interactionsthrough which individuals construct meaning about their world.This construction of meaning occurs through interpersonalinteractions around objects, and ideas represented symbolically.9Denzin (1977) discussed child development from theinteractionist perspective as follows:The child, like the adult, is able to shape, define, andnegotiate its relationship to the external world ofobjects, others and social situations. Such aself-conscious organism can define its own reality andits own relationship to that reality. In turn, thechild like other actors, can enter into the organizationof its own developmental sequence, by passing certainstages, regressing to others, ignoring still others, andperhaps creating stages or phases that have yet to beimagined. (pp. 9-10)Placing the study of children’s art into a contextualistframework shifts the focus from the product of children’s work withart materials to the interactions which occur around art-making.This perspective de-emphasizes the linear sequence of developmentadvocated in the universal developmental notion of children’s art,in favor of emphasis on the interactions and interpretationsoccurring during the art-making process. In order to ground thisstudy within a contemporary milieu, I will briefly explore why therole of social interaction as part of artistic development has beenlargely ignored.Piaqetian Dominance of Child Development TheoryThe Piagetian view of children’s cognitive development hasdominated post World War II child development research in NorthAmerica. Art education has been influenced by Piaget’sconstructionist view of child development and by the viewsexpounded by Lowenfeld as early as 1947 (Lowenfeld & Brittain,1975), and others, such as Kellogg (1970). Teachers were to leavechildren’s artistic development, or production of visual formsusing such media as drawing, painting, or modelling materials, to10a natural unfolding process, unimpeded by external influences. Theteacher’s role was to encourage children, but not to teach childrenhow to make art. Smith (1982) criticized Lowenfeld for lacking a“general theory of cognitive-affective development in art” (p.298). Yet, Lowenfeld’s unfolding view did not conflict with thePiagetian view that children’s mental constructions could not bechanged by instruction. They would develop through children’sexperience with materials.In conjunction with this idea of self-taught child art, oneof the key words in art education in the 20th-century has been“self-expression,” which became widely disseminated throughpublication of Lowenfeld’s book, Creative and Mental Growth, in1947. In practice, this mode of teaching encourages art basedlargely on affective characteristics, and skills which the childhas gained from his or her own experience with materials. ThePiagetian perspective has become so entrenched in the field ofpsychology that a reality about the nature of children’s art hasbeen constructed which in turn has determined how we interpret thedevelopmental process, and has directed investigations whichvalidate this perspective.Gardner (1980; 1985), while acknowledging his debt to Piaget,has been critical of applying Piaget’s model based on scientificthinking to creativity and modes of symbolic expression. Light(1986) suggested that in the area of psychology “the hegemony ofthe cognitive over the social has been challenged, and isincreasingly being challenged in contemporary work” (p. 170).11I would suggest that the dearth of studies which haveattempted to account for social influences on children’s artisticdevelopment is due to the strong Piagetian and cognitivist biasesin research on artistic development. Light reached a similarconclusion about the monopoly that Piaget’s theory of cognitivedevelopment has had on the field of developmental psychology. Hewrote, “Earlier theoretical positions which attempted to ground anaccount of cognitive development in the child’s social experiences(Mead, 1934; Vygotsky, 1962) were almost totally eclipsed byPiaget’s essentially individualistic account of cognitivedevelopment” (p. 170).Ingleby (1986) presented arguments for a“social-constructionist paradigm in developmental psychology”(p.305). He has identified several approaches to the creation ofa social-constructionist paradigm, and found a commonality amongthem:What all these approaches have in common is that theybreak down the individual/society dichotomy via thefollowing two—stage argument. First, human thought,perception and action must be approached in terms ofmeanings: secondly, the vehicles of “meaning” are codes(especially language) whose nature is inherentlyintersubjective. Therefore mind is an intrinsicallysocial phenomenon. And if psychology is the science ofmind, then the object of psychology is not individualsbut.. . .what goes on in the space between them: that isthe codes, which structure action. (p. 305)12Vygotsky’s Social View of DevelopmentThe art-making process occurs within a particular setting ata particular time, and includes the skills, interests, and meaningsthat the child has acquired through past experiences andinteractions. Vygotsky defined this combination as the actuallevel of development attained by the child. Children’sconstruction of meaning through interactions with others will occurin the area of development which Vygotsky termed “the zone ofproximal development”, or the level of development the child canattain with the assistance of adults or more advanced peers. Froma stance bearing some similarities to symbolic interactionism,Vygotsky (1978) wrote,From the very first days of the child’s development hisactivities acquire a meaning of their own in a system ofsocial behavior and, being directed towards a definitepurpose, are refracted through the prism of the child’senvironment. The path from object to child and fromchild to object passes through another person. Thiscomplex human structure is the product of adevelopmental process deeply rooted in the links betweenindividual and social history. (p. 30)Vygotsky believed that the beginning of purely humanintelligence, as distinct from animal intelligence, occurs when“speech and practical activity, two previously independent linesof development, converge” (p. 24). Vygotsky defined children’sacquisition of culture as occurring through their acquisition ofthe sign systems, particularly language, of the culture. He notedthat “the use of signs leads humans to a specific structure ofbehavior that breaks away from biological development and createsnew forms of a culturally-based psychological process” (p. 40).13Vygotsky (1978) described signs and tools as having amediating function, while retaining distinctions. The function ofa tool is “to serve as the conductor of human influence on theobject of the activity; it is externally oriented; it must lead tochanges in objects” (p. 55). According to Vygotsky, the sign “isa means of internal activity aimed at mastering oneself” (p. 55).In other words, the sign is a psychological tool or a tool forthinking, not solely grounded in practical activity. Art andwriting are included under the category of psychological tools(Werstch, 1985). Vygotsky concluded that higher psychologicalfunctioning occurs through this combination of tool and sign usage,with mediated psychological activity changing possible mentalfunctions, and an increase in tool use expanding the scope ofactivities “within which the new psychological functions mayoperate” (p. 55).In applying Vygotsky’s notions to the study of children’sartistic development, it becomes apparent that artistic expressioncannot be simply an unfolding process, because artistic expressioninvolves both tools and signs, or representations. Tool use, orin this case children’s use of art materials, is sociallyconstructed, as are the signs which are expressed with them.Consequently, it is necessary to study both tool use and children’stransition from lower to higher symbolic functioning, apparentthrough their acquisition and use of named visual forms andrecognizable representations in their art work, in order to develop14a more adequate description and explanation of children’s artisticexpression.Significance of the StudyIn art education, past dependence on autonomous views ofdevelopment has perpetuated a belief that children’s artisticdevelopment is largely an internal process where exploration orinteraction with materials provides the means for mental change orgrowth. Looking at artistic expression from an interactionistperspective will allow the researcher to investigate the rolesocial interaction plays in children’s art. This perspective isnot intended to discredit or replace developmental studies, norchallenge developmental psychologists to abandon their research,even though these two stances may seem to be philosophicallycontradictory. It is based, instead, on the assumption thatartistic behaviour is not a simple process but instead depends oncomplex interactions between the child and other individuals.Individual development is one component of a more complexstructure. This study is intended to demonstrate that a morecomprehensive understanding of children’s artistic expression canbe gained through an examination of the interactions which definethe art-making process for children.Although the study is framed as one of children engaged inart-making, adults, especially teachers, become key participantsin the research as, through teacher-child encounters, theirconscious and unconscious notions of art and art-making arerevealed within the classroom environment. Thus, the study also15will contain insights into teaching practices, and the relationshipthese have to learning in art. Just as the self-expression modelhas influenced art teachers for the past 40 years, theinteractionist model may provide a relevant model for art teachingin the future (Fielding, 1989). These matters are particularlyimportant at the preschool level, where teachers mediate children’suse of materials as they move out of operating at the “biological”level of development into the socially mediated level ofpsychological development.Definition of TermsArt materials, including drawing implements, modellingmaterials, paint, scissors, glue and paper, are materials suggestedby art education and early childhood education textbooks(Herberholz & Hanson, 1990; Lasky & Mukerji, 1980; Schirrmacher,1988) as belonging in an art centre or art program for youngchildren. Although textbooks may suggest additional materials,these materials are commonly used by children and mature artistsalike.In order to differentiate between children’s art seen from thedevelopmental perspective, and the interactionist position takenin this study, I will use the terms art and artistic expression torefer to children’s non-representational and representationalforms, and the production of these forms, which children createusing materials such as drawing implements, (crayons, pencils, feltpens, oil pastels, etc.), paint, clay or play dough, scissors, glueand paper. I will retain the term artistic development where it16has been used within developmental literature. These terms do notimply a value judgment as to the artistic merit of these forms.Swann (1985) has defined the art making process “as asituation in which children actively make sense and display meaningin their world.. . . the situation of art process entails the use andactivities of art materials by children, and the presence of peersand adults” (p. 13). I will retain her intent but substituteexperience for process, to avoid any connotation of procedures.The context in which the art making experience occurs includesthe physical environment composed of the availability, arrangement,and location of materials and workspace; and the social environmentof human interactions composed of teachers, parents, or otheradults, and peers who may be involved in the art making experience(Kelly-Byrne, 1989; McFee & Degge, 1980).Early childhood education is used to refer both to educationfor children prior to school entry in kindergarten, and toeducation for children up to eight years of age. I will use earlychildhood education in this latter sense because I will refer totexts and materials developed for children up to age eight. I willadopt preschool to refer specifically to programs which aredesigned for children prior to kindergarten entry at age 5 years,and preschool-age to include children between the ages of 2 and 5years.Overview of the StudyThe first three chapters introduce theoretical backgroundmaterial from the diverse areas of drawing and children’s art17research, social psychology, and education relevant to an earlychildhood art program. Specifically, Chapter II is a review ofresearch in children’s art including: developmental stage theoryand rule acquisition, children’s physical development, social orcultural influences, and art materials commonly provided inpreschool classrooms. Chapter III presents a discussion of thesymbolic interactionist perspective and Vygotsky’s theories ofdevelopment. In this study, theoretical underpinnings and researchmethod are inextricably linked through common origins in the workof G. H. Mead and Herbert Blumer. Chapter IV introduces theresearch method, including the theoretical foundations of theresearch method, description of the study design and the researchprocess. Chapter V focuses on children’s explorations of theinherent properties of art materials. Chapter VI is an analysisof the art making context and how symbolic interactionism operateswithin this context. Chapter VII summarizes the major findingsfrom Chapters V and VI, introduces an interactionist model ofchildren’s artistic expression and concludes with implications forthe field of early childhood art education.18CHAPTER II. CHILDREN’S ARTISTIC EXPRESSIONIntroductionThe primary focus of this section of the literature review isconcerned with how children use art materials to create visualforms. This question, reflecting the interactive and contextualistperspective guiding the study, presents a shift away from theindividualistic or developmental-psychological tradition forstudying children’s art. This does not mean those studies will beexcluded from this review. On the contrary, they will comprise amajor component of the discussion because they form the descriptivebase of knowledge from which this study has grown. However,important as they are, direct applicability of findings from thosestudies to this study is often limited, due to differences inphilosophical orientation. Additionally, the assumed qualitativedifferences between the art-making of presymbolic children in thisstudy and older children (Hardiman & Zernich, 1988) make directcomparisons impossible.Developmental Stages: Assumptions and CautionsProbably the most common way of categorizing and viewingchange in human behaviour over time has been through the conceptof developmental stages. Descriptions of children’s art from adevelopmental perspective can be found in almost any methods bookfor early childhood and elementary art education. The availabilityof these, in addition to those mentioned at the beginning of thissection (Eisner, 1972; Gardner, 1980; Herberholz & Hanson, 1990;Matthews, 1987; Pariser, 1984; Salome, 1991; Schirrmacher, 1988;19Smith, 1982; Taunton & Colbert, 1984; Wilson & Wilson, 1982a;Winner, 1982) precludes dealing with them in detail here. A briefcritique of developmental theory was presented in Chapter I(Hamblen, 1985; Swan, 1985; Wilson & Wilson, 1981). Someadditional cautions about stage theory are worth noting here.Feldman (1985) defines stages as prototypes “of what perfectlyconsistent performance would be like if a person were ever totallyin one or another of the stages or levels of a domain” (p. 83).Since it is assumed here that an individual may operate at morethan one stage at a time, art work may exhibit forms which can beclassified as originating in different stages. So as to accountfor the idiosyncrasies of individual development, this review willinclude investigations involving subjects older than two years ofage.An additional assumption in developmental stage theory is thatearlier stages are prerequisites for later stages (Rush, 1984).Kratochwill, Rush and Kratochwill (1979) challenged the notion ofdevelopmental stages, suggesting that experience and training mayalso influence the forms children create. Studies by Dubin (1946),Grossman (1980), and Pemberton and Nelson (1987) provide supportfor the view that specific kinds of teaching can increase youngchildren’s skills. Hagen (1985) suggested that while children’swork may exhibit a certain kind of progression, it cannot beassumed that this progression lasts through adulthood, a point shesupports by demonstrating that drawing skills required for systems20of spatial representation in different cultures are not the productof universal age-related development.Perspectives and Guiding QuestionsAn extensive body of literature in children’s drawing hasaccumulated over the past 100 years. Most researchersinvestigating children’s art have looked at children’s drawings,making a study of drawings appear to be synonymous with child art.The emphasis on drawings as a focus for discussion reflects a pastemphasis in the literature. In this study, children’s use of otherart media (paint, and clay or play dough) will be reviewed as well.Many researchers agree about the general course of artisticdevelopment but there are diverse theories as to the reasons forthe appearance and sequence of these forms (Winner, 1982). Clarke(1979) subdivided theories of children’s art into four basiccategories: drawings are based on what children know, see, feel;or drawings represent archetypal images. Strommen (1988) arguedthat two categories suffice: children draw what they see or whatthey know. He contended that over the past 100 years these twobasic perspectives have been recycled and reworked in three majorwaves of writings, in which neither view has provided a moreadequate account than the other. Another debate revolves arounduniversal (innate) versus cultural acquisition as a source ofimages (Wilson, 1985). Other researchers have agreed that in theearly years innate factors are important but are overridden bycultural factors in late childhood or adolescence. The scope ofthis paper does not allow a debate on the validity of these21categories, but it will demonstrate why these separate theories areinadequate to address the question of how children come tounderstand the use of art materials, and how these theories may ormay not fit into a comprehensive view of children’s art.In this section, the studies under review are divided intothree broad categories. They are drawn from the psychological,sociological, anthropological, and art fields, which form thefoundation of this investigation. The categories will help toorganize the literature into a frame useful for later analysis.They include: 1) child-centered studies which describe theprogression (stages) of children’s artistic development, typicalskills, level of symbolic functioning (e.g. ,Gardner, 1980; Kellogg,1970; Matthews, 1984; Smith, 1972) or production strategies (e.g.,Freeman, 1977; Goodnow, 1977; Willats, 1981); 2) socio-culturalstudies designed to examine external (to the child) influences onthe images children create (Alland, 1983; Wilson & Wilson, 1984;Winner, 1989); and 3) media studies that focus on a particularmedium or tool rather than the visual form created with thatmedium.Four questions, reflecting these three categories, guide thisliterature review:1) what investigations about art-making have been undertakenwhich include 2-year-olds as part of the research sample;2) what kinds of visual forms would a visitor to a preschoolclassroom expect to find 2-year-old children creating;223) what is known about the origin of these images(cognitive; perceptual; socio-cultural); and4) what is known about how very young children use media andtools, as distinct from the visual formations they create?Child-Centered StudiesLack of Research About Children’s Non-Representational FormsThe lack of in-depth research in the area of children’snonrepresentational or presymbolic work, has been noted by Clare(1988), Lowenfeld and Brittain (1975), and Matthews (1984). Asurvey of sources for data on 2-year-olds’ art-making includeswriters who have referred to Hpresymbolic!! children in theiroverviews of artistic growth (Arnheim, 1967; Lowenfeld, 1949),longitudinal case studies of individual children (Eng, 1954; Fein,1976), reports by researchers who have included observations oftheir own children’s work as part of their discussion (Clare, 1988;Gardner, 1980; Matthews, 1983, 1984, in press), and studies whichinclude 2-year-old children as part of their populations (Berefelt,1987; Kellogg, 1970; Gardner, 1982; Golomb, 1974, 1981; Lukens,1896; Wolf & Davis Perry, 1988). Of these studies, Berefelt’sexamination of sex differences in drawings by 18-month-olds is theonly study to focus exclusively on work by children under the ageof 2 years. Although a number of investigators, such as Golomb(1974, 1992) and Freeman (1977, 1980), have discussed aspects ofchildren’s first attempts at representation, the data have beenembedded in longitudinal or comprehensive discussions of drawing,thus limiting the depth of their discussion of work by very young23children. What appears at first to be a number of studies focusingon young children are largely findings embedded in the context ofother studies, or as components of discussions about longitudinaldevelopment.Possible Reasons for Lack of ResearchWebster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1989) definesscribble as “making meaningless marks” (p. 1055). The otherdefinitions under scribbling reflect a similar flavour, “to writehastily or carelessly, to fill or cover with careless or worthlesswriting” (p. 1055). The wide use of the term “scribble” todescribe young children’s first mark-making efforts serves both todescribe and define the value of this activity. Probably the mostwidely disseminated description of the beginnings of youngchildren’s graphic development comes from Lowenfeld’s descriptionsof stages of artistic development, in which “the scribble stage”was divided into three sub-stages: disordered, controlled, andnamed (Lowenfeld & Brittain, 1975). This first stage has also beencalled “irregular” (Herberholz & Hanson, 1990; Wilson & Wilson,1982) or “random” (Brittain, 1979). Schaefer-Simmern (1961) calledthe child’s first scribbles “mere traces of motor activity” (p.10).All of these terms are intended to describe multidirectional markscreated with inconsistent pressure on the drawing tool, whichresults in lines of varying width, length, and organization, yetthese terms still convey the notion that early mark-making ishaphazard and purposeless (Tarr, 1990). Consequently, scribblingcarries negative connotations (Lowenfeld & Brittain, 1975;24Matthews, 1984; Matthews, in press; Tarr, 1990) which may havecontributed to the lack of research interest in this area. Toavoid a negative connotation I will use the term mark-making orArnheim’s term (visual)”presentations” (p. 166) whenever possible,although I will remain consistent with other authors’ use ofscribbling when it is used as a specific label or category ratherthan generically.Likewise, investigations into the area of children’sproduction strategies and rule acquisition are cognitivelyoriented, most frequently grounded in a Piagetian perspective whichdescribes young children operating at a sensori-motor level orearly preoperational stage (Case et al., 1986; Dennis, 1987).These terms have been used, by extension, to define and describechildren’s beginnings in art. Judging from the lack of interestin the earliest expressions of mark-making, it seems that asensori-motor categorization has provided most researchers with anadequate account for drawing at this level. This lack of interestin very young children may also reflect a deficit model in whichnon-representational forms are discounted in favor ofrepresentational forms (Matthews, in press). Other contributingfactors suggested by Tarr (1990) may include lack of communicationbetween the fields of early childhood education and art educators(Colbert, 1984), and the priorities exacted by formal education,which have resulted in a research emphasis on children five yearsand older.25Sources of Art Expectations for Two-Year-OldsDevelopmental StudiesThe general course of artistic development has been outlinedas scribbling, preschematic forms, which includes the creation ofbasic shapes, designs, and outlines topologically resemblingobjects from the child’s world, followed by increasingly deliberateattempts at creating realistic drawings.Lowenfeld and Brittain. Although not the originator ofdevelopmental stage theory, Lowenfeld provided descriptions ofstages that are the most widely used in North America as standardexpectations for children’s art. In the early editions of Creativeand Mental Growth, Lowenfeld (1949) classified scribbling (2 - 4years) as “disordered” which is solely the visual record of thechild’s kinesthetic activity; “longitudinal,” which consists oflinear repetitions created when the child begins to relate andcontrol the marks produced with back and forth arm movements;“circular,” produced by changes in arm movements which create morecontrolled circular shapes (later these two were combined into“controlled” scribbling); and “named scribbling”, indicating ashift from interest in motor activity to representation. It isonly during this stage, according to Lowenfeld, that color may beused beyond “mere enjoyment” (p. 20)Brittain (1979), using extensive observations of preschoolchildren as his source, lowered the age to 1 - 2-1/2 years forrandom scribbling, followed by about one year of controlledscribbling, with named scribbling beginning about 3-1/2 to 4 years.26Children’s first representational attempts follow named scribbling.Holladay (Brittain, 1979) described 2-year-olds as grippingdrawing implements “like a hammer,” with their fingers wrappedaround the tool, and drawing without moving the fingers or wrist.Drawing time was less than a minute per paper and “these drawingsare scribbled with no concern about filling the paper or drawingin any particular area” (p. 51). According to Holladay,3-year-olds seem more purposeful, attending to where they place themarks on the paper. By employing a grip more like an adult gripthey could control pressure on the pencil. They spent close to 2minutes on each drawing.Gestalt perspective. Arnheim (1967) wrote about children’sgraphic development from the perspective of Gestalt psychology.He acknowledged the role of kinesthetic activity and vision as thechild invents a “structural equivalent” (p. 162) in a givenmedium, proceeding from generalized or undifferentiated forms tospecific and complex forms. For example, the first circular formschildren create are not round objects, but are only “presentations”(p. 166) of objects, later becoming equivalents for round things.The early tadpole figure, consisting of a circular head and twostraight lines, provides an adequate representation of a human toa young child who is not interested in creating a realisticrepresentation or highly detailed depiction of a human. Arnheim’stheories have been influential in the writings of otherresearchers, such as Golomb.27Kellogg (1970) described children’s artistic development asself—taught. In the Gestalt tradition, she emphasized “brainpreference” as the prime determinant in the construction andarrangement of forms in children’s art. According to Kellogg, theuse and continuation of particular forms in children’s art are dueto the brain’s preference for certain balanced, “good” (p. 32)forms which the child remembers and adapts. She takes adevelopmental stance in describing changes in visual formations asan evolving process, in which children create forms based onearlier markings. “Scribbles” are arranged in “placement patterns”on the paper. These patterns of markings occur in particulararrangements relative to the edge of the paper and are suggestiveof the “diagrams” (basic shapes) which children combine intodesigns and later pictorial work. Kellogg is one of the fewresearchers who has studied non-representational drawings and whogave them a specific, rather than a general role in the developmentof representational forms. Placement patterns are important toKellogg because they indicate forming and shaping in the drawingsof very young children. However, other researchers have questionedKellogg’s placement pattern theories. Golomb (1981) could notreliably replicate Kellogg’s placement pattern categories whenclassifying children’s non-representational work. Clare (1988)interpreted the patterns and position of marks on paper to be theresult of the child’s position relative to the paper, the hand usedby the child, and the construction of arm and hand. Although heunderplayed the eye-brain influence on placement of marks, he did28agree with Kellogg that vision and visual tracking of marks wereimportant, as evidenced in his son’s early drawing. The importanceof vision in drawing has been supported by Brittain (1979), Gardner(1980), Gibson and Yonas, (1967) and Matthews (1983; 1984).While unable to support Kellogg’s building block theory in herown research, Golomb has accepted the view that the early work ofchildren is largely self-taught (Golomb, 1974). She observed thatchildren learned from previous experience, and over the course ofa single drawing session could progressively draw more complexrepresentations of human figures. She has rooted herinvestigations of artistic development in the Gestaltisttradition, aligning her theoretical position with Arnheim’s ideathat children are not interested in creating a pictorial likenessof an object, but rather in finding structural equivalences in aparticular medium (Golomb, 1974).Golomb (1981, 1992; Golomb & Farmer, 1983) found that childrenwho usually drew non-representational forms could draw a personwhen requested to do so. Golomb also found that children who werenot yet drawing human forms could do so when the researcherdictated body parts to the child. Golomb and Farmer interpretedtheir findings as not supporting Kellogg’s building block notionthat representational forms are dependent upon the child’s abilityto combine previously mastered shapes or markings. Golomb (1992)provided additional information from cross-cultural research tosupport her position that representational formations are notdependent upon an individual’s previous scribbling experience.29Freeman (1977, 1980) suggested that children who were not yetdrawing representational forms could, nevertheless, accommodatetheir mark-making to pre—drawn forms, because their marks wereoriented to a pre-drawn circle and incomplete human face. Heobserved nonrepresentational children accurately completingpartially drawn human figures and concluded children could beassisted toward representation.Criticism. Wilson and Wilson (1981) have been critical ofadherence to norms outlined over 40 years ago, and citecontradictions in the way in which Lowenfeld and Brittainclassified specific drawings. This leaves open to questionwhether these stage descriptions are relevant to a contemporaryclass of 2-year-olds. Developmental stage theory does not accountfor all children’s graphic depictions. Nadia, an autistic childwith extraordinary drawing ability, has challenged theorists as tothe origins of her graphic ability (Gardner, 1982; Pariser, 1984;Selfe, 1977; Winner, 1982). Selfe (1985) cites examples of otherautistic children, Stephen and Simon, who demonstrated outstandinggraphic ability.Case StudiesThree writers who have observed individual children’s artisticexpressions over time are helpful in setting forth someexpectations for children in their second and third year of life,and in determining how individual children may illustrate thedevelopmental process.30g. In documenting her niece’s drawing development, Eng(1954) noted that Margaret first scribbled at 10 months of age whena pencil was placed in her hand after her aunt had drawn a figure.Spontaneous scribbling following at just over 14 months. At thistime Margaret created “typical wavy scribbling, the usual resultof the first attempts of a child to draw” (p. 3) which shecontinued to produce until 18 months, when she created circularmarks. Eng postulated that the impetus for Margaret’s first marksand the change to circular marking may have come from Margaretimitating adults. At first Margaret switched hands as she drew,then settled on her right hand at 16 months. At 20 months Margaretcreated “variegated scribbling” (p. 5) which included a variety ofloops, zig-zags, and straight and curved lines massed together.Over subsequent weeks, she began to separate and spread theseacross the paper as she practiced. Margaret named her scribblesat 22 months and these named forms became distinct forms createdfrom circular and straight lines. She created her first head-legs(tadpole) figure at 22 months, adding many dots for eyes, andfinally extending her figures with a vertical line from the head,to a circular scribble shape from which projected two very closelyspaced lines. (Eng considered her niece precocious in developingthe human figure.) At about this time Margaret began to ask adultsto draw objects for her, and apparently, Margaret also began to usecolored pencils. During her third year Margaret continued to drawwith an adult, and continued to refine and extend her forms. Sheused circles rather than dots for eyes, and a single line for a31mouth. She also expanded her drawing repertoire to includerectangles and crossed rectangles (Kellogg’s mandalas) which sheused to create tram cars.Matthews. Matthews (1983), documenting his three children’sartistic development from birth, provided specificity to thegeneral accounts provided by Lowenfeld and Brittain. Matthewsnoted that “the basis of very young children’s drawing is bodyaction” (p. 5) and three infant gestures are used when the youngchild begins to draw or use a tool leaving a mark: “vertical arc”created by reaching for an object, “horizontal arc” created bysweeping or smearing actions on a flat surface, and “push-pull”motions. Matthews described these gestures as used at first tocreate discontinuous lines, which become more complex as movementscombine and new forms such as “continuous rotations” emerge. Thesemotions are practiced with many materials other than art media.According to Matthews, these shapes and lines which originate insensori-motor actions are “adopted and adapted” (p. 13) later forrepresentational purposes. The gestures and related marks revolvearound the child’s body, and he suggested that the orientation ofthe child’s body to the paper is part of the learning process. Themarks provide a visual record for the child of the action, whichprovides visual feedback for the child’s future action (Matthews,1987).Matthews (1983) wrote,Drawing is often part of a greater spatio temporal gamein which the child may be, for example, as interested inremoving and replacing the pen caps, sucking the crayon,or using it as a toy. What is so striking is the32studious and often painstaking experimentation withmarker, movement and mark. (p. 12)In the early stages, according to Matthews, children representaction or the motion of objects and “figurative representation,”which depicts the form that the child recognizes as having aresemblance to an object in the real world. He documented thesebefore the child created a single closed form.Matthews (1984) illustrated “action representation” throughthis example of his son Ben painting at 2.1 years:With a paint brush on paper, Ben describes a near circularcourse, rotating the brush around the area of the paper in acontinuous series of overlapping spirals. As he revolves thebrush on its elliptical journey, he says; “it’s going roundthe corner. It’s going round the corner...” And as the paintline becomes subsumed under layers of paint, thus losingvisual contrast, he says, “....it’s gone now....“ (pp. 4-5)While Matthews believes that the drawing process isself-initiated and self-directed (Matthews, in press), he also hasacknowledged the importance of social interaction in the drawingprocess. Following analysis of a painting sequence involving hisdaughter and her mother, Matthews (in press) described theintersubjective understanding between mother and child in whichthe mother scaf folded the painting situation to facilitate herdaughter’s independent activity. He concluded that “more researchis needed into the structure and organisation of this interpersonalsupport.”Gardner. Gardner (1980) described in some detail his sonJerry’s mark making at age 2 years. Like Margaret, Jerry wasfascinated with having others draw faces for him, sometimesdictating parts to be included, even before he could draw them33independently. Gardner mentioned the role that imitation playedin Jerry’s development. In one incident Jerry imitated hisfather’s banging actions with a felt marker, and in another Jerrynamed a mark following his father’s labelling of a drawing.Motor ActivityIt is clear from these previous discussions that motoractivity and symbolic representation are closely related. There isbeginning to be some consensus about the concepts inherent withinnon—representational line formations. In a study ofprerepresentational children, Holladay described seven differentaspects to mark-making: “Differentiated scribbles; random lengthdirectional marks, longitudinal, circular, individual circles,combinations of lines and shapes and geometrical drawings ordecorative drawings with some degree of symmetry” (Brittain, 1972,p. 22).In her study of children’s development in painting, Smith(1979a) identified a sequence of linear explorations, which occuronce the child has completed an initial exploration period. Theseare similar to those Holladay identified, and include:movement, continuity, discreteness, beginning andending, curvedness and straightness, direction relativeto itself, orientation relative to itself, orientationrelative to the paper space, length, width,combinability, capability of defining shape, andcapability of defining and separating two continuousshapes. (Smith 1979a, p. 21)Three researchers (Matthews, Clare, Smith) have examined therole of gesture and motor activity in artistic development assymbolic activity. Matthews (1983; 1984) focused on infant gestures34and the relationship these gestures have to later art forms. Heconcluded,Because similar body dynamics are enjoyed by mostchildren this tends to govern the form of early drawingand direct its future course. In these self-generatedtwo-dimensional stimuli children often notice the sameor similar correspondences in the world. Thus, we seea similar content in the drawings over a wide socialrange of children. (1983)Smith has written extensively on symbolic development,particularly as it relates to painting (1979a, 1979b, 1982, 1983).Using Werner and Kaplan’s theory of symbolic development, Smithdescribed the relationship between the “vehicle”, or medium used,and the “referent”, or concept being represented, as an interactiveprocess in which the symbol modifies the concept of the medium andthe medium modifies the symbol. The forms of symbolizationavailable to the child and the child’s experiences with thematerial synthesize in the symbol the child creates, through whatSmith terms as “a kind of dialogue between the nature of the paintand the ever growing mind of the child” (1983, p. 6).Smith (1972) concluded that children employ similar motoractions as they use various media and “the same limitedmotor-rhythmic movements by the child produce different results”in different media, thus acknowledging a relationship betweenmaterial and action (1979a, p. 20). Smith (1972, 1981), drawingfrom Berger and Luckmann (1966), acknowledged that mind is sociallyconstructed, in a dialectical relationship in which people shapereality, which in turns shapes them. According to Smith, thesymbol and the individual’s conception of objects are constructed35by the mind and come to constitute reality. Relating thisperspective to painting, she includes motor, media and cognitivefactors as contributors to the child’s artistic development, buther model is inadequate in that it stops short of providing a fullaccount for the social construction of mind as it relates to youngchildren. This may be due to some major assumptions and conditionsof her study: 1) she was grounded in an innatist developmentalview, and her youngest subjects were 3 years-old, still largelyinfluenced by genetic factors, and 2) she worked from a strongPiagetian base which allowed for less emphasis on socialinteraction.Production StrategiesResearchers who have investigated children’s productionstrategies, or the rules they use in creating visual forms, haveidentified such production strategies as “to each its own space”(Goodnow, 1977), arm placement on the largest of two body segments(Freeman, 1977), and use of transformation and denotation systemsin object representation (Willats, 1981). More detailed accountscan be found in Butterworth (1977) and Freeman and Cox (1985).These studies form a major component of the literature onchildren’s drawing, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s. Thecognitive perspective inherent in these studies and the age oftheir research populations, (usually 5-year-olds) means that theyare not particularly informative for a contextual study of2-year-olds.36As part of the Project Zero research, Wolf and Davis Perry(1988) extended the notion of children acquiring a system forsymbolization to a multi-systems approach in which children mayacquire several systems for graphic depiction and notation. Theydefined a drawing system asa set of rules designating how the full-sized,three-dimensional, moving, colored world of ongoingvisual experience can be translated into a set of markson a plane surface. At least implicitly, any drawingsystem contains two types of rules: (1) rules specifyingthe kinds of information it is crucial to represent(e.g., characteristic motions, position, size, etc.),and(2) rules regarding which aspects of the individualdrafter’s behavior (e.g., his motions, speech, marks,etc.) are entitled to carry meaning. (p. 19)Wolf and Davis Perry (1988) have identified the followingdrawing systems utilized by children under the age of 3 years.Children begin with “object-based representations” (12-14 months)when they use or substitute drawing materials for other objects.This symbolic activity is followed by “gestural representations,”or what Matthews called “action representation”. According to Wolfand Davis Perry,children first make planful use of graphic properties intheir “point-plot representations” which appear atapproximately twenty months. In these primitivedrawings, children manage to record the number andlocation of an object’s features, using the papersurface to integrate these parts into a whole.. . .Hereonly existence, number and position -not shape or coloror volume-are being inscribed. Nevertheless, suchplottings mark the first system in which it is thequalities of marks, more than the attendant behavioursof the child, that carry meaning. (p. 20)Wolf and Davis Perry propose that children incorporate a newdrawing system when they attend to the traces of marker on paper(18-30 months) which they call “discovered geometry” because it now37includes relative size and shape. This system is “refined” atabout age 3, when children can deliberately create line formationswhich include “rules about representing outside contours, surfaces,and relative sizes” (p. 21).According to Wolf and Davis Perry, children’s development thenprogresses in two ways: acquisition of new systems and refinementof existing systems. A key point raised by these authors is thatthese systems are not all developed to create realisticrepresentations, but to fulfill a variety of symbolic functions.From these general discussions about the developmental processand specific examples of children’s growth, it becomes clear thata variety of factors come into play, e.g. kinesthetic activity,vision, and cognitive activity.Development in Other MediaVery little work has been done investigating children’s visualexpression in media other than drawing. Project Zero researchershave included cross media representations (Gardner, 1982); Smith(1972, 1981, 1983) has examined children’s painting from ages 3 -11 years; Golomb (1974), Brown (1975, 1984) and Brittain (1979)have been the major researchers to address children’s use of clayand play dough.Painting. Based on her 1972 doctoral study of children’sdevelopment in painting, Smith (1981, 1983) synthesized paintingstages rooted largely in the Lowenfeldian tradition. Stressingthat young children must build up an understanding of paint as aunique material, as well as building concepts of line, shape and38color before they can represent objects through painting, Smith(1983) defined the first stage of development as “motions and themarks they make” (1-1/2- 3 years). During this time the childlearns about lines, shapes, color change, and paper space from thevisual record of kinesthetic activity left as the child moves thebrush and paint around on the paper. During Smith’s second stage“finding out about lines, shapes and colors (3, 4, 5 years)” thechild experiments and makes deliberate choices with regard tomixing colors, creating areas of particular colors, and thelocation, direction and variation of lines. According to Smith,during the age range of 4 - 6 years the child begins to createdesigns with the lines, colors, and shapes explored and masteredduring previous stages. Smith uses the same sequence of beginningrepresentation as Lowenfeld, naming marks, modifying designs to fitan idea, and finally selecting a theme prior to beginning apainting. Children then reach a point where they can choose topaint a design or a representation. Smith (1972) accepts that“this phasing of behaviour is genetically innate, though of course,dependent on opportunity and experience” (p. 3) with increasinginfluence by the culture over time.Clay/Play dough. Although researchers and educators supportusing clay in classroom situations (Smilansky, Hagan & Lewis, 1988;Williams, 1988), and despite the accepted place play dough andsimilar modelling materials have in early childhood classrooms,there has been little systematic investigation about children’s useof these materials (Golomb, 1988; Smilansky et al, 1988).39Three researchers have examined children’s use of a modellingmaterial. Golomb (1974) asked 300 children, between the ages of twoand seven years, in the United States and Israel, to draw aman andto make one in play dough. Golomb found the youngest 2-year-oldsmost passive in their use of play dough; sometimes, they used itwith other toys such as cars. She found a change at around 2.8years when children’s marking became more skillful and controlled,and they employed a variety of motor actions to push, pull,squeeze, pound, and join pieces of play dough. She identified thefirst articulated object as the coil snake.Golomb also found a close relationship between object andaction. She cited examples of children engaged in “actionrepresentation” where they used actions as an aid to representationor to suggest the function of an object. In some cases, such asmaking pancakes, Golomb claimed both action and shape were used tosuggest the object. Language was also an important part ofrepresentation in Golomb’s study. In samples of older 3 and4-year-olds, children used “verbal designation,” naming parts thatwere not clearly visible on the representation more often whenusing play dough than in drawing (p. 11).According to Golomb (1974), the first representations ofhumans in play dough took three forms: “the upright standingcolumn, the ball or slab of dough with facial features, and thearray of separate parts, consisting mainly of facial features butoccasionally including limbs” (p. 19). Golomb noted that Israelichildren flattened the play dough less frequently than American40children, and suggested that Israeli children were less familiarwith the material and did not have those preconceived notions of“dough” and cookie making often associated with it in NorthAmerican centers, where children are frequently provided withrollers for flattening the dough.Brittain (1979) compared clay forms with drawing,hypothesizing that representing a 3-D object in a 3-D materialwould be easier for children than transforming the representationto a 2-D space (e.g. drawing); however, this hypothesis was notsupported. Although some clay pieces compared equally withdrawings, none was more advanced. Some children attempted to usethe clay in a 2—dimensional manner, constructing a human out offlattened forms and coils, similar to children in Golomb’s studyof play dough. Brittain found that if children could not draw aperson, they could not make one in clay.Brown (1975; 1984) studied children’s clay figures when theyhad been asked to “make a man.” Some of her findings for3-year-olds in the 1975 study (not included in her 1984 study) werethat 32% of the girls did so, compared to 4% of the boys. Eighteenpercent of the 3-year-olds created forms that were recognizable asfigures, or heads, which usually consisted of mounds of clay withsome markings in them. Brown observed children using squeezing,pulling, and patting actions similar to those that Golomb hadobserved in her study. Brown’s comparisons between clay figuresand drawings were similar to Brittain’s findings: drawings ratedhigher. Mostly, children used the additive method of construction.41In the 1984 study, Brown found that the clay figures by the5-year-olds were more sophisticated than those of 1975 study, inthat they more often included arms, legs and chins.Golomb (1988) noted that little is known about children’sconceptions of dimensionality, plasticity, and the relationship ofa clay creation to an object, and suggested that much research isneeded to answer these and other questions. Of the limited numberof clay studies which do exist, a proportionately large percentageexamine the effect of teaching strategies on children’s use of clay(Douglas & Schwartz, 1967; Grossman, 1980; Smilansky et al., 1988),in contrast to drawing research where there have been a largenumber of studies of children’s spontaneous drawings or of drawingtasks, and relatively few which examine the result of drawinginstruction (e.g., Kratochwill, Rush & Kratochwill, 1979; Dubin,1946; Pariser, 1984.). An inherent assumption seems to be thatclay or play dough images are less inner-directed than is drawing,and consequently children require instruction in these media.42The Relationship of Media to RepresentationsResearchers have questioned the role media have on children’srepresentations (Ives, Silverman, & Gardner, 1981; Gardner, 1982;Seidman & Beilin, 1984; Golomb, 1974; Brittain & Chien, 1980;Brittain, 1986). Seidman and Beilin described the situation ascontaining two positions: the Piagetian one, which suggests thatrepresentation is similar in all symbolic media due to the factthat representation reflects children’s cognitive level ofdevelopment, and the position (Gardner; Golomb) which suggests thateach medium places its own demands on the child, and calls forthdifferent cognitive skills).Golomb (1974) stressed that the forms children create aredependent upon the task, the medium and the mental age of thechild. In her study of children creating a human in an independentdrawing task, a dictated drawing task, in play dough, or assemblingpuzzle pieces, children created representations unique to eachtask.Ives, Silverman, Kelly and Gardner (1981) compared children’sstorytelling, drawing and clay modelling and found in the firstyear of their study that “while symbolic competence in the artsdoes increase with age, development does not proceed at the samepace or in the same manner across all media” (p. 94).Multi-Domain Symbol SystemsIncreasingly, researchers are focusing on children’sacquisition of interrelated symbol systems of gesture, drawing, andlanguage (Dyson, 1990; Gardner & Wolf, 1979; 1987; Matthews, 1987;43Pemberton & Nelson, 1987). Robbie Case (Case, Marini, McKeough,Dennis & Goldberg, 1986) developed a theory of cognitivedevelopment based on the child’s ability to access working memorycapacity. Case’s neo-Piagetian model describes horizontal mentalstructures across diverse domains such as story telling, drawing,and a balance beam task, which remain constant within a particularstage of development. The first stages are the sensorimotor stage(0 to 1 1/2 years) followed by the relational stage (1 1/2 - 4 1/2years). During the relational stage, children have moved beyondbeing able to coordinate a simple means-end relationship betweenaction and object characteristic of the sensorimotor period. Nowthey “can represent the relationships between objects, and act onor manipulate these two components in a means-end relationship”(Dennis, 1987). Dennis applied Case’s model to children’s drawingto describe a link between the production of a drawing and stagesof drawing development. She used Case’s model to demonstrate commonstructures between children’s problem solving, story telling anddrawing at specific ages (4, 6, 8 and 10 years). While this modelmay be useful in understanding symbolic development across domains,and children’s production strategies in a single drawing, it haslimited applications to this study. The early stages of the Casemodel, as they have been described in these studies, do not shedadditional insights into what 2-year-old children do. Thedescriptions of common structures closely relate to investigationsof the Project Zero Research Project.44Gardner and other Project Zero researchers at Harvardinvestigated children’s symbolic development in 7 areas: language,drawing, 3-dimensional depictions, music, gesture, pretend play,and numerical comprehension (Gardner & Wolf, 1987, p. 309). Unitedin the view that humans possess multiple intelligences or domains,these researchers divided the acquisition of symbolic systems intotwo main components: streams, which describe those aspects uniqueto each symbolic domain, and which are non-transferable betweendomains; and waves, mental processes which traverse the sevensymbolic areas. According to Gardner and Wolf, the waves occur ina developmental sequence between ages of 2 and 6 years, beginningwith the ability to structure roles and events, as evidenced insymbolic play; the ability to represent the world throughtopological or analogical mapping; understanding numericalrelationships; and lastly, the ability to use second-order symbolsystems such as reading and writing.Gardner and Wolf acknowledged cultural-biologicalrelationships and cross-cultural differences in symbolicrepresentation, but cited some examples that indicate that theyhave remained locked into a representational notion about thepurpose for art-making. They imply a hierarchy of levels ofsymbolic development that promotes a deficit view of the beginningsof symbolic thinking.Research undertaken by Project Zero investigators included alongitudinal study of nine children from one year of age toelementary school age. Some of the children were interested in45creating patterns by ordering and arranging the materials, whileother children preferred to use the same materials as a basis forcommunicating with others or telling stories. Gardner (1980)acknowledged that not all subjects could be neatly classifiedas either “patterners” or “dramatists,” but some children showedclear propensity toward one mode or the other.Media StudiesInvestigators have attempted to examine common materialswithin the classroom to determine what differences there are in howmaterials are used, which focused directly on the material asdistinct from the child’s symbolic development or cognitivestructures, e.g. wide and narrow paint brushes, thin and thickcolored pencils, painting at the easel or on horizontal surfaces.These studies provide insights into children’s artistic expressionwhich lie within the possibilities and limitations of a particularmaterial presented in a particular manner. Findings from thesestudies influenced the teachers’ choices of materials for the2-year-olds’ classroom in which the present study took place. Forexample, drawing materials included both thin and thick crayons,felt pens, and pencils; wide and narrow paint brushes wereavailable at the easel.Griffin, Highberger and Cunningham (1981) compared3-year-olds’ painting on a table, with easel painting. This teamof researchers found that for this sample, boys used both handsmore frequently than girls, and made more clockwise circular stokesthan girls, who made more line strokes. In examining hand positions46on the brush, color changes, and the paintings, they concluded thatteachers could facilitate “a more rapid transition to adult gripby eliminating easels from the classroom” (p. 45). This positionreflects an assumption that the faster children adopt an adultgrip, the better. It also is rooted in the deficit model, whichin this case assumes that early hand holds or early paintings haveless value than later ones. The children were studied in isolationfrom the classroom, and other components may have come into play:such as social experiences provided by easel painting whichoutweigh or equalize the drawbacks of easel painting when comparedto table painting. Most helpful about the Griffin et al. study isthe classification system designed for the study to documentchildren’s hand positions and brush strokes.Seefeldt’s study (1973) of kindergarten children’s use of wideand narrow paint brushes set the stage for making both types ofpaint brushes available to the two-year-olds of this study in orderto provide children with an opportunity to choose which theypreferred. The children Seefeldt studied did not demonstrate apreference for either wide or narrow brushes but did include moredetail in paintings when using narrow brushes, and more oftenportrayed a theme or story with narrow brushes. When using widebrushes they experimented with designs and color. Salome (1966)found no significant hand-cramping in kindergarten children whoused colored pencils for drawing, and found they did not includemore details in their drawings, unlike Seefeldt’s findings withregard to narrow paint brushes.47In a study of the relationship of handwriting and writingtools in first-grade classrooms, researchers Lamme and Ayris (1983)determined that there were variations in teacher and studentpreferences for specific tools, with the primary pencil being leastpreferred by children, and suggested that children could be offeredchoices for writing. There did not appear to be any advantage tousing thick primary pencils in terms of legibility over felt pensor regular pencils.Castrup, Am and Scott (1972) described 4 and 5-year-oldchildren’s use of materials. This study set some guidelines forexpectations of younger children. For example, most childrencould make balls, flatten forms and join clay together; tear paperalong a line, and hold scissors correctly, but fewer than halfcould hold a brush in adult grip, use a “proper” amount ofglue or mix paints thoroughly.Socio-Cultural StudiesStudies in Non-North American CulturesGardner and Wolf (1987) acknowledged that despite controversy,there is “increasing recognition that culture plays a formativerole in human psychology and it is a mistake to think of theindividual (or his mind or his brain) as divorced from suchformative influences” (p. 307). Korzenik (1979) combined theoriesof Piaget, Berger and Luckmann, and Speier to suggest thatchildren’s art is closely related to the process of socialization,with links between children’s drawings and children’s socialmaturity. In other studies, the Wilsons, Alland, and Court all48found support for peer or cultural influences on children’sdrawings. Traditionally, artists have learned to draw from otherartists (Duncum, 1984) and from cultural images (Robertson, 1987;Wilson & Wilson, 1982a, l982b, 1984, 1987) yet these influenceshave not received much recognition in the traditional study ofchildren’s artistic development.The Wilsons investigated peer influence on children’s artisticdevelopment and concluded that in the beginning there are innatefactors which influence children’s drawings, but by elementaryschool-age, children have learned to draw forms from each other(Wilson & Wilson, 1982, 1984, 1987) . The drawings by Onfim, a 13thcentury child, lend support to universal aspects of drawing (Yanin,1985). While Onfim’s drawings bear resemblance to drawings ofcontemporary young children, the linear body-leg depiction is notone typically described in contemporary literature.The Wilsons used the “disappearance of the two-eyed profile”(1982a, 1982b), a graphic form once considered innate, as anexample of a visual image passed from child to child which has nowdisappeared in North America. They found differences in thegraphic forms created by city and rural Egyptian children whichthey attributed both to peer and cultural influences, such astelevision (Wilson & Wilson, 1984). In a more recent study (1987)they extended their comparison to include narrative drawings byrural Egyptian children with those by Japanese children. In Japan,there is an abundance of narrative graphic images, particularly inthe form of comics, which are widely read by all ages. They found49that the 3rd and 6th grade Japanese children’s work illustratedfewer features which have been considered typical of child art,such as isolated rather than overlapped figures. The Japanesedrawings more closely resembled the graphic models of the comics,while the Egyptian village children’s work more closely resembledwhat is considered typical for children’s composition. Theyconcluded that these differences occurred because Japanese childrenwereable to override many innate dispositions towardproducing simple nonoverlapping perpendicularly orderedforms. By contrast, the Egyptian children got two dosesof intrinsic biases - one from their biological heritageand one from their cultural heritage. This explanationis supported by other studies which provide evidencethat children’s art from different times and cultures isas stylistically distinct as that of adult artists whoworked at different times and in different places.(p. 15).Court (1989) concluded that “change in drawing performance,after infancy, is more closely associated with social influencessuch as the pooi of available imagery and the opportunity to drawthan it is to natural factors such as age or ability” (p. 65).For her investigation of drawings by rural Kenyan children, Courtcollected data in several traditional cultural groups. She founddistinct subject preferences for free choice drawings by each ofthe groups, with rural Kikuyu youngsters featuring houses as thefocus of their drawings, Luo children drawing small figures withother images such as boats, and Samburu children frequentlyincluding animals. In drawings of themselves eating, the childrenincluded tables, something not part of their traditional culture.Court concluded that these depictions of tables using an inverted50perspective had been influenced by “the school art style” sincethis drawing device appeared in teaching materials commonthroughout the country. In a pilot study of Kenyan 3- to8-year-olds attending school, Court found that after age 5 years,children’s figure drawings were highly conforming and changedlittle, apparently due to “overly directive teaching techniques”(p. 77).Winner (1989) reported on a visit to China where she observedchildren being taught two modes of representation, traditionalwatercolor techniques and a western influenced painting technique.In each, the teacher carefully structured the lesson, showingstep-by-step procedures for creating particular images whichchildren were expected to copy and master. Winner did not observechildren creating “typical child art forms,” nor did she observechildren appearing to be interested in developing their own graphicsymbols. Based on her observations, Winner concluded there were twoaspects of art education in China: “the value placed on neatnessand uniformity rather than on deviation and creativity; 2) thevalue placed on schema mastery rather than on training the eye tobreak away from schemas” (p. 58).Alland (1983) watched children drawing with felt pens in sixcountries: United States, France, Taiwan, Japan, Bali and Ponape.He provided markers and a spiral notebook and asked each subjectto draw one picture for him. He attempted to include, as often aspossible, children prior to school entry. His subjects includedchildren as young as 2 years and as old as 13 years. He selected51his research sites to reflect diverse cultural emphasis on visualart forms: those with a rich art tradition, those where children’sexperience with art was limited, and those in a culture without avisual art tradition. Like Court, Alland concluded that culturalinfluences are apparent in children’s drawings as soon as they havepassed the scribbling stage. He did not find support in his datafor the notion that children’s art develops in a sequential waytoward representation. He concluded, “I believe thatrepresentation and symbolization are things which children areconsciously or unconsciously taught to do by adults and otherchildren” (p. 214). As an example, he specifically noted therelationship between Balinese children’s work and their culturalart forms,Overall, Balinese paintings, carving, dance and music are allpointillist in style. This style is also characteristic ofBalinese children’s drawings. These children lack therepresentational skill of adult artists, but theysuccessfully imitate the style of adult art. (p.216)Peer or Adult InfluencesDuring a five year study of preschool children workingindividually with clay and styrofoam scraps, Sherman (1984) beganto question whether children would use the materials in a similarway when they worked in groups. Sherman observed that the 3- and4-year-olds went through the same progression, from using thematerials in an exploratory way to using them increasingly forexpressive purposes. She found that children exchanged ideasthrough verbal interaction and gestures. They imitated eachother’s actions and adapted these actions for their own purposes.52They transmitted ideas both through verbal interaction andgestures. Art became a social experience for these children asthey used the materials as components of dramatic play, orworked cooperatively to create a form. Renninger (1989) also foundpeer influence strong during play dough use in a class of3-year-olds.Gearhart and Newman (1980) described a similar incident ofpeer imitation and interaction, in which the marks on thechildren’s papers could be understood only through observing thesocial interaction between the children as they drew. In otherexamples, they cited teacher-child conversations as a means wherebythe teacher transmits ideas about the nature of the drawing task.Rosario and Collazo (1981) observed two preschool classroomsto explore how preschool children were socialized into particularaesthetic values. They found that this was accomplished asteachers expressed, or did not express, value for particular kindsof activities. They suggested that teachers tended to ignorespontaneous art activities in favor of activities in whichthe end product was predetermined, even in unstructured activities.For example, a painting on the newspaper covering of the easel wasignored, while paintings on plain paper were displayed.Green (1975) used Transactional Analysis to suggest howparental comments and attitudes about art in general, and theirchildren’s art in particular, are transmitted across generationsthrough parent-child interactions. She stated,parents tell the child whether it’s ok to look at art,what kind to look at, how to respond to it, and/or53whether it is ok to make art and, if so, what kind. Inother words, parents play a dominant, if not total, rolein controlling the child’s artistic development throughinjunctions, permissions and biases” (p. 12).Matthews (in press) provided a particular example of how2-year-old Hannah and her mother were involved in a paintingexperience in which Hannah’s mother supported and interacted withHannah in a verbal and non-verbal manner to support her daughter’sengagement with the painting experience. Matthewsconcluded that,although drawing behaviors are self-initiated andself-driven, it does not mean that development can occurwithin a social vacuum or a hostile environment. On thecontrary, the programmes of representation are extremelysensitive to interpersonal engagement. In the hands of2-year-olds, drawing becomes a medium capable ofrecording subtle stresses or nuances occurring within asocial setting. (Matthews, in press)These examples of children learning from peers or othersources are important because they demonstrate that children’sartistic development is susceptible to external influences.However, they do not address the question of how this socialinfluence occurs. Gearhart and Newman, and Green suggest ways thataddress the broader context of art making and theoretical framesfor examining how art making is socially constructed.54Art UnderstandingA few studies have examined children’s understanding aboutart. Johnson (1982), using symbolic interactionism as a base,interviewed children grades kindergarten to 12 about art.Kindergarten and grade one children defined art as “making ordoing”. Older primary-aged children began to define art also asa place or time, or in terms of specific content. Stokrocki(1986b) interviewed second grade children about art and formedsimilar categories which related to space, activity and object.Johnson concluded, as did Stokrocki, that the students’ responsesreflected cultural values. Both found that younger childrenpreferred holiday themes such as Halloween, and utilized commoncommercial or popular images in their work.Research in the area of artistic development has, perhaps,largely overlooked peer and social influences on young children’sart production because the possibility of influence conflicts withthe view of children’s art as an internal process which graduallyunfolds. Also called into question is the view that childrendevelop new strategies for visual representation based on pastexperience with materials, and that shifts in cognitive thinkingthat make them dissatisfied with their earlier visual forms. Itis extremely difficult to systematically investigate the role ofimitation or influence in young children’s artistic expressionbecause the child may not imitate a form or action immediatelyafter observing an event or representation. Nevertheless, on-site,direct observation, rather than adherence to notions of linear55progression, is most likely to provide new evidence concerning thenature of interactive learning in art.SummaryI have tried to demonstrate through this discussion thatalthough an extensive body of literature about children’s artexists, particularly drawing, there are gaps and contradictions inthis accumulated knowledge. General stage descriptions provided byLowenfeld, Brittain and others, with specific examples illustratedby case studies such as Eng’s, have provided a basis on which tobegin an investigation of what to expect from young preschoolchildren. However, caution must be used in applying these stagesbecause they are general progressions, perhaps obsolete in termsof sequences and abilities for contemporary children, and theyunderplay the role that cultural images or human interactionscontribute to children’s artistic expression. Developmental stagetheory assumes an innatist position, even if it is viewed from aPiagetian perspective which acknowledges that the child learnsthrough experience with materials. As useful as discussions ofdevelopmental theory are for building generalized profiles ofexpectations, autistic children such as Nadia (Selfe, 1977, 1985),Stephen and Simon (Selfe, 1985) challenge developmental theory withtheir extraordinary drawings.Theories have been developed primarily from examining theproducts children create. Collecting single examples, or judgingart products according to a particular developmental level, doesnot present an opportunity for the child to provide an account of56intentionality, but assumes that the child’s purpose is the sameas that of the researcher or examiner.Attempts to uncover a single cognitive, social or kinestheticaccount for children’s art-making may represent a simplisticsolution to an immensely complex process. I am not suggesting thatprevious findings be rejected wholesale, but that there is room foran account of children’s artistic expression which can accommodatethe role of vision, body position relative to the paper, mediumused, possible interaction between peers or adults, and a growingawareness of a variety of symbol systems within the child’sculture.The following is a summation of some of the specific findingsfrom this chapter.1. Specific studies of how children use materials and holdtools are helpful in illuminating part of the complex relationshipbetween the child, tool, media, and visual expression. Thesestudies may influence the teacher’s choice of materials providedin the classroom. Like general developmental theory, these studiesof how children grip pencils and brushes, and children’s generalart skills provide a beginning framework for categorizing the artbehaviours of children.2. Studies of children’s acquisition of symbol systems acrossvarious media provide additional information about common andunique aspects of development of representational concepts, andsuggest very early relationships between visual expression and57cultural understanding. These studies help support the Vygotskianand symbolic interactionism perspective of this study.3. Specific examples cited by Gardner (1980) and Eng (1954),where children imitated an adult’s actions, lend support for aVygotskian view of development in which adults or advanced peershelp children attain a more advanced level of development.However, neither author built any discussion around children’simitation. Golomb’s (1974) finding that children could draw moreadvanced forms when given dictation tasks can also be used tosupport an interactionist view of artistic growth.4. Studies which examine cultural influences set the stagefor expanding the person-centered view of artistic expression, byexploring how the social-cultural environment mediates theart-making experience for children.5. Evidence has accumulated for considering the relationshipbetween the child’s invention of symbols, motor activity, and themedium used. What children do is influenced by the medium they areusing, by what they are doing and who they are with while doing it.6. Clear support for imitation and assimilation of culturalexpectations has been provided. However, specific answers toquestions of sequencing and production strategies, and drawingsystems employed, still lack a comprehensive framework with whichto give an account of visual expression.Finally, most research begins too late in children’sdevelopment. It begins when children are starting to depictrecognizable or symbolic forms. Matthews (1983, 1984) has58demonstrated that children engage in symbolic activity thorughaction-representation, before they depict these forms graphically.This suggests that children understand more about symbolicrepresentation, and hence are more acculturated into the symbolsystems of their culture than can be understood by looking at theirdrawings.59CHAPTER III. THEORIES AND FOUNDATIONS OF INTERACTIONISMSymbolic Interactionism and Children’s Artistic DevelopmentSymbolic interactionism forms the foundation for this study.Meltzer, Petras and Reynolds (1975) defined “symbolic interaction”as “the interaction that takes place among the various minds andmeanings that characterize human societies. It refers to the ideathat social interaction rests upon a taking of oneself(self-objectification) and others (taking the role of others) intoaccount” (p. 1). The roots of symbolic interactionism originatein pragmatic philosophy and from specific ideas, such as Cooley’snotion that an individual can see only an idea one has constructedabout the other person, not the “real” person, and Thomas’“definition of the situation,” which states, “if men definesituations as real, they are real in their consequences” (Collins,1985a, p. 199; Collins, 1985b; Meltzer, et al., 1975).Writings by Mead, Vygotsky and Blumer are united by a commonconcern for relationships between individual human behaviour anddevelopment, social interaction and development of societies.George Herbert Mead, pragmatic philosopher and contemporary of JohnDewey at the University of Chicago, developed theories unifyingindividual behaviour, mental development, mind with socialdevelopment, society and social change (Baldwin, 1986). Baldwinsuggested that Mead’s theories have been under-utilized indeveloping social theory. Blumer, a student of Mead’s during the1930s, expanded Mead’s ideas into “symbolic interactionism.”During the 1950s and 1960s Blumer published a series of papers as60a sociological perspective connecting theoretical andmethodological components of symbolic interactionism.Vygotsky, researching and writing in Russia during andfollowing the Russian revolution, was strongly influenced byMarxism and the emerging Russian society of the 1920s and 1930s(Wertsch, 1985a; Scribner, 1985). According to Wertsch (1985b)Vygotsky independently developed ideas similar to those of Mead andPeirce, and was perhaps influenced by the work of William James.Given the close connection between James, Dewey and Mead, it isconceivable that there was more cross-continental influence thanwas directly apparent. Vygotsky and Mead shared an understandingof human behaviour as “interaction”, or interrelationships betweenbiological and social behaviour impacting upon each other. Wertsch(l985b) divided Vygotsky’s work into three thematic areas: geneticdevelopment (ontogeny and phylogeny), social origins of cognition,and the mediating function of tools and signs on cognition.Vygotsky’s thoughts about language as signs closely resemblesPeirce’s idea that the sign always serves to mediate thinking(Collins, 1985a; 1985b; Wertsch, 1985b). The similarities indicatethat these theorists’ views have parallel components which makethem compatible, but does not imply that they were in totalagreement. A more detailed comparison of their differences can befound in Wertsch (1985b).Mead (1934/1966) defined social psychology as follows:Social psychology studies the activity or behavior ofthe individual as it lies within the social process; thebehavior of an individual can be understood only interms of the behavior of the whole social group of which61he is a member, since his individual acts are involvedin larger, social acts which go beyond himself and whichimplicate other members of the group. (pp. 6-7)These social acts then not only include individual socialdevelopment but also micro and macro levels of society.Mead was influenced by Watson’s behaviourism but disagreedwith the laboratory orientation of Watson’s stimulus-responsetheory. Mead wanted to account for the reflective, thoughtfulaspect of behaviour. In separating his definition from Watson’sbehaviourism, Mead wrote (1934/1966):Social psychology is behavioristic in the sense ofstarting off with an observable activity--the dynamic,on-going social process, and the social acts which areits component elements--to be studied and analyzedscientifically. But it is not behavioristic in thesense of ignoring the inner experience of theindividual--the inner phase of that process or activity.On the contrary, it is particularly concerned with therise of such experience within the process as a whole.(pp. 7—8)In Mead’s theory, the process of interaction is the processof developing the experience of meaning. Interaction with anotheris based on a triadic sequence of verbal or non-verbal “gestures”in which the first individual’s gesture invokes a response in thesecond individual, which is in turn acted on by the originatingindividual, thus completing the interaction cycle. Meaning isestablished at the completion of the third component ofthe gestural sequence. Mead stated, “responses are meanings in sofar as they lie inside of such a conversation of gesture” (p. 181).Gestures are “significant” when both parties have a commonresponse.62Through this process of constructing meaning, ideas arecommunicated within the social context and the self-conceptdevelops. Mead viewed the physical body and the self as beingseparate, with the self being socially constructed throughinteractions with others. Mead recognized that this cycle beginsin early infancy with the infant’s ability to mimic and respond togestures. More recent infant research (Trevarthan, 1980; Bruner,1983; Meltzoff, 1985; Rogoff, Malkin & Gilbride, 1984) has upheldMead’s view about the active role infants take in adapting to, andinteracting with, their social environment. Construction of theself occurs as the individual takes into account the attitudes orperspectives of others, “within a social environment or context ofexperience and behavior in which both he and they are involved”(Mead, p. 138).In the process of developing the self, an individual absorbsand generalizes the attitudes others hold toward a social activity.This self-reflection forms what Mead called “the generalized other”(p. 152), or the common view (norms), which influences the socialbehaviour of an individual.Mead (1934/1966) stated that through play the child is“gradually building up a definite self that becomes the mostimportant object in his world” (p. 369). During play the childtakes on roles in games that involve rules of behaviour. First,the child learns about attitudes significant persons have towardshim/her, and later internalizes the societal attitudes or attitudesof the “generalized other”. Mead saw the family unit, designed to63meet the “socio-physiological” needs of the species, as the basisfor all social organization.Mead believed that the personality which appears in a socialexperience is composed of two parts “I” and “Me”. The “I”component of self reacts to the attitudes of others which isrepresented by “Me”. The dialectical relationship between thesetwo separate parts of self allows the individual to react in novelways, and also to retain a conscious social responsibility.Baldwin (1986) summed up the relationship of the individual tosociety as follows:Each individual’s socialization structures the mind andself in two important and complementary ways, producing(1) common traits that are shared with others, and (2)unique, personal traits that make the person adistinctive individual .... As a result, each personfeels a sense of belonging and sense of being differentfrom others. (p. 112)In common with James, Mead conceived of the self as being amultifaceted entity expressed through the unique relationshipsindividuals have with others or with social groups, a theme Goffman(1959) developed later in his dramaturgical theory of socialinteraction.The tenets of symbolic interactionism were formulated fromMead’s posthumously published teachings. In the 1960s, Blumerconsolidated Mead’s views into what became known as symbolicinteractionism. Blumer (1969) presented the following threepremises as crucial to the symbolic interactionist perspective:Human beings act toward things on the basis of themeanings that the things have for them. (p. 2)The meaning of a thing for a person grows out of theways in which other persons act toward the person with64regard to the thing. Their actions operate to definethe thing for the person.(p.4)These meanings are handled in, and modified through aninterpretative process used by the person in dealingwith the thing he encounters. (p. 2)Important to the understanding of symbolic interactionism isthe definition of “objects”, which Blumer has defined as socialobjects or people, physical objects or things, and abstract objectsor ideas.Blumer (1969) found the psychological interpretation ofmeaning arising out of psychological processes of “perception,cognition, repression, transfer of feelings, and association ofideas” (p. 4) limiting as to the kind of meaning which could beconstructed. Instead, he has described meaning as beingconstructed “through a process of interpretation” (p. 5) by actorsengaged in social interaction. Meanings, according to Blumer, are“creations that are formed in and through the defining activitiesof people engaged in social interaction” (p. 5). This process ofinterpretation requires that actors, (1) first note to themselvesthe objects with which they are interacting, then, (2) process themeanings the things have for them and finally, (3) interpret themin terms of the situation.In more recent writing from the interactionist perspective,Mccarthy (1989) returned to Mead to define social objects toinclude “mind, self, as well as all the ‘things’ human beingsproduce” (p. 81). He explained that “they are social objects inthat they have no existence except for the specific contexts ofsocial relations and language within which they emerge and in which65they flourish or wane” (p. 81). Mccarthy concluded that the studyof social objects,engages one in the three fields within which they aregenerated. The “language and speech” forms by andthrough which they are developed and are sustained, the“types of knowledge which communicate them as real, the“social relations” within which they develop and occurin time and space. (p. 82)Like Mead, Vygotsky explored the dialectical relationshipbetween development of an individual and development of society.This discussion will focus on three specific components of thisrelationship relative to young children: language and thinking,drawing, and play. In play children form links between lower andhigher cultural based cognitive processes as they transform objectsand take on imaginary roles. Play promotes the child’s acquisitionof the use of sign systems which include art, spoken and writtenlanguage (Scribner, 1985). According to Scribner,Natural processes regulate the growth of elementarypsychological functions in the child - forms of memory,perception and practical-tool using intelligence,that are continuous with the mental life of apes andother species. Social and cultural processes regulatethe child’s acquisition of speech and other signsystems, and the development of “special higherpsychological functions” such as voluntary attention andlogical memory. (p. 124)In ontological development, biological and culturaldevelopment occur concurrently and fuse (Scribner, p. 125). InMind in Society, Vygotsky wrote,From the very first days of the child’s development hisactivities acquire a meaning of their own in a system ofsocial behavior and being directed towards a definitepurpose, are refracted through the prism of the child’senvironment. The path from object to child and fromchild to object passes through another persdn. Thiscomplex human structure is the product of a66developmental process deeply rooted in the links betweenindividual and social history. (p. 30)The linkage between the individual and society occurs throughsigns or symbols in the form of language, which serves to mediatethinking. Vygotsky drew parallels between language acquisition andthe relationship of learning and development. Vygotsky (1986)acknowledged the influence of Stern, who described language andthinking as operating separately until the child is about two yearsof age. The unification of the two, and the major shift indevelopment, occurs when the child ceases to be solely a receptorof language and begins to understand the connection between signand meaning. The child then begins to initiate acquisition of newwords.A similar shift occurs when the child uses other tools, whichare later mediated by, and act to mediate thinking. Drawing fromLewin’s work, Vygotsky believed that very young children werelimited in their actions by the inherent properties of an object,or the situational constraints defined by links between perceptionand motor activity. He stated (1978), “It is impossible for veryyoung children to separate the field of meaning from the visualfield because there is such intimate fusion between meaning andwhat is seen” (p. 97). He suggested that this relationshipdominates children’s use of objects up until approximately 3 yearsof age.As young children actively acquire speech, they begin to usethis speech to guide their activities. Vygotsky explained (1978)“Children not only speak about what they are doing; their speech67and action are part of ‘one and the same complex psychologicalfunction’, directed toward the solution of the problem at hand” (p.25). Once this external (egocentric) speech becomes internalizedit organizes the child’s thought.Vygotsky based his discussion of children’s drawings on thework of others, e.g. Sully, Buhier and Hetzer. He concurred withBuhier that speech “shapes the greater part of inner life inaccordance with its laws. This includes drawing” (Vygotsky, 1978,p. 112). Vygotsky called early drawing a kind of “graphic speech”similar to “verbal concepts that communicate only the essentialfeatures of objects” (p. 112).Citing Hetzer’s evidence that a child will relate to drawingsof objects as objects rather than representations of objects,Vygotsky argued that discovering a relationship between a drawingand object does not mean the child understands the symbolicfunction of drawing. Vygotsky accepted Hetzer’s view that, “it ison the basis of speech that all other sign systems are created”(1978, p. 113). Vygotsky stated that speech dominates drawing inschool-aged children. While his conclusions may reflect anaccurate relationship between drawing and speech, his specificexample does not provide a strong argument, since it was based ona situation in which the child was depicting a verbal statement,rather than depicting something visual in origin. Vygotskyapparently valued drawing primarily as part of the process ofacquiring written language, rather than as a unique mode of humanexpression. This focus on language is relevant to this study in68two ways: 1) through the assumption that drawing and otherart-making processes are mediated by language, and 2) byrecognizing that the language-drawing link may diminish theuniqueness of visual expression.Vygotsky (1978) discussed the important role of play inchildren’s development. In imaginary play children 3 years andolder utilize rules embedded in a higher level of functioning, andare freed from the constraints of the actual situation. Mead helda similar view of the function of play for the child. In play,objects are freed from their actual meaning and may become “pivots”(p. 97) for symbolic functioning in which meaning dominates action,rather than the child’s usual mode of functioning in which actionis dominant.Links to Artistic ExpressionSome of the ideas basic to symbolic interactionism may now berelated to children’s artistic expression. They are important tochildren’s creation of visual forms in two ways: the first is thedevelopment of the child’s sense of self, and the second is themeaning objects come to have for the child, including art materialsand objects represented. The child’s self-concept and the use andmeaning of tools arise from interactions with others. Denzin(1977) wrote,the term “childhood socialization”, which describesthose experiences and interactive relationships thatbuild human nature into that object and person called“child,” rests on special languages, is located inspecial kinds of social situations, and is focusedaround special classes of social objects (includingclothing) that endow the child with “human-like”qualities. (p. 3)69Infancy research has demonstrated that the construction ofself through interactions with others begins at birth. Whenchildren begin to engage in the use of art materials, the self iswell under construction through interactions composed of gesturesand language. At about age three, children begin to take on theroles that others in their environment take toward them.Children bring their self-view to their interactions with artmaterials. This self-view includes the child’s feelings aboutprevious experiences with the material. Children begin to expresstheir sense of self through the use of art materials. In cultureswhere art is perceived to have functions other than personalself-expression, children are carefully directed in particular waysof mark-making, and ultimately, symbolic formations. Sovietpreschool children are given direct instruction in art (Morton,1972); Gardner (1989) and Winner (1989) described highlystructured art lessons in China. Alland (1983) found thatTaiwanese children were encouraged to learn to make Chinesecharacters at home, rather than encouraged to draw or paintpictures. The expectations and values inherent in these structuredlessons have a direct impact on how children use materials.This mediation also holds true for the transmitting of thesymbolic potential of the materials. Not only does children’ssense of self have an important role in how they use materials, butalso, the ways in which materials are expected to be used aremediated for the child by society through significant individuals(Rogoff, Malkin, & Gilbride, 1984).70One way that adults mediate activities for children is throughwhat Bruner (1983) and Wood (1980) have called “scaffolding”.Bruner (1985) wrote,I agree with Vygotsky that there is a deep parallel inall forms of knowledge acquisition - precisely theexistence of a crucial match between a “support system”in the social environment and an “acquisition process”in the learner. I think it is this match that makespossible the transmission of the culture, first as a setof connected ways of acting, perceiving and talking, andthen finally as a generative system of taking consciousthought, using the instruments of reflection that theculture “stores” as theories, scenarios, plots,prototypes, maxims, and so on. (p. 28)Bruner (1983) and Rogoff, Malkin and Gilbride (1984) citeexamples of “scaffolding”, in which adults structure play sequenceswith their children which allow children to participate andgradually take over the game until the children can initiate andcarry on the game independently. Rogoff, Malkin & Gilbride, (1984)also offer examples of scaffolding, which parents do on anunconscious level.Vygotsky (1978) described this process as learning in the“zone of proximal development” (p. 86), or learning that occurswith the assistance of an adult or advanced peer. Such learningallows the child to accomplish a task at a higher level ofcognitive functioning than the child could accomplishindependently.McFee (1970; 1980) set a precedent in taking amultidimensional approach to art teaching by developing herPerceptual - Delineation Theory. This is a complex model whichrecognizes individual differences in students’ backgrounds and71learning styles. McFee drew from the fields of sociology,anthropology and psychology to develop her theory.The Perceptual-Delineation III Theory states that“transactions between people and their environment (other peoplebeing part of one person’s environment) are the action points wherelearning, creating, expressing, and evaluating take place” (McFee& Degge, 1980, p. 324). According to McFee and Degge, learningdepends on: a) the student’s readiness, which is based on pastopportunities “to use their potential to learn as it has beenencouraged through interaction with their “psychocultural-physicalenvironment”, b) the learning context, c) the “psychoculturalenvironment” composed of the interpersonal transactions andrelationships which occur within the setting, d) the“visual-physical environment”, which includes the materials forlearning, and e) the change in student’s readiness based on theseongoing experiences (pp. 324-325).The Perceptual-Delineation III model was designed to provideteachers with a means of creating effective learning environmentsfor their students. This theory is compatible with the tenets ofsymbolic interactionism in its contextual orientation, and in itsincorporation of human interaction as part of the learning-teachingprocess. McFee and Degge describe an ever-changing, dynamicsituation which allows for the interpretive process essential tosymbolic interactionism, with interpretive possibilities occurringat each of the “action-points” described in the model. Althoughthis theory does not provide a direct model for the investigation72of how two—year—olds construct meaning about the use of artmaterials, it illustrates a framework for developing amultidisciplinary approach to young children’s artistic expression.It is informative in diagramming relationships between keycomponents of the learning environment of an art classroom.SummaryThis chapter has described the theoretical positions of GeorgeHerbert Mead, Herbert Blumer and Lev Vygotsky which are linkedthrough the focus on human interaction as the mediating factor inan individual’s thinking and functioning within a social context.Mead described how an individual develops a sense of self throughinterpersonal interactions and Blumer detailed how individuals cometo understand the meaning of objects from the defining activitieswhich occur through interactions concerning those objects.Vygotsky placed particular emphasis on the importance of languagein cognitive development. Learning and development are linkedthrough Vygotsky’s notion of the “zone of proximal development”where children are able to accomplish a task with assistance whichthey could not do independently. North American researchers (e.g.,Wood and Bruner) have adopted “scaffolding” to describe thisassisted learning. These ideas provide a suitable framework fordescribing the events in this study.73CHAPTER IV. METHODFieldwork TheoryAssumptionsThe contextualist-interactionist orientation which focuses onthe “immediate event” and its relationship to connecting or closelyrelated events (Mueller & Cooper, 1986) requires a naturalisticresearch paradigm. In educational research, terms such as fieldstudies, ethnographies, naturalistic studies, qualitative studieshave been used synonymously, and it must be said, imprecisely.Still, all are united by some common assumptions: human behaviouris inexplicably linked to the setting in which it occurs (Denzin,1977; Wilson, 1977). The complexity of the interrelationshipswithin the research domain precludes identifying cause-effectrelationships. The research involves and accepts its value-ladenposition, and the researcher is the “instrument” of research(Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Wolcott, 1975). Assumptions include thatdata will be gathered through a variety of means, includinginterviews and direct observation in the setting (Spradley, 1980).Blumer (1969) described the methodology appropriate to fieldresearch, as well as contributing to the theoretical position ofsymbolic interactionism. His position is similar to Glaser andStrauss’ (1967) definition of grounded theory, which comes directlyfrom the data collected and which may then modify or corroborateprovisional value frames. Blumer stated that social science theoryshould “arise out of, and remain grounded in, the empirical lifeunder study” (p. 40).74More specifically, Blumer identified the framework for studieswithin the symbolic interactionism tradition as follows:Its methodological stance, accordingly, is that ofdirect examination of the empirical social world. . . . Itrecognizes that such direct examination permits thescholar to meet all of the basic requirements of anempirical science: to confront an empirical world thatis available for observation and analysis; to raiseabstract problems with regard to that world; to gathernecessary data through careful and disciplinedexamination of that world; to unearth relations betweencategories of such data; to formulate propositions intoa theoretical scheme; and to test the problems, thedata, the relations, the propositions, and the theory byrenewed examination of the empirical world (pp. 47-48).Blumer argued that if researchers are to understand the livedsocial world of a group, the researcher must come to understand themeaning “objects” have for individuals in that group, and howmeanings are constructed, interpreted, and transformed throughsocial interaction (p. 10).Ethnographic RootsEthnography is generally defined as a description of the wayof life of a group, recounted from the perspective of the group’smembers in such detail that the reader will have some notion of howto behave if the reader were to visit the group (Delamont, 1992;Heath, 1982; Spradley, 1980; Wolcott, 1975; Woods, 1986). Thistradition can provide knowledge about “how experience is sorted andclassified, and cultural knowledge constituted” (Whittaker, 1986,p. 6). The ethnographic tradition requires that the researchertake time to observe many situations in order to identify emergentpatterns, including time to change the focus of the study as newpatterns become apparent; maintaining a balance between the75insider-outsider (emic-etic) perspective, and what Wilson (1977,p. 261) called being “a sensitive research instrument”. These arecrucial because, as Hymes (1982, p. 25) stated,though one may live nearby, speak the same language, andbe of the same ethnic background, a difference inexperience may lead to misunderstanding the meanings,the terms and the world of another community.There has not been consensus on what constitutes ethnographyin educational settings (Ettinger, 1987; Hymes, 1982; 1982;Wolcott, 1985). Heath (1982), noted that the term ethnography asbeen applied to studies using “participant observation,naturalistic inquiry, and open-ended research designs” withoutdistinguishing between “true” ethnographies and studies utilizingsome of these methods. She concluded,if the term ethnographic is to have a consistentidentity in educational studies, researchers must beable to identify what it is that makes a particularstudy ethnographic. For example, they should be able todistinguish an ethnographic study from an ethologicalwork, from field studies, from systems analysisinterpretations, and from case studies. Only in doingso can ethnographers meet the challenge of specificityof procedures, clarity of goals, and relevance ofinterpretations to theoretical considerations demandedin the numerous institutions now sponsoring ethnographicresearch in education. (p. 34)Wolcott (1985, p. 188) was more specific in stating,(1) Ethnography is not field techniques.(2) Ethnography is not length of time in the field.(3) Ethnography is not simply good description.(4) Ethnography is not created through gaining andmaintaining rapport with subjects.Wolcott (1985, p. 190) stated simply that an ethnographicstudy “must be oriented to cultural interpretation”.76Descriptive Research in Art EducationQualitative research methods are accepted in the field of arteducation (Stokrocki, 1991). But this was not always thesituation. In 1972, Pohland presented arguments to support the useof participant observation as an appropriate research methodologyfor art education. This position was followed by written debate.Lewis (1972) expressed concerns for reliability due to researcherinfluence and bias. McFee (1972) provided cautious support,suggesting that experimental and observational research methodswere important. Wilson (1972) supported Pohland, writing,(1) participant observational methods allow theresearcher to attend to a great number of variables andtheir interrelations concurrently. In art wherevariables of the work of art such as media, process,visual structure, images, and symbols, are related tothe personality factors of the teacher and the student,and to the cultural, institutional, and physicalsettings in which art is taught, the correspondencebetween complexity of method and subject seemappropriate and desirable; (2) participant observationalmethods are nonstandard and flexible allowing theresearcher to switch or devise new methodologiesmid-stream just as art redefines itself and the artteacher and student chart new courses on the basis ofopportunities which present themselves contextually; and(3) participant observational methodologies generallyrequire close qualitative relationships between theinquirer and the situation being studied, and when thesituation studied is as qualitative as art the fit ofmethodology and subject again seem most satisfying. (p.23)Ettinger (1987) facilitated understanding of qualitativeresearch methods for the field. She applied Wolcott’s 1982taxonomy of on-site descriptive research to 31 existing studiesfrom the field of art education to aid prospective researchers indefining research methods. Stokrocki (1991), building on77Ettinger’s taxonomy, examined qualitative studies in art educationsince Ettinger’s work was published. Stokrocki classified thesestudies into categories, e.g. pedagogical issues, such asteaching/learning relationships, contextual variations in teachingmethods, and children’s understanding about art.Following Ettinger’s taxonomy and Wolcott’s definition ofethnography, this study has an ethnographic orientation, ismicroethnographic in its selection of a small segment of culturallife, and includes both participant observation andnon-participation observation data collection techniques. It fitsinto Stokrocki’s classification related to the relationship betweenteaching and learning through its interactionist perspective.Additionally, it examines children’s understanding about art.Phenomenological AspectsPhenomenological sociology is grounded in German philosophyand the writings of Husserl, who believed that the “true essenceof things” could be found in experience. More direct applicationsof this viewpoint to sociology were developed by Alfred Schutz, whospecifically examined people’s experience in the world (Collins,1985a). The intent of my study is to examine the lived-world ofthe art-making experience for young children. Recognition is givento the uniqueness of each individual’s experience in the researchsetting. In these ways, the study is influenced by phenomenologicalthinking.Fine and Sandstrom (1988) present arguments by Waksler, whosuggested that an adult can experience the world through a child’s78eyes. However, because of my role as teacher, I was not as freeto participate in a manner open to negotiation between children andadult as other researchers, such as Cosaro (1985) or Kelly-Byrne(1989). Fine and Sandstrom expressed doubt that true bracketingof the adult experience can occur. With regard to thisinvestigation of children using art materials, I agree. Due to thelimited language capabilities of the children, this study cannotdepict the lived world as they experience it, because theirviewpoint is always mediated through adults’ interpretation oftheir world. Therefore, it cannot be considered a trulyphenomenological study.Preliminary ProceduresSpradley (1980) outlined a series of procedures for engagingin an ethnographic “developmental research cycle”. In this study,procedures are loosely organized around Spradley’s framework:selecting the project, locating the situation, data collection andrecord keeping, analyses and refocusing, further analyses andconclusions. Throughout this cycle I will discuss how my view andperceptions changed because of my deeper understanding of thecomplex relationships embedded in the context, coupled with agrowing understanding of the theoretical stance which I brought tothe investigation.The investigation has three major phases: Phase I- core study,from which the bulk of the data has been collected (year 1 and 2);Phase II, which involved stepping away from the core study bymoving into another classroom (year 3); and Phase III (year 3),79which involved moving back into the original classroom andexpanding the scope to include additional 2-year-olds and teachersworking in the same physical setting as the core study.Researcher ReflexivityTo address the issues of reliability and validity, my role as“researcher as instrument” (Denzin, 1978, p. 294; Johnson &Altheide, 1990) necessitates that I explicate as clearly aspossible the background of the original study and its changingorientation based on my beliefs and values. Delamont (1992) andHammersley and Atkinson (1983) stressed “reflexivity” as a crucialcomponent of ethnographic research at all stages of theinvestigation. Delamont defined reflexivity as becomingself-conscious about each component of the research process, anddescribing the researcher’s decision-making process as clearly aspossible. Johnson and Altheide echoed this position,If we are to offer our interpretation of social worldsto members of various communities, we must assume whatinteractionists have known for decades: perception isactive and not passive; language and experience aremediated and are mediating of experience; and researchis but a kind of experience and sense-making... .What wemust do is attempt to communicate the researchexperience to others, including the process of inquiryand discovery. To do so makes us co-participants withself, subjects, and readers in interpreting thephenomenon. (p. 32)Prolect SelectionTwo key elements determined the origins of this study. Thefirst arose from my experience as a teacher in a parent/2-year-oldprogram. At the time, I was also teaching an art methods courseto early childhood education students. I wanted to create a80teaching video to illustrate children’s developmental stages in artto these prospective preschool teachers. This would provide themwith an understanding of how artistic developmental theory lookedin the real-life experience of children in a classroom. Based onthe view that preschool children’s artistic development was largelyan unfolding process, I asked the camera operator to film childrenworking independently with art materials. When I reviewed thisvideo tape, I was struck by the disjuncture between the literatureon children’s art as an unfolding process and the children’s artengagement in this social context. I observed behaviours whichappeared to be advanced for my “traditional norm” expectations of2-year-olds. It seemed to me that children’s artistic developmentwas much more complex than I had believed.The second impetus for undertaking this study came from anassignment to design an ethnographically or behaviourally orientedstudy for a survey course in research methods for art education.The design I presented was naturalistically oriented but stronglyrooted in the child study tradition of developmental psychology.The child study approach assumes that a greater understanding ofchildren’s development can come from the systematic study of asingle child (Cohen & Stern, 1975). Cohen and Stern wrote, “whenwe have come to see children’s behavior through the eyes of itsmeaning to them ‘from the inside out’, we shall be well on our wayto understanding them” (p. 4). This understanding can then beutilized to make pedagogical decisions. However, this view isstrongly biased towards an adult’s interpretation of the situation.81Sevigny (1988) argued that “the shortcoming of traditionalobservation systems is that they quantify through the screen of theobserver and they do not qualify through the screens of theparticipants” (p. 616). The design of phase I of this studyclearly reflects these biases.Study DesignThe original “foreshadowed problems” (Malinowski, quoted inHammersley and Atkinson, 1983, p. 28) guiding the formation of thecore study were concerned with1. individual children’s progression in the development ofpictorial forms,2. two-year-olds’ approaches and skills in handling artmaterials,3. the influence of the environment (human and physical) ofthe subjects’ work,4. possible stylistic consistency in the work of 2-year-oldchildren.Site SelectionMy role as teacher in the Centre, my awareness that littleresearch had been undertaken on art making by 2-year-olds, and thewillingness of the Centre Director and my academic advisor tobecome involved in the project, determined the selection of theresearch setting. This setting facilitated the research as awhole. Specifically, I intended to focus on the art activities inone particular classroom.82Following approval from the Centre Director, and some fundingavailability, I submitted a more formal proposal and budget toengage in my study of “Two-year-olds using art materials in a groupsetting”.GatekeepersAtkinson defined “gatekeepers” as “actors with control overkey resources and avenues of opportunity” (Hammersley & Atkinson,1983, p. 38). In this situation, the problem of gaining access toa research setting was resolved through the work I was alreadydoing. I had support from the Centre Director, who might have beenthe first major obstacle to the study. The second problem, offunding, was alleviated by my academic advisor who securedfinancial support for an observer, camera operator and video tapecosts. Other gatekeepers were the parents, who could have deniedpermission for their children to be involved in the study. TheCentre functions as part of the Faculty of Education and serves asa demonstration and research site. Though the parents hadpreviously signed a general release for videotaping andobservation, separate permission was required for specific studies.For this study, the parents signed an agreement to participate.The research was presented under the umbrella of previous pilotingresearch of children’s aesthetic responses.Site DescriptionThe site for this study was a university laboratory preschoolcenter serving children of professional families. The Centre hadclasses for children from 2-years through kindergarten in classroom83groups composed of children of homogeneous ages. There were threeclasses of 2-year-olds per school year (September - May) at theCentre. These children attended the program once a week for twohours with their parents. The parents met in a separate room fordiscussions with a parent-facilitator, and to watch closed-circuitvideo observations of their children. Allowances were made forindividual differences in parent-child separation, so at timesparents were in the classroom either as participants or asobservers. Classroom activities were video-taped on a regularbasis and so the video camera and operator were familiar to boththe children and adults attending the program. There were twoteachers for each class. A visiting professor (Oliver) was aregular participant in one of the classes.The specific context for this study was art-making and artwatching behaviours of 2-year-old children. The focus centered onthe art area in the 2-year old classroom, but was not alwaysconfined to that area.The Observed GroupThe group observed in this study was drawn from three classesof children in the 2-year-old program. Children attending thisgroup must have had their second birthday by December 31st.Consequently, children who entered the program in September variedin age from 1 year, 9 months (1.9 years) to 2 years, 9 months (2.9years), although this range did not exist in all three classes. Thethree classes, limited to 8 or 10 children each, were composed ofan equal number of boys and girls (4 and 4 or 5 and 5), with a84total population of 24 to thirty 2-year-olds attending the Centreduring one year. Since the observations took place during classtime, children’s participation in the Centre program was notdisrupted.Role of the Researcher as ParticipantParticipant observation has become a major means of datacollection in field research. This includes multiple strategiessuch as observation, participation, interviews, analyses of writtenmaterials and a variety of record keeping devices such as fieldnotes, audio, photography and video tapes (Delamont, 1992; Denzin,1978; Sevigny, 1988; Spradley, 1980). Denzin stated,“Participation observation is one of the few methods currentlyavailable to the sociologist that is well-suited to an analysis ofcomplex forms of symbolic interaction” (p. 183).Spradley (1980) categorized participation on a scale of“complete participation with high involvement in the setting, lowinvolvement with passive participation, to no involvement” wherethe researcher merely observes. Researchers in educationalsettings have taken a variety of participant roles in the dual roleof researcher as instrument. Woods (1986), Wolcott (1967) andPollard (1985) became full-time teachers in their researchsettings; Burgess (1984) became a part-time teacher. Cosaro (1985)took an active participant role in his study of nursery schoolchildren’s friendship and peer culture, as did Silver in a studyof preschool children’s sociodramatic play (Silver & Ramsey, 1983).Rist (1975) acted primarily as an observer, participating only when85the teacher needed assistance. Lubeck (1985) began as an observerbut gradually became involved in a teaching role in her comparativestudy of “early education in black and white America.”Woods (1986) made a strong case for teachers acting asethnographers for the benefit of their own teaching, evaluation,and understanding of interactions and structures within theirclassrooms. Cosaro (1985) suggested it is unrealistic to expectteachers to act as ethnographers given their job demands, butproposed that teachers could benefit from working withethnographers. Bogdan and Bikien (1982) suggested that the rolean observer takes depends on who the observer is, and theobserver’s personality and values. I could act as “participant asobserver” (Denzin, 1978) though my observations were limited by myteaching role.My dual roles of researcher and teacher created problems fordefining how I could practically undertake these rolessimultaneously. Teaching in the parent/two-year-old program(described in detail by Kasting, 1991) required the teacher andassistant teacher to develop and maintain relationships between2-year-olds entering a group situation for the first time, andtheir parents, who remained on-site as both participants andobservers in the classroom, or as observers linked to the classroomby video monitor. Close contact was also maintained with theparent group facilitator. Due to the complexity of this teachingsituation, the actual recording of research data was undertaken86by a non-teaching observer, with the video data recorded by anotherindividual.Dual roles of teacher/researcher can lead to ethical dilemmaswith regard to protecting confidentiality of the school membership(Pollard, 1985; Burgess, 1984) and the degree of disclosure theresearcher will make about the nature of the project (Burgess,1984; Delamont, 1992; Spradley, 1980). In addition, an adultconducting research in a group of children may be confronted withissues of responsibility for safety, discipline, and maintenanceof trust within the setting (Cosaro, 1985; Fine & Sandstrom, 1988;Rist 1984). Roles may blur as participants and researchers forgetabout the research (Delamont, 1992; Geertz, 1973; Kasting, 1991;Pollard, 1985; Wax, 1971).Phase IData CollectionAs the teacher-researcher in the classroom I was an activeparticipant in the setting; yet I recognized that it would beimpossible for me to record in detail the quantity of observationsneeded to develop the thick descriptions (Geertz, 1973; van Manen,1990) which the study required. To keep the quantity of datamanageable, the Centre Director, who had previously used videotaped data collection as a research strategy, suggested thatrecording four children once a month would provide ample data.During the first year of the study observations were made of thetwo youngest girls and two youngest boys (youngest girl andyoungest boy in two classes) as they used art materials or observed87others using art materials. The youngest children were selectedso that they could be observed as 2-year-olds for as much time aspossible. In the second year, the youngest boy and girl enrolledin the 2-year-old program were observed. By coincidence, theyattended the same class. They were observed once a month duringfree play (approximately one hour) for the seven months of theschool year remaining after the program’s gradual entry period.This strategy resulted in a maximum possible observation of sevenhours of behaviour for each of the six target children. However,less observation data were collected, because not all of thetargeted children’s non-art activity was documented.As a full participant in the research setting, I could directthe camera operator’s focus to a particular incident, or ask theobserver to record additional information, e.g., a comment a parentmight make relevant to the situation being recorded. In this wayI took a small but active role in guiding the observations as theyoccurred. At times, when none of the targeted children wereengaged in art-related activities, the camera focused on thechildren using other materials, such as puzzles or books. Thecamera position, located across the art area from the observer,changed at times due to changes in room arrangement, or theposition of an activity.The instructions given to the camera operator and the observerwere to record the target children’s behaviour as (1) they watchedothers engaged in art activities and/or (2) were using artmaterials themselves. The video camera operators were student88assistants who regularly video taped activities in the classroom.They received no additional training for this project. Theobserver was an art education graduate student. During the secondyear of the study, one observer was a former high school artteacher and university instructor.Although there was limited formal training for the observers,“how to observe” was taught informally. I suggested that theobservers record how long each child stayed at an activity. I saidthat I was interested in specific tool use, who was involved in theactivity, and what kinds of mark-marking the children engaged in.Hence, these early observations were guided by my “foreshadowedquestions”.Limitations of collection methods. Since a video cameraprovides a narrow, tightly focused view of a situation, a secondnon-participant observer sat in the art area of the classroom torecord children’s behaviours, with the possibility of recordinglanguage and behaviours inaccessible to the camera. Soundrecording was limited to what the camera microphone could captureas portable microphones would have been intrusive. In addition,the camera was not on continuously during the free-play session,so time sequences may have been distorted. For example, what mighthave been recorded as closely connected events might actually beseparated by a time lapse of several minutes. The non-participantobserver could record continuously, noting times and durations ofbehaviours.89The observers were limited by the quantity of informationwhich could be recorded manually. Each continually engaged in aselection process based on interpretations of the instructions forobserving and whether one or both target children wereparticipating in art activities.Finally, as teacher-participant, the research reflected myinterests and biases. In turn, my interactions as a teacher wereshaped by my reflection on the data and the theoreticalunderpinnings of the study.Reliability and ValidityTriangulationSevigny (1988) stated, “triangulated inquiry employs multipleoperations each of which is, in effect, a small study with aresearch design of its own, but each of which is important andholistically related to others” (p. 630). Denzin (1978) identifiedmethodological and theoretical ways data could be triangulated toprovide validity in the study. He suggested that data could betriangulated by using different data sources: through collectingdata from situations which varied in time, space or level of personto person interactions; through use of more than one observer forthe same situation; and by bringing multiple theoreticalperspectives to the data (p. 295). Data for this study werecollected by a variety of means: non-participant observer and videocamera, interviews with teacher, interviews with parents of theoriginal targeted children, parent questionnaires, and observationscollected in a second classroom.90Refocusing to increase triangulation possibilities. Theoriginal data collection strategies in Phase I were focused onindividual children, which permitted “aggregate analysis” oranalysis of separate individuals without social links (Denzin, p.296). Although these children were socially connected throughprogram attendance, the original focus was on the children asindividuals. In Phase II, observations were directed toward anarea of the classroom which permitted “interactive analysis”(Denzin, p. 296). The documentation by observer and video cameraalso provided means of triangulation (Denzin, 1978; Hammersley &Atkinson, 1983).During Phase I of the study, parents were given questionnairesabout their children’s art background which included questionsabout their child’s experience with materials at home and parentalresponses to their children’s art, to provide another component fordata triangulation (Sevigny, 1988). (See Appendix K.) Thisquestionnaire was a modified version of Green’s (1975)questionnaire for college students about their art backgrounds.In March, the observer interviewed each of the targeted children’smothers about their children’s art experiences prior to entry intothe program. These interviews were audiotaped.Parents were asked to save samples of their children’s workto coincide with the monthly taping sessions. The intent was torate these along with the children’s classroom work, to comparework from home and school for similarities and differences.91“Indefinite triangulation”. Cosaro (1985, PP. 48-49) usedCicourel’s notion of “indefinite triangulation”, where same anddifferent respondents react to information obtained on a previousoccasion. That form of triangulation was used in each phase ofthis study. In Phase I, the Centre Director (who also acted as theParent Facilitator for the parent observation component of the2-year-old program), the observers, the academic advisor and I metand reviewed the tapes. The general procedure was to sit at acommon table and review segments of the tape, taking independentnotes. Each shared comments, which became part of the observationrecord. We discussed and confirmed what we were observing on thevideo. We verified the written observations with the video,clarifying language and events either the camera or observer hadnot recorded. In this way, we built up “thick descriptions” ofinformation about each child’s use of materials. As a result,there are systematic notes about each videotaped session, andobservation notes which were jointly constructed. This planfollowed a pattern described by Cosaro (1985) who found itnecessary to work with a research assistant to review and analyzeaudio and visual data.Whittaker (1986) wrote, “field data are the experiences of theethnographer, consciously constructed One is aware of theexternal cultural constraints that manage and produce meanings, andone becomes equally aware of how the internal order responds” (p.57). At this stage of the study, I did not keep notes or reflecton the process of interaction between the research team members.92What we were doing, as I now understand it, was constructingmeaning between ourselves about the significance of the eventsunfolding (Denzin, 1978).As a research team, we also began to develop some hunchesabout what seemed to be children’s patterns of behaviour. Examplesinclude:looking for empty places on the paper to paint or draw;having a conscious desire to select a specific tool;having a sense of completion of their work;lacking a sense of territory about their work, and notseeming to mind if others painted on it;making “aesthetic” decisions about material selection orplacement on a work;having a greater sense of intent with regard to color andplacement of marks, and choice of marking tool than hadpreviously been described;scribbling did not appear to be random (Tarr, 1990).Constructing a Taxonomic AnalysisI did not begin my research with a hypothesis, but insteadposed some questions which might guide the study. I assumed thatfrom these questions patterns would emerge which might supportexisting theory or lead to the generation of new theory (Glaser &Strauss, 1967). Whittaker (1986) described some of my feelingswhich became more intense as the study progressed,although I went to the field with my head full ofnon-positivistic theoretical intentions, I constantlyfelt the demanding incantations of positivism• . sometimes I acted and made decisions that seemeddesigned for the sole purpose of meeting, in fantasy,the piercing comments and embarrassing questions hurledat me by an unsympathetic positivist. I came to thinkof it as positivist guilt, a puritanical moral93correctness that a mere exhortation of alternativescould not appease.(p. 57)I independently reviewed each tape, documenting the episodes.I timed the episodes for the length of time each child remained atthe activity, which activity the child participated in, and themanner in which the child held or handled the media, such asholding a brush at the tip of the handle, away from the bristles.I noted where other children or adults were, and the interactionsthat occurred.From the events recorded I built a taxonomy to show patternsby uncovering terms which described the behaviours. Using theliterature on children’s artistic development and categories whichemerged from the data, I constructed a taxonomy of art behaviours.Material centered behaviours included: behaviours with clay (Brown,1975; Golomb, 1974) painting behaviours (Griffin et al, 1981;Kellogg, 1970): brush strokes, manner of application, hand positionof brush, color choice; behaviours with drawing tools (Golomb,1974; Holladay, in Brittain, 1979; Kellogg, 1970); behaviours withscissors; behaviours with glue; handedness, manner of application,body position, and visual attention. Social behaviours included:proximity of others, imitation of others, verbal interaction,watching, task sequences on independent work, asking permission,understanding of task completion, attention span, use of languageand affective behaviours, and expressing pleasure or frustration,verbally or non-verbally.94Reflection and Refocusing Leading to Phase IIIn my search for some understanding of artistic developmentand outside “influence” I was still firmly grounded in a child/artdevelopmental model. Instead of a single case study, I had fourcase studies, sharing a common context. I assumed that by lookingat the child working in the group, categorizing behaviours, andcontrasting this with parents’ reports, I would be able to uncoverrules or universals. Other studies had not provided some of theseinsights because they had looked only at children’s art productsor had taken a limited view of the process. Case studies, whichlooked at children in the real world, had largely ignored theinteractive component.I gradually came to realize my research study was operatingunder similar assumptions, only in a more complicated situation.Speier (1971) reinforced this notion as a problem, “The classicalformulation of the problem of socialization has centered ontreatments of the child’s entry and incorporation into culture asa ‘developmental process’” (p. 188). Speier suggested analternative, stating “socialization is the acquisition ofinteractional competencies” (p. 189).In reconstructing events of the first two phases of the study,I can view them only from my current perspective. Whittaker (1986)addressed this problem by citing G. H. Mead,Materials out of which the past is constructed lie inthe present. . .any interpretation of the picture we formof the past will be found in the present and will bejudged by the logical and evidential characters whichsuch data possess in a present [1959:29]. (p. 69)95Although during this stage, I reflected on the data, I did notreflect on my role as participant in the setting. I recallobserving my own interactions, and those of the assistant teacher,approvingly at times, and critically at others. The research wasstill strongly influenced by my initial video tape record ofchildren’s “natural” use of materials, where adults did not figureprominently in the picture. Most of the inferences I was drawinghad to do with single children. Since development is highlyidiosyncratic, I was becoming uncomfortable with what the studymight really contribute, other than more case studies of artisticdevelopment. The data did not respond to the question about therole of interaction in the setting. Influence and imitation do notnecessarily occur in a direct cause-effect sequence, and lackingthe interactionist perspective, there was no easy way to verify ordiscuss influence.Superficially, through construction of taxonomic analyses ofbehaviours and developing ideas from data to explore further, Ilooked on this as an ethnographically oriented study. Yet I failedto see the quantitative grounding of the study. I was looking atdevelopment, but not culture.In my dual role of researcher and participant, I was guidedby several assumptions:1. appropriateness/inappropriateness of specific materialsfor 2-year-olds;2. sequence and presentation of these materials;3. the teacher’s role;964. foreshadowed problems underpinning the study.After I began to review the data, I reflected on my ownactions and underlying assumptions, beyond the beliefs I mightarticulate to parents about art and child development. Myawareness of the underlying assumptions did not enter into thestudy until Phase II. However, each of these assumptions formedan interactive component guiding my understanding of the data.I had an increasing sense of being overwhelmed by my data.The categories were useful, but lacked theoretical grounding, whichmight explain the “whys.” I realized I would have to draw fromother areas besides art literature. Again, Whittaker (1986)expressed some of my frustration, “Driven by positivistic notionsof rigor, I scheduled over a hundred formal interviews.. . .When Ilater attempted to work with the results, however, they gave melittle satisfaction, hovering on the borders of banality” (p. 59).Phase IIOriginsTwo reasons ultimately prompted me to undertake a second phaseto the study. The first reason emerged from a need for atheoretical perspective with which I could analyze my data. I readabout symbolic interactionism, and Vygotsky’s theories of thesocial construction of mind. I also read extensively in the areaof anthropology and ethnography. As a consequence, I becameincreasingly dissatisfied with the original design of this study.The initial set of questions, while still reflecting viableproblems, were gradually replaced by a stronger view, supported by97my reading of Mead, Blumer and Vygotsky, which argued that socialinteraction was a key theoretical construct for the study.The second reason was my growing awareness that, havingfollowed six children over a long period of time, I might havenarrowed my view in such a way as to obscure the relationship ofthe children to the art center, i.e. the ebb and flow of theactivities within the room as these related to art-making.Representative as these children might be, I could be missingimportant clues about the values and assumptions which guided theprogram, and which could influence the interactions aroundart-making. Whereas Spradley (1980) described the ethnographicresearch cycle as beginning with a broad focus which graduallynarrows to more specific observations, I had begun with a narrowfocus and needed to engage in observations on a broader scale.Denzin (1977) suggested that researchers in childhood socializationshould study the entire population of the setting. I was feelingoverwhelmed by observations which were not providing insights aboutthe tacit knowledge (Polyani, 1983) and assumptions which guidedthe interactions occurring in the classroom.Site SelectionTo further distance myself from my own classroom in order tounderstand the life-as-lived experiences of teachers and children(Garfinkel, 1967), I observed the art area of a preschool programfor 3- and 4-year-olds at the same center. My position as ateacher in the center facilitated access to this classroom as Irequired permission only from the Centre Director and the Head98Teacher. Parents were also notified by letter of my presence inthe classroom.DescriptionThe 3 and 4-year--olds’ program was staffed by a Head Teacher,Sharon, and an assistant teacher, Mary. Sharon had a Master’sdegree in Child Development, as well as over 20 years of experiencein the field of early childhood education, teaching children’sprograms in the United States, Canada and England. She had beenan instructor in a training program for early childhood educationstudents. Her assistant teacher was a graduate student ineducation.The art area of the 3 and 4-year-olds’ classroom consisted oftwo hinged shelf units which held felt pens, paper, scissors, glueand collage materials. These shelves created a room divider fora round table. Although the teachers sometimes put felt pens orother materials on this table, it was usually the place wherechildren could select their own art materials and plan their ownprojects.A long rectangular table with wide traffic patterns around itprovided the place for most of the teacher-initiated artactivities. A 2-sided easel and a small table used for play dough,completed the spaces used for art. (See Appendix C.)Researcher’s RoleThis insider position and my knowledge of the programfacilitated communication with the teachers. On the other hand,stepping into the role of an outsider and questioning the taken for99granted assumptions originating in our common background as earlychildhood educators was difficult. At times, we could discuss theprogram as colleagues; yet concurrently, I was thrust into the roleof an outsider by my role as researcher, and by my expertise in arteducation. These perspectives had led me to construct views aboutart for preschool children which differed from the teachers’ views.Although I was accepted as a researcher, my position stillrequired negotiation and clarification about my purpose and role(Olesen & Whittaker, 1967; Wax, 1971). I wanted to contribute insome way to compensate for the time Sharon was spending with me.She was anxious that I share some of my observations with her, butI respected her as a professional and did not want to be in theposition of evaluating or judging the quality of the program. Idid share my observations and comments, but not all of my personalreflections, which might have been construed as being judgmental.My biases guided my questions and frequently determined the courseof our discussions, as I pushed for clarity of definitions. In theend, these discussions were a large factor in our mutualconstruction of this account (Light & Kleiber, 1981). I tried toremain enough of an outsider to reflect on the underlyingassumptions, values, and knowledge of the teachers which guided theart experiences in this classroom.While I knew some of the children who had been in the2-year-old program, I remained primarily a non-participantobserver, with an occasional situation when I offered assistance,100talked to a child who initiated a conversation with me, or wasinvited to join the group for snack time.ProceduresI observed the class during their free-play time on sixoccasions over a 2-month period. I met with Sharon on fiveseparate occasions to discuss her program, her views about the artcomponent of her program, her planning strategies, and herevaluation of the activities on those days that I had observed.After observing, I interviewed Sharon about her goals, and sharedmy observations with her. Following these interviews I shared mynotes with her to ensure that I was “seeing the world from herpoint of view.” Through this process the uniqueness of this“school art world” (Efland, 1976) emerged.In this situation I took field notes, reviewed them, madecomments and notes of patterns, and shared my observations withSharon. I also reflected on my own definitions and interpretationsof terms which arose in these discussions. These talks providedinsights into my own beliefs and practices. From the field notesI began to determine some underlying values and assumptions whichoperated in this preschool center. I created a taxonomic analysisof the contrasting terms “messy” and “non-messy” art, which seemedto provide a conceptual framework for Sharon’s program planning(Frake, 1962). I began to reflect on how such terms as “product”,“ownership” and conflicts between “messy and non-messy art”operated in my classroom. In this way, I had accomplished my goalof distancing myself to gain insights into cultural understandings101and values of the classroom. Following the completion of ananalysis of this phase of the study, I returned to my originaldata, and Phase III of the research.Phase IIIThe purpose for Phase III of the study was to continueobserving 2-year-olds engaged in art experiences, but with theaddition of researcher distance. I wanted to maintain the eticperspective of Phase II observations in the context of the2-year-old program, anticipating that this would provide insightsinto my own interactions in the program.In this Center there was one class of 2-year-olds that I didnot teach. Each child in the 2-year-old program was videotaped forone morning, beginning with the child’s arrival and ending withdeparture for outdoor play. In reviewing these single-child tapesI found four children who had been involved with art during themorning. I added these art segments to my data for analysis.While the tapes focused on an individual child, some art episodesincluded other children.As part of indefinite triangulation for Phase III, Iinterviewed three teachers involved in the 2-year-old program. Ishowed each teacher segments of video tapes in which they had beeninvolved. I asked them to interpret their interactions withchildren. I also asked them to explain or expand on some of theteacher-held values which I had derived from observations in PhaseII, e.g., neatness, product and ownership. Where necessary, I havefilled in missing words from interview transcriptions to create102coherent dialogues. The teachers reviewed interview transcriptionsto ensure that I understood their meaning.Summary of Phases I, II and IIIThe critical steps in the three phases of the research datacollection can be summed up as:Phase IYear 1 - Observed four, 2-year-old children using artmaterials once a month for seven months. Tapereview and development of a taxonomy of artbehaviours. Parent interviews.Year 2 - Observed two additional children once a monthfor seven months. Tape review and continuedcategorization of art behaviors.Phase IIYear 3 - Observed the art area of a 3 and 4-year-oldclassroom. Interviewed classroom teacher.Developed additional categories.Phase IIIYear 3 - Selected five single-child videotapedobservations from a 2-year-old class where Iwas not the usual teacher. Interviewedteachers in 2-year-old program.LimitationsDescriptive or naturalistic studies may not provide data whichcan be generalized to other situations (Lincoln & Guba, 1985;Patton, 1990). The original design and subsequent refocusing103through Phases II and III have placed limits on the conclusionswhich may be drawn from the study. The study is limited by thespecific setting in which it was conducted. Assumptions whichguided the researcher and other participants in this preschool maynot guide preschool programs in other settings. It was taken forgranted that understanding was being mutually constructedthroughout the study by the researcher and all participants, theresult of which limits the generalizations that may be drawn fromthis study and applied to other contexts.The study was limited by the research methods employed. Anon-participant observer and video camera are limited by the amountof information which can be recorded. Often the “camera’s eyeview” of the classroom eliminated information which might haveclarified an individual’s purpose or intention in a particularsituation. Poor microphone reception resulted in many verbalinteractions being lost, or totally reconstructed from the writtenobservation. Time and budget also placed constraints upon thestudy. It was only after reviewing parent interviews that itbecame clear that additional interviews would have addedinformation about ways in which parents had interacted with theirchildren around art materials, prior to the children’s entry toschool. Additional information would have helped to clarifychildren’s understanding about the purpose of art materials.Additional teacher interviews that focused on even more extensivevideo observations would have added to the reliability of theinterpretation of data.104The final limitation of the study rests within thedocumentation of the study and the representation of this artworld. Post—modern ethnographers deal with issues of how torepresent experience and what voice is appropriate for thatrepresentation (Clifford & Marcus, 1986; Denzin, 1991; Manning,1991). Although this study remains within a traditional model offield study and reporting (Denzin, 1991), something is lost inreducing lived experience to text. As Denzin put it, “the subjectis more than can be contained in a text. . ..“ (p. 68). In thissituation, there are several stages of removal from the livedexperience of the participants through the use of manually recordednotes, personal recall, the narrow focus of the video camera, andthe almost mute voices of the children whose experiences aredescribed. Even a short review of video taped data reminds theviewer how distant a text is from the complexities of the livedexperience.Additionally, how to express my own position becameproblematic. Reviewing the tapes over a period of several yearsprovided a certain distance to my own experience as teacher. Inthe Meadian sense, I have come to see myself as an object in thecontext of this study. To reflect this position, I have chosen touse my first name in descriptive episodes. The names of all otherindividuals have been changed to provide anonymity.Within these limitations, the purpose of this investigationis to provide a rich description of art-making in a preschoolclassroom which may present a “working hypothesis” (Cronbach, cited105in Lincoln & Guba, 1985) that other investigators may use toexamine children’s art-making in other contexts.Definition of TermsArt materialsFor the purposes of this study, art materials include:pencils, pens, chalk, crayons, felt pens, glue, paper, scissors,clay, play dough, paint and miscellaneous materials used forcollage and construction. Blocks were not included because theyare not usually treated as art materials, even though blockbuilding is related to sculpture and architecture.EpisodesAn art episode begins with the child observing or makingphysical contact with an art material or materials, and ends whenthe child ceases to observe or leaves the material. An artepisode may be a solitary activity or it may involve other people.Using a computer card filing system, I categorized each videoobservation into episodes, adding information from writtenobservations. This organization resulted in 278 cards describing159 separate art episodes. An episode was counted twice when bothtargeted children participated, because each child had a uniqueexperience within the episode. Time of participation in theepisode could also be different for each child. The targetedchild, date of observation, location, materials used, peopleinvolved, anecdotal records of the event and classificationdescriptors were identified for each episode. The descriptors camefrom the taxonomy of art behaviours that I developed from the106original analysis of the tapes and the research meetings in PhaseI. Descriptors also came from categories of behaviours andunderstandings derived from observations of the 3-4—year-old groupin Phase II. From these data, I added categories of ownership,product, permission, neatness, and order to those I had developedoriginally. This system provided the opportunity to sort andrecall information in a flexible manner, e.g. by child, material,peer or adult interaction, etc.. In selecting anecdotal examplesfor this analysis, I scrutinized each episode for elements whichmake it a typical/non-typical situation. Episodes are referencedby a six digit number and date. The first four digits refer tothe episode number, while the last two digits refer to the computerfile card number. The date is indicated by month and day. Forexample, a cutting episode involving Kate is coded 018100.04/19.The computer program determined the numbering system and so episode018130 means that the activity required three file cards to fullydescribe the episode.InteractionGoffman (1959) defined interactionas the reciprocal influence of individuals upon oneanother’s actions when in one another’s immediatephysical presence. An interaction may be defined as allthe interaction which occurs throughout any one occasionwhen a given set of individuals are in one another’scontinuous presence. (p. 15)Cosaro (1985) more precisely defined interactive episodes as:those sequences of behaviour which begin with theacknowledged presence of two or more interactants in anecological area and the overt attempt(s) to arrive at ashared meaning of ongoing or emerging activity.Episodes end with physical movement of interactant from107the area which results in the termination of theoriginally initiated activity. (p. 24)For this study, interactions about art may begin with a child,adult, or peer making a verbal or non-verbal indication with regardto an art material, and conclude when the child either leaves thematerial or continues to work alone. An art episode may becomposed of one or more interactive episodes. In some cases,interactive episodes are very brief or lack the mutual engagementof an interaction.Transitional EpisodesA transitional episode is one in which the child briefly usesthe materials, without apparent meaningful or thoughtfulengagement, between two other interactions or episodes. Forexample, following an easel painting episode Beth (007500.02/18)returns with Pat after washing her hands. She carries her apronto the easel and drops it on the floor. She turns toward theeasel, briefly, to watch Pat write names on paintings. As sheturns she sees the clay table where Ruth rolls and flattens clay,and Ruth asks her, “Do you want to try it?” This is the beginningof another episode (new material) and a new interaction.Interrupted activityAn interrupted activity is an activity where the child leavesthe activity or changes focus for a period of time but returns towork at the original activity in a manner that suggests acontinuity with the original engagement with the material. Newman(1978) recognized the mutual maintenance of interactive episodes,108stating that they “must be maintained among participants andothers” (pp. 215), otherwise distractions may break them up.This interruption may be self-initiated or initiated byothers. An example of a child initiating an interruption occurredwhen Michael was gluing yellow cellophane onto a sheet of paper(episode 012200.12/14) He returns the glue stick to its containerand runs to the rocking boat. One minute later he returns,searches through the collage pieces, selects several pieces ofpaper. He finds a piece of yellow cellophane and glues it onto hisoriginal paper. He leaves the table.Newman noted (1978) that participants and non-participantscooperate in maintaining an episode,In a nursery school classroom, the production of anepisode is a cooperative venture not only of theparticipants, but to some extent, of the outsiders aswell. The episode is not so powerful an institutionthat it can withstand the attacks of an outsider whorefuses to remain excluded. The episode, then, must beseen as constructed from both the inside and theoutside. (p.217)Interruptions may arise from teacher, peer or parentinterferences, in the form of external program constraints such as:clean-up time, hand-washing or toileting, another activityoccurring in the room, a parent joining or leaving the classroom,an adult making a comment to a child, an adult leaving theencounter, or another child’s involvement in the situation.The following abbreviations indicate data sources:T.I. - teacher interviewP.1. - parent interviewO.N. — observation note.109CHAPTER V. HOW CHILDREN USED ART MATERIALSThe original focus for the first phase of the study was on how2-year-old children use art materials. This focus relates tosensori-motor, or exploratory behaviour, and is closely connectedto Vygotsky’s definition of biological development. Vygotsky(1978) defined biological development as “practical activity” (p.24) without the unification of speech and activity. He drewparallels between young children’s and chimpanzees’ preverbal andpresymbolic use of tools. Vygotsky suggested that at thebiological level, young children respond first to the inherentphysical properties of materials. This section sets the foundationfor the discussion of the relationship between children’s use ofmaterials and their social interactions. It is composed of twomain parts: a) specific ways children explored and experienced theproperties of particular art materials, and b) children’sintentionality in the use of materials. These characteristics areexamined in relationship to other research results, as discussedin Chapter II. The episodes described in Chapter VI provide otherillustrations of how specific children responded to the artmaterials in this setting, either within a single episode or overa period of time. In addition, a number of non-media-specifictendencies appeared from the written and video observations.Children’s Responses to Inherent Properties of MaterialsThe children carefully studied properties of each material.They explored the tactile qualities of clay and play dough. Theyvisually tracked their marks across the paper as they painted or110drew, watched glue drip from the paint stick and explored how theycould spread it on the paper. They investigated ways to holdscissors and changed their hand holds on paint brushes. Accordingto Renninger (1989), children will continue investigative andmanipulative play behaviours with certain materials such as playdough, painting, and pasting, but not with other play materialssuch as blocks or trains, once an initial exploratory period hadpassed. Children’s re-engagement was apparent throughout the yearwith painting, gluing and play dough, as the dates of episodesillustrate.Drawing MaterialsDrawing media were located on the art shelf next to the roundtable and included pencils, a variety of crayons (round and blockcrayons), oil pastels and felt marking pens, and “Verithik” pencils(solid sticks of color like colored pencils without the woodcovering) in plastic containers or baskets. Paper was placed onthe table and on the adjacent art shelf. Thick and regular sizechalks were available at the chalkboards. Drawing materials werethe first materials introduced during the initial gradual entryperiod of one-hour per session.Children explored the marking potential of various markingtools: crayons, felt pens, chalk, oil pastels, pencils and ballpoint pens. For example, Jason (003300.11/05; 010000.04/22) triedout thick and thin chalk as he moved along the chalkboard, drawing;as did Carolyn (019000.11/06). In spontaneous drawings, the2-year-olds most frequently selected a variety of colors for eachliidrawing (Kate 0010500.11/02; Michael 014210.01/25). Sometimes, theychanged drawing media in a single picture, e.g., incorporatingcrayon and pencil in a single drawing (e.g., Kate 0010500.11/02).This contrasts with Golomb and Farmer’s (1983) finding that whendrawing about four themes, “the majority of 3-year-olds, used onlya single color on any given task” (p. 95). Golomb and Farmersuggested that when given a drawing task, the children werepossibly more concerned with depicting the content of theirdrawings than depicting colors in those drawings.The children discovered and explored graphic concepts oflines, directionality, shapes, and the relationship of these marksto objects in the world, in ways similar to the 3 to 5-year oldsin Smith’s (1972) painting study. In doing so, they employed avariety of hand positions on the marking tool. Kate employed anadult grip on her pencils as she drew (Kate 010500.11/02), well inadvance of expectations for hammer-like, or fist-grip described byHolladay (Brittain, 1979). The children generally behaved morelike the 3-year-olds in the Holladay study, paying carefulattention to the arrangement of marks.The children explored by arranging crayons and oil pastels intheir containers. This interest seemed to have less to do with thechild’s internalizing the adult value of neatness, and more to dowith the inherent properties of crayons aligned in a box (Beth006310.01/21; Carolyn 022240.03/22; Jason 006510.01/21; Kate015910.2/15; Michael 015100.02/15).112PaintThe paint was powdered tempera paint, pre-mixed by theteachers and placed in cans at the easel. At the beginning of theyear, teachers placed a brush in each color. Thick and thinbrushes were also placed in a can at the end of the row of paints,allowing children choices of brush size. Later in the year,children chose their own brushes. The primary colors were set outat the beginning of the year, later other colors, including blackand white, were added. Small baby food jars of tempera were putout at the table during Phase III. Tempera blocks in smallcontainers and cans of water, were available at the table.However, there are very few documented uses of these paints in thevideo episodes. Teachers reported that they were used more oftenon non-observation days.Children began their paint explorations with visualexamination, followed by stirring and jabbing brushes in the paintcans (Jason 003400.11/05; Beth 008700.03/18; Kate 016900.03/22).They looked at the paint-covered bristles of the brush as theyremoved and replaced their brushes. They watched other childrenpainting. Through touch, stirring and applying brush to paper theyexplored the texture and consistency of the paint (Beth003900.11/05; Jason 00340011/05; Allan 020610.12/04). Theyexplored various surfaces for painting such as hands and furniture(Jason 010110.04/22). They noted when their brushes ran out ofpaint, examining the tip of the brush before replacing it in a113container (Beth 007300. 02/18; Jason 007110.02/18). They trieddifferent brushes in the same can of paint (Beth 008700.03/18).The children utilized various hand-holds on the brush as theyworked (Ten 001620.01/21; Leanne 002300.4/15). Sometimes, theyheld the brush at the tip of the handle (e.g., Kate 011700.11/30).Other children used a fist-grip mid-way along the handle, and stillothers employed a more adult-like grip using their fingers.Hand-holds on the brush also changed, depending on the child’s bodyposition in relationship to the paint container and easel. Smith(1983) noted, children often switched hands and used the handclosest to the color they were using (e.g., Jason 004800.11/26).Beth did this in her first painting (003900.11/05). However, laterin the year, she consistently used her right hand for the brush,reaching across her body to use paints on the left side of theeasel. She had a tendency to begin her brush stroke above herselected can of paint, but she did not confine her brush stroke tothis area. This pattern was noted in other children’s paintingsas well.The most frequently employed arm movements (identified byMatthews, 1983) were the push-pull actions which resulted invertical/horizontal lines, horizontal arcs, “bang dots” (Smith,1972; 1983) and closed circular shapes. When Ten (0016200.1/21)painted bang dots on her paper, she needed to shift hand positionsfrom a fist-grip on the brush to one where she held the tip of thebrush handle like a lever.114When Kate began to paint at the easel, she used lines, dots,and circular shapes, similar to those in her drawings. It wasn’tuntil January that her paintings become masses of color and lesslinear in appearance. Later, her paintings varied between thosewhich seemed to have been done quickly and are largely composed ofsingle line brush strokes, and those in which brush strokes havebeen expanded or overlaid to create masses of color.In contrast, Beth’s paintings began as masses of overlaidcolors, indicative of the long time spent on each painting, and herexperiences at home with fingerpaint. Later in the year herpaintings became more linear, and also appeared to be completedmore quickly.Corcoran (1954) found there was a tendency for children toselect paints by systematically working down the array, and Biehier(Lowenfeld & Brittain, 1975) found that children applied paint inrelationship to the location of the color on the easel tray. Somechildren in this study did systematically work their way along thepaint tray (Ten 001500.01/21; Kate 013410.01/25). However, not allchildren used this approach. Some children also painted directlyabove the paint container (008700.03/18).GlueThe glue used in the Centre was white glue poured into smallbaby food jars and applied with plastic g.lue spreaders.Renninger (1989) and Smith (1979) suggested that childrenengage in similar action patterns with a variety of materialsrather than use material-specific action patterns. In other words,115the repertoire of behaviours was child-related rather thanmaterial-related. Each medium responds differently to the child’saction pattern, which provides different results (Smith, 1979).This transference is clear with respect to children’s firstexperiences with glue, discussed below, and was apparent in Kate’sfirst paintings, when she created line formations which weresimilar in her drawings and paintings.The inherent properties of glue are similar to paint, andsuggested similar actions to the children: stirring and jabbing thesubstance in its container, spreading it across a surface (Jason009700.04/22), and dripping it from the glue applicator held abovethe paper (Kate 012300.12/14; 0163.03/22). Children were concernedabout getting it on their fingers, and quickly wiped it off (Bethand Jason 006800.01/21; Kate 012300.12/14; Richard 000900.12/10).In their first gluing experiences, some children spread glueacross paper without sticking things down. Only throughintervention by adults or peer modelling did the children began tounderstand the difference between glue and paint. For example,after Beth watched Susan drip glue, she took her own glue stick anddabbed it onto the paper, repeatedly jabbing the glue stick intothe container and then onto the paper, pushing the glue around thepaper. She continued to watch Susan. Pat showed Beth paper piecesfor gluing but she did not take any (005210.12/10).In her first gluing experience, Kate peered into the jar ofglue, holding the glue stick at the tip of the handle, spread theglue gently onto the paper. She commented that she got “sticky”116and dripped the glue onto the paper. She glued one white squareonto her paper (012300.12/14). She was more engaged with theproperties of the glue than with its purpose. Two months later,she commented that another child was “painting a white house” ashe spread glue on his paper (015800.02/15).CollageCollage materials included a variety of colored paper pieces,e.g, construction paper, tissue paper, cellophane and geometricsticker shapes. These materials were available on the art shelf andsometimes set out on the art table.Once children understood the purpose of glue, they carefullyselected specific materials for gluing, and seemed to pay closeattention to where they placed these materials on the paper. Theyusually spread the glue liberally onto the paper, then put thecollage pieces down. Michael’s first gluing experience, where heselected yellow cellophane pieces, is an example of a young childmaking specific choices of collage materials.When the video camera first focuses on Michael, he hasjust glued a single piece of yellow cellophane onto asheet of green construction paper. He has also applieda strip of glue with a plastic glue spreader, aboutthree inches from the cellophane. He carefully takes asecond piece of yellow cellophane from the container onthe table, unfolds it, peers at it intently, thencarefully places it to the left of the glue strip. Hespreads more glue about one inch away from the stripwhich is still visible, and chooses a black square. Heputs this on the paper and carefully adjusts it to fitprecisely between the two strips of glue on the paper.He drips and spreads glue in a patch adjacent to theblack piece and leaves to explore the rocking boat, anew piece of equipment. Shortly, he returns to thetable and picks up three pieces of collage material,dropping one as he does so. He returns this piece andanother to the container,117retaining one piece of yellow cellophane which heapplies to the glue patch on the paper. He leaves thetable. (012200.12/14) (Tarr, 1990, pp. 87)In Kate’s extended gluing experiences in March and April(016300.03/22; 017800.04/19), Oliver commented that she seemed toknow what she was looking for. At that point she clearlyunderstood the purpose of glue, demonstrated by her selection andplacement of paper shapes on her paper, but spent the majority ofthe episode dripping glue to create masses of glue lines across herpaper.ScissorsThe scissors provided in the program were children’s plastic“safety” scissors. These cut more efficiently than children’smetal scissors. They can also be used in either hand, eliminatingthe need for right-handed and left-handed scissors. Children beganthe process of learning to use scissors in an exploratory way.They began to make the connection between an awareness of thefunction of scissors to cut, and translated that to understandinghow to manipulate the scissors to accomplish that function. Theyvisually examined the scissors, turning them around, and in somecases, mouthing them. The actual form of the scissors suggestedseveral approaches to the children. A common way was the 2-handedapproach of holding one handle in each hand (Allan 02310.3/12;Richard 00100.12/10; Carolyn 022600.03/12).A second approach was the midpoint hold. Both Kate(015930.02/15) and Ten (01100.01/21) attempted to cut by holdingthe scissors at the point where the blades cross. This freed up118one hand for holding the paper, but did not prove to be effective.A third approach was to place fingers into the holes of the scissorhandles, with the thumb down so that the hand is turned and theback of the hand is toward the body (Jason 009710.04/22; Ruth00100.12/10; Tina 022610.03/12; 0244.04/09).Clay/Play DoughThe presentation of clay and play dough in the classroom wassimilar. The teachers made the play dough before the childrenarrived, and kept it in a covered plastic container. It was useddirectly on the tabletop, or on small plastic mats. Clay was keptin a small plastic covered garbage can and was used on pieces ofparticleboard to keep it from sticking to the plastic-laminatetabletops. When tools were used with these materials, the toolsincluded wooden chopsticks, toothpicks, wooden stir sticks, dullknives, 1” diameter wooden dowels cut into rollers and some largerolling pins. Sometimes scissors were used with play dough as ameans of facilitating children’s acquisition of cutting skills.Cookie cutters were not provided. Children would bring plasticdishes, cars, animals and other small toys to the play dough table,and took the play dough to the doll center. A teacher usuallywedged the clay to see that it was an appropriate consistency foruse.Children’s responses to the inherent properties of clay andplay dough fit closely to Golomb’s (1974) and Brown’s (1975)descriptions: pushing, pulling, rolling, squeezing, patting,pulling it apart and poking things into it. Examples of these119behaviours are included in Chapter VI because of the social natureof play dough and clay use in the 2-year-old program, and will notbe described here. Renninger (1989) noted that children workedwith play dough in close proximity to others. She concluded, “Whata child does with playdough appears to develop out of thepossibilities for manipulating playdough and what others are doingwith playdough in that classroom” (p. 152). Sherman (1984) alsocommented that imitation had an important place in 3 and4-year-olds use of play dough. In the 2-year-old program, therewere only three play dough/clay episodes documented where a childappeared to work alone, so that it is difficult to separateinherent uses of clay from socially constructed uses, in thisstudy.The manipulative and modelling potential of the materialcontains an implicit relationship to objects which is differentfrom two-dimensional materials. It can be used manipulatively, for“action representation” (Matthews, 1984) or used to createrepresentations of things. Renninger (1989) found that play doughleads other materials in transformational play, where it becomessomething else which is played with. The 2-year-olds transformedplay dough/clay into balls (009140.03/18; 0022100.02/05), a boat(018700.10/09), a birthday cake (025310.05/07), and food in thedoll center (001110.01/21).IntentionalityOne of the most striking features of 2-year-old children’s useof art materials which emerged from this study was the careful120attention they paid to their placement of marks and selection ofmaterials. They clearly demonstrated intentionality in their useof art media. According to Reber (1985), intentional behavior andintentionality are defined as follows,Intentional - Deliberate, purposeful, goal-oriented.Generally used to characterize acts undertakenconsciously. Intentionality - internal mental orcognitive states in that they are focused outward atobjects, events and states in the real world. (p. 366)Intentional, focused behaviour is very different from thenotion of “random” “haphazard” scribbling, or marking behaviourdone for kinesthetic enjoyment perpetuated by some authors(Herberholz & Hanson, 1990; Lasky & Mukerji, 1980). In contrast,Gardner (1980) and Smith (1983) cited examples of young children’sdeliberate and purposeful behaviour while drawing and painting.The following two episodes are illustrative of the kinds ofintentional behavior the children in this study demonstrated. Thefirst is a condensed description of a 5-minute chalkboard drawingepisode during which Jason systematically explored the thicknessand color qualities of chalk.Jason holds two pieces of chalk. He draws with the thinchalk in his left hand, then tries a large piece ofchalk in his right hand. He switches and marks theboard with a piece of fat white chalk, then an thinorange piece, then switches again to a large whitepiece. He gazes at the thick chalk. He watches themarks he makes on the board as he works. He triesdrawing with his left hand again, holding the chalkeraser in his right hand. He draws with his right hand,and rubs out his marks. After he does this, he drawshis finger across the wooden molding of the chalk tray,feeling the chalk dust. He looks at the brush side ofthe eraser intently. Then he shakes the dust off it.He draws again, making horizontal arcs, stretching as ifto test how high he can reach. He makes a similar backand forth mark below the first one. He turns away from121the board, wiping his hands together, and crosses to thesmall table in the doll center. (010000.04/22)The second episode focuses on Allan (2.2 years) easelpainting. He not only looks away from his painting but leaves itbriefly, and returns to continue to paint from one of his originalbrushstrokes on the paper.Allan, wearing a solid colored, green shirt announces,“I want to paint”, as he approaches the easel. WatchingSam paint, Allan walks to the unoccupied side of theeasel. Standing on the right-hand side of the easel,left arm on his hip, he picks up a brush in his righthand and paints a green downward vertical mark on theright-hand side of his paper above the can of greenpaint. He enlarges the brush mark, ending in a circularline to the left, then walks to the other edge of theeasel dragging his brush along the paper as he does so.He looks away, swings his arm on the paper, continuingto make a few marks as he looks across the room. Helooks at the paper, marking and noticing that verylittle paint is being left on the paper. He examinesthe tip of the brush closely and replaces it in thegreen can. He moves back to the left side of the paper,looking at the cans of paint as he goes, and selectingpurple on the far left end of the paint tray. He makesa vertical stroke downward, roughly centered on hispaper, curving the line to the right in a reverse “j”form. He paints over part of the line, and makes a fewbrush jabs at the base of the curve, then walks aroundthe easel to watch the teacher take the other’s child’spainting off the easel. He goes to the adjacent tablewhere the teacher is writing Sam’s name on the paper.Allan sits down and manipulates scissors. He “suddenly”returns to the easel, picking up the purple brush,places it on the purple line, about one-third down, andmakes a downward curving line. He dips the brush in thecan, watches the paint drip from the end, then makes asweeping line which crosses the vertical line at thejunction of the two previous lines, sweeping the line ina curve up to the left corner of the paper. As hesweeps the brush upward, parts of the line are thickerand darker. He replaces the brush in the can andleaves. (0020610.12/04) (Tarr, 1990, p. 86)When he began painting, Allan’s position at the easeldetermined the arrangement and placement of the green paint on the122paper as noted by dare (1988). However, body placement or bodydynamics do not seem to account for the build-up of strokes on thecenter line, nor does it account for his return to the easel andcontinuation of marks along the center line. It appears as if hisfinger grip on the brush did not allow him to keep continuouspressure on the brush as he swung it upward. Only when he wasmaking vertical lines was he able to keep a constant pressure onthe brush. It is apparent from his rejection of the brush that hadrun out of paint, and his painting over some lines, that hisprimary intent is to create marks and lines in paint, rather thanfor the pleasure in moving his brush across the paper. (Tarr, 1990,pp. 87)Allan selected specific colors from the array on the easel,even though he systematically moved along the easel as he made hisselection. The care Allan and other 2-year-olds took in makingmarks or creating visual formations was not limited to painting,but was a component of other typical art activities such asMichael’s first collage, described previously.Part of the careful attention to placement relates to “fillthe format” principle (Wilson & Wilson, 1982a, pp. 43). Usuallythis principle has been applied to symbolic drawings where childrenwill add fingers or legs on animals until the available space isfilled. In the case of 2-year-olds, this principle can be appliedto situations where children deliberately searched the paper forunpainted, or unmarked places. This was most frequently documentedin paintings because the camera could more easily focus on the123paper as the child painted. Smith (1972) noted that older childrenalso searched for spaces on the paper to paint color shapes.Attention ShiftsAnother striking observation was children’s ability to shifttheir attention back and forth between art-making and classroomactivity. Children frequently turned to watch other children orevents while engaged in using art media. Sometimes childrenstopped their marking, or glue dripping, etc., in mid-action, andsometimes they continued with this activity, although their visualattention was focused elsewhere. In these cases, kinestheticpleasure in the activity did not seem to be the primary reason forcontinued marking. For example, during the chalkboard episode,Jason frequently turned to watch other activities in the room,especially a group playing musical instruments just out of camerarange. At one point he moved his arm in the air in time to thesound. He then continued to draw. It appears from this episodethat Jason has internalized, or understands, the result of hisaction to the extent that he can shift his attention to keep trackof other events in the room. Marking becomes part of hisunconscious behaviour while he consciously attends to anotherevent. The continued marking may serve as a “marker” which assistshim in his re-engagement with the drawing activity.When children did re-engage, they frequently continued to workwith the material in a way that was fully integrated into theoriginal work. This suggests that the work, itself, has a visual124integrity created by the child’s intentional use of the materials.It also suggests that this visual integrity, or “completeness”(Webster, 1989, P. 388) results, in part, from the “dialogue”between the child and the media (Smith, 1972; 1983) in part fromthe visual concepts the child is exploring through this dialogue,and in part from the young child’s innate preference to createbalanced forms (Kellogg, 1970). There were times when children didnot refocus on the art experience, or left to pursue anotheractivity. These were conscious choices. In two situations,children chose to abandon their activity but later returned tocontinue on the same piece of artwork (Michael’s collage andAllan’s painting).Both Jason and Allan were able to shift attention, thenrefocus on a work and retain a continuity and unity with the work.When Allan returned to his painting, his lines connected to lineshe had made previously and served to “finish” his work. This wouldbe less clear had he returned and begun to paint in any blank areaon the paper. Jason’s placement of yellow cellophane also retainedthe continuity of the original work.Aesthetic SensitivityAesthetic response for very young children is the innate humancapacity to respond to sensory input in which thinking and feelingare unified, and on which more sophisticated responses areconstructed (Feeney & Moravcik, 1987). Flannery (1977) defined itas follows:We come into aesthetic feeling when we allow feeling tocommand our full attention. Aesthetic feeling, because125it completely floods consciousness, increases theintensity of feeling. It is feeling with the volumeturned up. It does not lead to practical, efficient, orproductive ends in and of itself. It has its own end.(p. 22)Matthews (in press) provided an example of this heightenedfeeling demonstrated by his 2-year-old daughter, Hannah, as shelinked sounds and marking. He argued that this multi-sensoryexpression is the beginning of “aesthetic sensibility.”The children in the 2-year-old program expressed theiraesthetic sensitivity through the form of heightened responsecombined with intentionality. This is not the kind of aestheticresponse which is taught by philosophers, art critics or arteducators who strive to inculcate specific cultural values andstandards for beauty. That kind of educated aesthetic response issocially constructed. Young childrens’ responses to materialswere very personal, although they lacked verbal skills to explaintheir experiences. However, this lack of verbalization does notmean that the children were incapable of responding in a highlysensitive way to particular colors, lines or shapes or textures orsounds. Brittain (1979) provided additional evidence of youngchildren’s aesthetic responses.When Jason (005900.01/21) selects a piece of collage material,fingers it carefully, and holds it to his chest, we might surmisethat he is having an aesthetic response to this material. Todismiss his experience as lacking aesthetic quality is to treatJason as less than fully human. Michael also demonstrated thiskind of aesthetic response when he carefully chose yellow126cellophane from a container of collage materials. Kathy Stinson(1982) attempted to articulate this kind of heightened feelingthrough a young girl’s responses to her favourite color, in thepicture book, Red is Best. Parents and teachers easily recognizethe sentiment when the protagonist in the story declares, “Butjuice tastes better in the red cup” (p. 16).This discussion has highlighted the approaches children tookas they explored art materials in the 2-year-old program. Inkeeping with the contextual perspective of this study, the purposewas to build up descriptions of how they used the material ratherthan to standardize or quantify a range of normal developmentalpatterns. The wide range of the art behaviours for these2—year—olds illustrates the limitations of developmental norms andhighlights the complex nature of children’s explorations. Whereasfindings from many of the research studies cited in Chapter II werecorroborated in some instances, e.g. the relationship of bodyposition to marks on a paper (Clare, 1988), color selection at theeasel (Corcoran, 1954), grip on brushes and drawing implements(Griffin, et al., 1981; Brittain, 1979) there were exceptions andvariations and one explanation did not apply to all cases.Although the children demonstrated clear intentional behaviour asthey used the materials, research about production strategies forcreation of symbolic forms was not useful for the exploratoryaspect of artistic expression. The study did not addresschildren’s cognitive style, although personality differences127clearly contributed to variations in children’s responses to theuse of materials.Social FactorsDiscussion of how children used the materials should not beinterpreted to mean that children use these media without socialmediation. From their first use of a specific art medium or tool,the experience is mediated by another individual. Renninger (1989)stated this in terms of a child’s “stored knowledge” of thepotential of a particular play object which includes “thefunctional properties of the play object, as well as the culturallyprescribed use of the play object” (p. 152). The culturallyprescribed use of the material is socially mediated. Children’sexperience with tools or materials and the social mediationsurrounding the use of the media move them into more advancedlevels of mental functioning expressed through symbolic use of themedia. This dynamic relationship serves to expand the symbolicpossibilities of the material (Vygotsky, 1978). This interplay ofsocial mediation, tool use and symbolic expression extends thepossibilities for artistic expression available to the child, whilealso constraining the child to culturally prescribed uses of thematerials.128CHAPTER VI: INTERACTION IN THE CLASSROOMValues, Frames, and InteractionsIntroductionThis discussion of how interactionism was seen to operate ina preschool classroom is divided into three parts: values, framesand interactions. Although each of these is inextricably connectedto the others, for clarity they are presented under three separatesections in this chapter.Values are principles which direct interactions and frames.Values are not always explicit, nor does the teacher convey themdirectly. Within the context of the environment, meaning isconstructed, and situations are defined through human interactionswhich frame expectations and occurrences within the preschoolprogram. Implicit and explicit cultural values are transmitted tothe children through these interactions. These components arecomplexly interwoven and fluid, creating the fabric of the livedworld of the classroom. Interactions include person-to-personencounters related to art-making activities. Frames are thespecific contexts in which the interactions occur. Contextincludes the dynamics of space, time, materials, and humanparticipants.The complexity of context is described by Kelly-Byrne (1989)in her study of one child’s play. She included as part of context!!premises, evaluations, associations, biographical factors,ecological factors, and intentions and rules about the behavior129in which the participants are involved” (p. 223). Bernier (1981)expressed a similar definition of context,a sociopsychological reality embedded in ideologicalconstructs. These constructs emerge from uniquebiographies of individuals, the histories of settings,and the activities of individuals within the settings.Transactions are dynamic processes which alterperspectives but which are also defined bypreestablished orientations. (p. 295)Pedagogy is also inextricably woven into this investigation,in the sense that Max van Manen (1991) understands the constructionof meaning as originating in pedagogy,Pedagogical action and reflection consist in constantlydistinguishing between what is good or appropriate andwhat is not good or less appropriate for a particularchild or group of children. In other words, pedagogicallife is the ongoing practice of interpretive thinkingand acting --on the part of adults, but also andespecially on the part of the children who continuallyinterpret their own lives and who constantly form theirown understandings of what it means to grow up in thisworld. (p. 60)The description of the interactions which define and frame theart-making experience for children in this research setting, withinvan Manen’s definition of pedagogical life, form the essence ofdiscussion on interactions. Teachers’ interactions are guided bytheir explicit assumptions about children, learning, and art.Explicit assumptions include those ideas which the teachersarticulate to parents about their program, or include in a brochureor philosophy statement. Implicit or tacit values which guide theteachers’ interactions will form part of the discussion underValues.130ValuesTobin, Wu and Davidson (1989) studied preschool education inthree cultures. They concluded,Preschools, although a relatively new invention, aremore a force of cultural continuity than culturalchange. Preschools work more to instill than to subvertthe values parents in China, Japan and the United Stateswish to pass on to their children. (p. 221)Implicit values which emerged from the interactions of theparticipants in the research setting form part of this discussionof how meaning about art-making is constructed. Bernier (1981)stated,Perceptual frames of reference emerge from a complexmixture of factors and influences but central to theprocess of perceptual orientation are the ideologicalmaps which individuals have internalized. These beliefsystems provide a foundation for the selection andsorting processes involved in perceiving, categorizing,excluding, judging, inferring defining and intending.(p. 293)Throughout the three sections of this chapter, assumptions areexpressed through the conversations and interactions betweenteachers and children. The teachers in the 2-year-old programexpressed common assumptions about art and the purpose of art inthe classroom. Their words appear within the context of specificart episodes described in this chapter. As part of Kasting’s studyof Parents and Educators Learning Together in a Preschool Program,I was interviewed in 1989 about my role as a teacher in the2-year-old program. The following is extracted from Kasting (1991)to provide my own perspective, as I explained it to her:.1 see my role as setting the environment. . . It isalways evolving based on my past experience and what Iunderstand about two-year-olds. What I have observed of131children within that particular [age] group, theirinterests, how they use materials, what kinds ofmaterials intrigue that group or individual childrenwithin that group. And then within that allowing thema long period of time in which to explore theenvironment at their own pace; the human environment andthe object environment. [Time] to explore each other,develop relationships, become involved, [and] time tomake choices about how they will use it. The focus ison them rather than on standards or expectations that Imight have for their use. I don’t have a major agendafor those children that they must accomplish this kindof thing within a day. Sometimes parents have anagenda, they will see that there are so many things andit would be lovely if the child would use all thosethings or many of them. Whereas, I see that the childreally deserves the respect and the opportunity to do itat his or her own pace and to make the kinds of use outof that space, time, and materials that are appropriatefor whatever issues or interests that the childhas.. .what they are resolving or working on.Often the decisions as to what to put out initiallyare things we know from the home visits that they dohave in their home. It is a way of making thatconnection between their home and the Centre. So, overthe first few weeks things will always be in the sameplace and we will not offer too many new things becausewe want it to be predictable. Because when [the child]comes once a week and you try to retainsome. . .expectations about what you are going to do whenyou get there.... When I go to school I [child] like touse this so it is important that it is there and that itis there predictably. As the year goes on then you cansee that they are ready for new things and a greaterrange, it is not so important to have the same things.Part of my responsibility is interpreting toparents and helping them to see a sense of competencyand mastery that children gain through repetition,through having time to explore things in depth, not justsuperficially (pause) going beyond the first level ofdoing something. There are many ways you can explore acrayon. If you only have a crayon that you use to makea few lines with and then you are offered felt pens thenthat is a different thing. Now, if we want kids toreally see the options that there are many ways that youcan use crayons you need many experiences. (Kasting,1991, pp. 127—128)In the context of that interview, my values emerged as havingchildren make choices, become independent, and have opportunities132to explore the properties of materials and gain mastery of toolsand materials. These coincide with those expressed by Lasky andMukerji in Art: Basic for Young Children. Interviews andobservations in the 3 and 4-year-old classroom during Phase II ofthe study revealed to me some of the underlying values andassumptions which I brought to the analysis of the data collectedin the 2-year--old program. From these interviews and observations,it became apparent, also, that Sharon’s art program was guided bythree key explicit assumptions: 1) creativity is an importantmental process which can be stimulated by giving children artmaterials to use; 2) children have a basic need to be messy whichcan be met through the provision of wet art materials such aspaint, fingerpaint and printing; and 3) children learn to do artby doing it, and not through direct instruction in “art skills.”The following points have been extrapolated from interviews withSharon, and are expressed in her own words,Art is important. Art is important for these childrenbecause they don’t get it at home every day. They maynot even get much art later on in school. Even thoughthey come from advantaged homes, the kind of artmaterials most parents provide are felt pens and otherthings to draw with. They don’t provide children withmessy kinds of activities like paint and fingerpaint.I even sent my own children to preschool because Icouldn’t provide messy art at home. Here at the Centrethe children can get messy without being frowned on.Self-concept. One of my main goals for children is forthem to feel they “can do”; they can succeed and have areal sense of mastery. Art materials feed into thatimportant goal because there is no “right way” to usethem. Children can manipulate, explore, change andcreate, which in turn gives the child a sense of power.I feel art and large motor activities feed self—conceptmore than other curriculum areas, such as dramatic playor blocks, and in turn, confidence for other aspects of133the program can come from the child’s success using artmaterials.Process of creating. Art is really anything theyproduce in that learning center. If teachers providechildren with materials, time and support, thenchildren’s creativity can be nurtured. I stronglybelieve that the process of creating and of doing is farmore important for children than the product. This isa hard concept to relate to parents as they often expectand encourage their children to bring art home, whichstresses the product. As teachers, we do get excitedabout the product, but I try to de-emphasize it byputting work up on the walls rather than sending it homeevery day. Consequently, parents do not expect or putpressure on the child to produce something each day.Displaying art. One of the things I learned from ateacher I worked with in England was how important it isto arrange children’s work aesthetically. It showsrespect for the work when it is displayed attractively.How the art is displayed reveals a lot about apreschool. You can tell about the teacher’sunderstanding of developmental levels and whether herchoices of art activities are appropriate for the agesof the children. If the art is good, then I feel itcommunicates about the quality of the entire program.Teacher’s role and program planning. I think it iscritical to provide the messy art activities whichchildren aren’t given at home. This includes easel andtable painting, string painting, printing,fingerpainting, paper mache, and collage. I also wantto provide some activities which are cooperativeactivities. This may include painting with a friend orworking on a mural or group project over several days.In planning activities for 3’s and 4’s, especiallyfor 3’s, the activity should be self-evident through thearrangement of materials, and should not require a lotof instruction. Children don’t always see the potentialof a material, so you may have to do some “teaching” orshowing them possibilities. I might just do it withoutsaying anything, just fold a piece of paper, forexample, and those who want to do it will. They willalso pick up on the reinforcing comments you make toother children about their work. Certainly therelationship the teacher has with the children, beingthere and talking with them, changes what they will do.The teacher must be attuned to children, and beencouraging so that children will take advantage of theactivity. I think it is important to repeat activities.This repetition is important because some children will134watch for several days before they try an activity. Itisn’t necessary to put everything out every day but tokeep stability by not changing things every day either.What is important is keeping a balance between familiarand new materials. I am constantly looking for thingsthat will give the art a spark, new colors, a newmaterial, or a new position for the easel or art table.These changes will also influence how children view thematerial or how it is used.Contrived art. When I talk about art that is notcontrived, I am talking about experiences in which, asI mentioned before, children have choices in their useof the material. I call the contrived art ‘teacherart’. You see a lot of it in schools, like theHalloween pumpkins with shapes for faces. When childrenare finished all the products look alike. I try toprovide an opportunity for children to combine colors,textures or different shapes so that each work is notgoing to look the same. Even when I cut out fishshapes, which does provide a stimulus for children, eachfish will look different in the end. Each child has thefreedom to make the fish his or her own. The connectionbetween the unit and the activity has to be a realconnection not a contrived one. I couldn’t imaginedoing an art activity on a health unit for this agegroup of children, for instance. What could you do forthis age group that wouldn’t be contrived?Messy/non-messy art. I want to go back to what I saidabout messy art being a critical part of the artprogram. I really classify art activities into twokinds: ‘wet’ or ‘messy’ and ‘dry’ or ‘non-messy’. Thisgives me a way to view the activity and clues forplanning and preparation. Knowing an activity is‘messy’ I know that I will present it on the largerectangular table which has lots of space around it, andthat I will need aprons and water for clean up. Wet ormessy art says to me that it is big, dramatic and oftencooperative. Dry art usually takes place on the roundtable. This doesn’t need as much supervision, it ismore crowded in space, and is near the shelves wherechildren can help themselves.“Work and play”, “product and ownership”, “messy and non-messyart” which emerged from these interviews with Sharon, as well frommy own experiences in the classroom, provided themes around whichsocial interaction, in the 3 and 4-year-old classroom and in the1352-year-old classroom, might be observed and compared. In theseextracts, the values of the teachers, as well as the emergingvalues of the children, may be identified. For the purposes ofthis study, the modifying effects of dialogue, among peers andbetween teachers and children, are particularly significant.Work and PlayExamining teacher’s language through semantic analysis aroundparticipation in classroom experiences revealed a dichotomy betweennotions of work and play. Implicit notions about work emerged asone of the salient implicit values operating in these classroomswhich influenced interactions across a variety of levels.Work and play are adult concepts which adults apply toactivities and experiences in the classroom (Suransky 1982).Children “act”, experience, and play but do not naturally dividethese activities into categories of work or play. Suransky wrote,It was Marx who advanced the thesis that work is themode basic to the development of the self. While “man”is of the world, he changes and transforms his worldthrough his labor; hence man makes his own historythrough his work.... Play that is meaningful, play thatfashions and transforms the landscape of the child,becomes authentic labor in the very act of playing;hence, childhood as a life phase does not dichotomizethe meaningful purposive human activity of “work-play”for the child works while playing and plays whileworking. (p. 98)Froebel, who is considered the “father of kindergarten” wasalso work oriented in his creation of gifts and occupations whichwere given to children to be used in a structured sequence and inspecific ways (Tarr, 1989). When Peabody (1890, p. 274) wroteabout the values of a kindergarten education she stated that136children would “learn consideration of other through workingtogether and creating gifts for family and friends” (cited in Tarr,1989) and would have acquired habits of “docility, industry andorder” (Peabody p. 277).According to Efland (1983), “the central characteristic of allschool art styles is that their form and content are determined bythe purposes of schooling. In the case of the common schools inthe 19th century, the purpose was to socialize youth into a systemof industrial education” (p. 150). These work related terms havecarried over into contemporary programs for young children. In thepreschool classroom, activities are frequently introduced as, What“jobs” would you like to do today? Where would you like to work?Teachers will ask children if they want to play in: the blockcenter, or housekeeping center; do they want to play with water?Sand? Play dough? Teachers usually ask children if they want towork at: the art center, the art table?. .or on puzzles ? They mayask children if they would like to paint at the easel, make acollage, draw a picture, paint a picture, or do a painting.Teachers do not ask children if they want to play at the art centeror at the easel. Carolyn tells her mother, “Mummy play with that,”pointing to felt pens (022600.03/12). But an adult was more likelyto say, “What’s Ross working on? He’s busy, isn’t he?”(012900.12/14), thus expressing the relationship of work toart-making.137Product and OwnershipWork is directly related to issues of product and ownership.Drawings, paintings, and collages are saved. Works on paper aresaved. These are easier to save than 3-dimensional objects, but thewillingness to save them also has to do with what is valued andwhy. It may be that creations on paper are work-related becauseof the relationship of the tools to reading and writing. If thepaper was getting thoroughly covered, or in danger of tearing froman abundance of paint, teachers were quick to suggest starting ona new piece of paper (001700.02/15).Interactions occurring about clay and play dough use suggestthat these materials are perceived to be more process-oriented.Creations in these materials were rarely saved, but were returnedto a container to be reused, in the same way sand constructions andblock constructions were put away for another time.One of the values Sharon stressed in her art program, and isexpressed in the literature describing art programs for earlychildhood education, is the importance of process over product.This is closely related to the Piagetian and Lowenfeldian notionthat the child will learn to make art by doing it. However,classroom observations in all phases of this study point tocontradictions in this value of process over product. The child’sritual of taking an artwork to the teacher for acknowledgment uponcompletion illustrates this contradiction. Teachers acknowledgedthe product and wrote the child’s name on it. In addition,teachers frequently suggested that the child put the work in some138safe place, or assisted the child in hanging it up. This isindicative of product and property. The name identifies the objectwith the self. The child and the work become part of each other.Sharon expressed this in terms of developing positive self-conceptsin children.Children developed an understanding of this through adults’routine encounters and would announce, “I did”, or “I painted.” Ifteachers really believe that the process is what is important,saving work and putting names on it would not be important. At thebeginning of the year in the 2-year-old class, most of the childrenwere content to walk away from the easel when they finishedpainting. Shortly afterward, another child might begin to painton this painting. Often, neither child expressed concern aboutthis. Children who did object tended to be children with oldersiblings, or who had attended other kinds of preschool programs.For example, when Allan painted on Jennifer’s painting, she jumpedup and down and cried, so Pat set up painting on the table forAllan (019600.11/06). (Jennifer has two older and a youngersibling.) The importance of ownership and product weresystematically taught to these children through examples such asthe following,Carolyn watches Valerie pour more green paint. Carolynstrokes orange paint on Dan’s painting. Dan, “You don’tpaint with me”. Valerie, “Go to the other side,”..Later, Valerie, “Did you finish your painting? Let’s goget your painting, Carolyn, and put it on the wall.”(02 1800.01/15)At the beginning of the year, Michael had no sense ofownership of his or other children’s drawings or paintings. His139typical style was to cruise by the easel on a wheel toy, stoppingto paint if the paper and paint caught his attention. In an earlypainting episode, he moves in next to Lara to paint and they beginto paint side-by-side. Catherine joins them and the three childrenrotate sides and painting positions in a playful manner (011500.11/30). However, in April he claims ownership of a painting he hasjust completed (017600.04/19).An implicit work-related assumption underlies the interactionsaround ownership. A job has a beginning, middle, and end whichresult in a product. When you finish the job you leave. Leavingany activity whether it is the block area, puzzle area, or art areameans the child is finished in that area or with that job, unlessit has been specifically determined that the child is leaving togo to the bathroom and will return. The regulation of routines andequipment use did not encourage children to return to their works,as illustrated in this example,Allan, who has been working with clay, goes over to theart table but returns to clay. “That’s mine,” he claims,as Valerie picks up clay where he had been working.Pat, “I think Valerie thought you were finished with it,Allan, because you were over at the other table.” Allanleaves to get a fire hat. (022400.02/15)Teachers negotiate turn-taking, sharing equipment (Tobin, etal, 1989), and this applies equally to art-making. Thiscontradicts a process or experience orientation because it tendsto place emphasis on a product. Following the lead of the teacher,who inquires if he would like a new piece of paper, Jason quicklycatches on to the idea that the paper can be changed and attemptsto change the paper himself (003440.11/05).140In the 2-year-old class, the children were not encouraged totake work home on a daily basis. Work was filed in portfolios foreach parent to have at the end of the year. This was establishedso that the target children’s work could be saved and examinedlongitudinally without setting them apart. The work did go up onthe wall as a place to dry and to form part of the decor for theclassroom. Children who did wish to take a particular item homewere allowed to do so.Messy Art as PurificationOne of the prime concerns, judging from comments by teachers,is keeping art activities within acceptable limits of messiness,or maintaining a balance between order and disorder. Swann (1985)mentioned that in her research site some materials were kept in acloset because they were “considered too messy to be used withoutprotection of clothing, work space, and close supervision” (p.111). Many teachers’ comments to children concerned maintainingthis balance, e.g., “No painting with glue, remember. You have fartoo much glue,” (O.N. 01/19) and “If you are going to do painting(black paint on papier mache whale) you desperately need an apron,sleeves pushed way up” (O.N. 02/02). Teachers’ comments alsoattempted to set limits for the use of materials and provideappropriate ways for containing messiness to easily washedsurfaces.Paint is acceptable on hands in some situations but not onclothes. If we consider this in light of Douglas’s (1966)definition of dirt as an offense to order, it fits completely with141teachers’ attempts to maintain order within the classroom, yetprovide what is considered an essential component of preschool-messy art. Sharon defined messy art through categories ofinclusion and exclusion: things which are wet, gooey or sticky,such as those that use paint or glue comprise messy activities, andactivities which have dry components, such as crayons, comprisenon-messy activities. (Appendix I)At the Centre, children were involved exploring thisrisk-taking ground between messy and non-messy. Although there wereseveral episodes where children painted their hands, the followingsituation, demonstrates how two boys in the 3 and 4-year-old classpush the boundaries of acceptable messiness, and how it becamedangerous territory for them:Stuart draws on his hands with felt pens while Nathanwatches. Stuart asks him, “Want to color yourself?”Nathan tries drawing on his hand with a green felt pen,then changes to a red one, draws, and selects a brownpen. Stuart continues to draw with a single color overhis hand and fingers. They continue to draw on theirhands for a few minutes before one of them says, “Whenwe get through we’ll have to wash it up, right?” Theother remarks, “Yeah, but we like it.” Nathansuggests, “It’ll never come off, right?”When Mary, the assistant teacher, sees the boysdrawing on their hands, she intervenes, “What are youdoing. Remember these are not for coloring hands. Timeto wash up.” As the boys stand at the wash basin onecomments, “It won’t come off.” Mary concludes theepisode, “It’ll come off when you have a bath tonight.You must remember not to paint your hands with thefelts. It doesn’t come off.” (O.N. 02/02)In her classroom, Sharon controls the messiness of messyactivities through the planning and location of the activity.Messy activities are set out on the large table with ample spacearound it so children do not walk through the area. Aprons are142placed there and water is available for clean up. Participationis limited to a few children at one time. This is common senseknowledge for any preschool teacher who has had messy art becomechaotic.However, there are less obvious reasons for providing messyart activities for children. Preschool teachers do this as part ofthe socializing process of teaching children to become orderly, andtherefore neat and clean. Each of these messy activities becomesa ritualized means of providing an opportunity for children to bemessy, yet within acceptable limits, since teachers believe beingmessy is important to children. Lowenfeld and Brittain (1975)cautioned that the children’s interest in smearing fingerpaintcould retard their graphic development, revealing a bias towardsorder and representation, rather than sensori-motor manipulationof materials. Periodically preschool teachers offer what I call“the ultimate cleansing ceremony.” This ceremony involves themessiest art activity teachers provide for children: fingerpaint.Teachers provide fingerpainting, not because they really believethat children need to paint with their hands, although educatorshave constructed an account of how it is valuable for large motordevelopment, and direct manipulation of the medium withoutinterference from a tool, but because they believe if they offerchildren this opportunity to muck in paint, children will becomecleansed or purged of this desire and other painting opportunitieswill remain neat and orderly. Teachers often provide fingerpaintwhen they notice children beginning to paint their hands, or with143their hands. Following a fingerpainting experience, preschoolteachers may say to a child, “Paint the paper, not your hands; wehad finger painting last week.” This reflects an underlying beliefthat having participated in the ceremonial opportunity for thispainting experience, the children should now be able to use brushesand other tools, rather than their hands for painting.144FramesDefinition: Frames in the ECE SettingOne of the foreshadowed questions guiding this research was,“How do adults frame the art-making experience for children?” Thespecific contexts in which interactions occur comprise the secondelement through which meaning is created. Reber (1985) statedthat,any social situation can be “defined” in accordance withbasic principles that will affect and control the waysin which people involve themselves with and experiencethat situation. These “definitions” are frames.... theterm is used here specifically to refer to the“perceived” and “experienced” organization, the“agreed-upon frame” within which people function. (p.286)Reber’s definition is closely linked to Goffman’s writingsabout frames. Elkind (1981) applied Goffman’s frame concept to thepreschool setting. He included, as frames, activities such as“block play, dramatic play, circle activities, outdoor activities,nature walks, and story time” (p. 6). Elkind wrote,the fundamental unit of social learning is the frame andthat even infants acquire rudimentary frames.... Eachhas a set of expectancies, rules and understandingswhich allow the activity to successfully run its course.Each of these frames has its own emotional rhythmbecause everyone who participates in a frame is“invested” in it. Investment means you have putsomething into it and want to get something out of it.(pp. 5-6)Elkind described frames as one of the “mediating” structuresfrom which the child derives behavioural rules from adultbehaviours. This position is congruent with Vygotsky’s belief thatlearning takes place externally before it is internalized by thechild, and with Bruner’s notion of scaffolding.145In her observations of a university pottery course, Stokrocki(1986a) divided the teaching-learning setting into “spatial,pedagogical, extra-structural, and self-reflective ones”. Nash(1981) studied classrooms for 4- and 5-year-olds, also basing heranalysis on the dimensions of the use of time; spatial arrangement;availability and quality of materials; and human interactions.Spatial constraints will limit the range of possible actions withmaterials (Renninger, 1989; Susi, 1986). In her study of childcare centers, Suransky wrote,The separation and division of our lived-world intostrict spatial and temporal boundaries is functional andutilitarian in most institutional settings, of whichschools are but one example. . . . .1 observed space wasdemarcated into areas for free play, motor and cognitiveactivities. Time modules were allotted to specificprogram events. Artifacts and materials belonged inparticular places. (p. 137)The following categories for framing art-making experiencesemerged out of an analysis of the data. These components areconsistent with the categories set out by Nash and Stokrocki.Physical Space ExpectationsIn the 2-year-old-classroom the art area was located in onecorner of the room, with the clay/play dough table located closerto the middle of the room for most of the time. For about onemonth the art area was located near the doorway, but was moved backto its original location. In this classroom the only activitiespresented at tables were art-related: clay or play dough, drawing,collage, and sometimes paint. Most painting took place at theeasel. These activities took up approximately 1/3 of the room.146The Centre was located in an old elementary school building.Hence, there were chalkboards around the room, which wereaccessible to children in several places. The location of pencils,crayons, etc. on a shelf adjacent to the circular art table wasintended to suggest to children that those materials were to beused at this table. Teachers placed materials on the table at thestart of the day as a means of introducing children to thematerials, and as an indication of where the materials were to beused. (See Appendix A and Appendix B.)Primary-aged children responded “art was a place” when askedby researchers Johnson (1982) and Stokrocki (1986b). Related tothis spatial frame is an underlying notion of order. Materialsbelong in certain places. Children were not encouraged to takematerials to other places in the room, with the exception of playdough, which could be used in the doll center as pretend food.Other toys could be brought to use with the play dough, e.g.dishes, toy cars, plastic animals. One way teachers reinforce thisidea of spatial frames is through clean-up time, when children areencouraged to return materials to their places.This spatial frame has ramifications for material use at avariety of levels. The following expectations have beenextrapolated from classroom dialogues and episodes.Painting usually occurs at the easelThis was expressed by such comments as, “If you want topaint, paint here (easel). I can get you a fresh paper.If you want to glue do it at the table. You decide whatyou want to do.” (001500.01/21)Kate watching at the art table announces, “I want topaint” Pat responds, “There’s nobody painting at the147easel right now. . . .there’s the paint right at theeasel.” (0015700.02/15)Carolyn says that she wants to paint. Pat responds,”Youwant to paint? I don’t have any paint at the table. Youcan glue or draw.” Carolyn indicates she wants tofingerpaint (like last week) . Pat, “Not today, its toolate, soon it will be time for clean-up.” (025000.05/07)Each color of paint has its own brush. Brushes can beselected from a large can at the easel and put intoindividual paint containers.A teacher tells one prospective painter,”The brushes arein the can so you can choose which brush you want.”(007100.02/18)Kate puts brushes into paint containers, one in eachcolor. A teacher reflects, “You’ve got all the brushesin their places and now you’re ready to paint.”(00169 .03/22)Beth, putting one brush in each can asks,”Where doesthis brush go?” The teacher responds, “Where would youlike it to go?” (007300.02/18)“You’re putting the green brush in the yellow paint, andthe yellow brush in the green paint.” (010100.04/22)Michael breaks the frame of brushes to be used at theeasel. At the same time acts on his understanding ofthings belonging in specific areas. Michael goes to thestorage cupboard where teachers keep supplies and takesout a watercolor brush. He puts it in his mouth andcarries it to the small climbing structure. He “paints”the slide with the brush, and puts it into a slot wherethe ladder hooks onto the structure. Brush in mouth, hestands on top of the slide, slides down. He thenreturns the brush to the cupboard. (015400.02/15)Spatial framing was an important part of the framing activityin the 3 and 4-year-old classroom. The space for art occupiedapproximately 1/3 of the classroom. The majority of the tablespace was used for art activities. The art spaces were alsocentrally located so that children would pass through them on theway to circle area and when they entered and left the room through148main door or cubby area. The other areas of the classroom includeda table for manipulative toys, a block area, housekeeping area,and circle area which contained a book shelf and record player andmusical instruments. (See Appendix C.)Routines as Temporal FramingRoutine is “any regular course of action” (Webster, 1989, p.637). Program planning for young children is structured around adaily routine schedule which happens in a predictable way on aday-to-day basis. Within the schedule are subroutines which guideindividual program components. Early childhood practitionersassume that the routines give teachers and children security andfreedom to function effectively throughout the day. These routinescan also be seen as a means of transmitting cultural values andstructuring experience for the creation of meaning. Just as theamount and arrangement of the space communicates the relativevalues of art-making, time allocation also communicatesworthwhiieness of the experience. Within this temporal frameworkroutines have a spatial-temporal component. Activities take placein specific locations for certain lengths of time, e.g., outdoortime, circle time, snack time, free-play time. In both the2-year-old class and 3 and 4-year-old class, art-making occurredduring “free play” time. Free-play time lasted approximately onehour in the 2-year-old class and 45 minutes in the older class.Neither class used temporal framing to set aside a specifictime in which all children were strongly encouraged or required touse art materials. This was based on a belief by the teachers that149involvement in art-making should be a child’s choice. Typicallythe teachers used other means such as spatial cues, adult presence,and art displayed on the walls to define art-making as a valuableexperience.Parents had a part in the construction of routine schedules.In the 2-year-old program this took the form of expressing directlyand indirectly through early or late arrival how the starting timeof the program fit into their personal schedules. The dailyarrival time for the program was a mutual construction based on therequirements of the Centre, teachers, parents and children.Although seemingly unrelated to art, children’s arrival time didimpact on their length of involvement in free play activities.Media Centered Routines and RitualsMedia centered routines are those uses of materials whichbecame a regular, or somewhat predictable way of using a material,evolving from the child’s exploration of the inherent propertiesof the material, and from social interactions with respect to themedium or the material. Underpinning these social interactionswere some common expectations about art.According to Abercrombie, Hill and Turner (1984) and Reber(1985) a ritual is a stylized or rigid pattern of actions whichsymbolically express a shared meaning. In discussing the functionof rituals Mary Douglas (1966) explained that rituals provide focusor “framing” for certain experiences. She wrote,It enlivens the memory and links the present with therelevant past. In all this it aids perception. Orrather, it changes perception because it changes theselective principles. . . . It can come first in formulating150experience. It can permit knowledge of what wouldotherwise not be known at all. It does not merelyexternalise experience, bringing it out into the lightof day, but it modifies experience in so expressing it.(p. 64)Power (1985) suggested that ritualized conversations “areendowed with a special emotional significance and are performed toacknowledge regard toward and confer respect on another” (p. 216).In the Centre, ritual as a means of externalizing and modifyingexperience and conferring respect could be clearly seen as childrencompleted an art work. As each child took the completed piece toone of the teachers, the teacher would characteristically respondwith comments like, “Beautiful”, “Lovely”, or “I like... (all thecolors you used, the fish, etc.). Sometimes the teachers wouldengage in a conversation about the subject matter of the work, suchas “that looks just like a squirrel,” or “tell me about yourpicture” but the majority of the responses were generalizedadjectives like “beautiful”.Through these interactions children received acknowledgementfrom their teacher that they had done something deemed worthwhileby an adult, and they were sometimes provided clues for acceptablelevels of performance for future experiences. Swann (1985)described this kind of behaviour under one category of child/adultinteraction as “approval seeking” (p. 202) where children eitherovertly sought adult approval, or used verbalization about the workto gain recognition from an adult. Efland (1976) described theteacher’s role in this kind of interaction as that of“client-patron” (p. 41). To extend this model even further, the151teacher becomes the curator who selects and displays the work andmay serve as mediator between child artist and parent-patron.Teachers and children in the 2-year-old program engaged inthis product completion ritual. In this classroom, teachers mightalso respond, with a reflection, “I see you have... .“. In my owncase, based on my desire to extend children’s knowledge of the artelements, I would also respond by labelling the colors, lines andshapes the child had used in a work. This did not change theritualized action itself, only the specific content of theinteraction.The following episode illustrates Kate’s understanding andutilization of this closure ritual at school. Her mother commentedthat at home, although she might ask to have a work hung up, shedid not seek adult response to her works upon completion (P.1.).The following incident took place in January:Kate is painting at the easel. She holds the brush inher right hand, left arm up in a body guard position.She paints with yellow and black, then adds blue. Shestands at the left side of the easel, then moves down,looking at all the colors. She works down the line ofcolors as she paints, painting over some paint whichMichael had added to her picture. She sees Pat who getsdown low, waves a finger back and forth over thepicture, while labelling the colors. Kate responds,pointing at the painting (inaudible on tape), and beginsto paint again. She paints over the existing colors;green over green, red over red. She twists her brush,leaving a dot. She then announces, “I finished. I did.Look at my picture.” Pat returns to the easel andcomments, “Look, it’s different now. Black and a littleyellow.Kate points and says, “Blue and green and red.”Pat repeats, “Blue, green, red. Did you put the blue onor did Michael put the blue on?” (comment for researchpurposes).Kate pushes up her sleeves and begins to paintagain. She continues to paint down the line of colors,152putting the same color on top of previous paint. Sheproclaims, “I did, Pat. I did.” She brings Pat to theeasel. Pat asks, “Is it finished now?” Kate pushes upher sleeves, and paints more black on the black followedby yellow and blue over the black. She turns and asks,“Where’s my Mom?”Kate has moved to the art table where she brieflyengages in gluing a piece of paper to another and thenreturns to the easel. She adds more black to heroriginal painting and declares, “I did it.”(013400.01/25; 014000.01/25)Not only has Kate engaged in this ritualized interaction ofcompletion, which she repeats several times, she also demonstratesher understanding of the generalized routine of painting. Golomb(1992) wrote that children’s sense of ownership of a work occurswhen children begin to have representational intent. However, forthe 2-year-olds in this study, a sense of ownership was constructedthrough this ritualized interaction which occurred upon completionof a work, and was not dependent upon the child’s ability to nameor represent forms in the work.Although routines and rituals are closely connected, theroutines for using materials are less rigid or formal than therituals around media use. In recalling Vygotsky’s theory concerningthe shift from biological to higher psychological functioning beingsocially mediated, it seems that these routines serve to unite thechild’s biological level of using tools, or responding to theimplicit nature of the media with the socially mediated use of themedia.Wertsch (Rogoff & Wertsch, 1984) explained howintersubjectivity between participants operates at a range oflevels from one where they share “the same situation definition and153know that they share the same situation definition1’ (p. 12) to asituation where they must negotiate the definition of thesituation. He said,This change can involve the child’s shifting to theadult’s situation definition, or it can involve a shiftto a viewpoint somewhere between the adult’s and thechild’s original intrapsychological situationdefinitions. (p. 13)This concept of levels of intersubjectivity and asymmetricaldefinitions is particularly relevant to children’s routines aroundthe use of materials, where adults and children did not alwaysshare the same definition, especially with respect to neatness.Drawing routines. This episode of Kate drawing while hermother looks on was noted on the first day of formal observationsand at a time when few other art materials were available, e.g.,the easel or glue. The episode closely follows her mother’sdescription of their pattern during the summer. It is illustrativeof the drawing interactions which parents and children have hadprior to Centre entry.Kate and her mother are seated at the art table. Kateholds a pencil as if she is writing. She makes carefullines, watching her paper closely. She leans into herpaper as she draws. Kate labels her drawing “Babies”.Her mother leans in toward Kate. Kate picks a secondpencil, holding it close the point makes circular forms,dots, and short lines from the center outward. Shedeliberately places the shapes on her paper. Sheswitches pencils. She speaks to her mother who says,“Long hair? That’s a good idea.” Kate puts eyes in thedrawing at her mother’s suggestion. She chooses a thickorange crayon from the basket and makes careful circularlines with it, then shorter back and forth lines. Shechooses a red crayon. It slips and she puts it back,choosing a brown crayon. The lines go off the paper andher mother responds, “Oh, oh. It slipped off the paper.”She chooses a basket and from it takes a yellow crayon,making more careful lines, holding the paper with her154left hand. Her mother comments, “That’s sunny like thesun.” (010500.11/02)This second example illustrates drawing as a social activityinvolving both children and adults during which routines andprocedures were introduced and reinforced,Carolyn and Allan come to the art table. Carolynchooses a brown felt pen and her mother helps her takethe lid off. She marks, watching Dan, who is drawing,glances back at her paper and at Valerie. She makesslow circular marks.Valerie asks Allan if he would like to use the feltmarkers too? Allan picks a green pen and says, “I’mgoing to draw Mommy a picture.” Pat inquires, “Have youused felt markers before, Allan?” “No, I din’t.” Hedraws back and forth make horizontal lines. Carolynhands her drawing to Pat, sitting next her. “Would youlike another one, Carolyn? What color would you likenow?” Drawing continues with some conversation. Allanlooks up from drawing, down at paper, and stops drawing.He looks under the table at Lop, the rabbit. Paulcomments, “Brown.” Pat expands, “Three shades of brown.That’s the same brown, Carolyn.” Carolyn draws withturquoise over her brown marks. Paul announces, “I wantto hang it up.” Pat points to the wall over thecubbies. Paul, “No. Put it on another wall.” Valerieand Paul go to find a place to hang his drawing. Otherchildren continue to draw.Carolyn draws with yellow and another childcomments, “I use that.” Carolyn uses purple. Allanstops drawing, watching. He refocuses, then, using thepen wrong side down makes bouncing motions with the penas he watches a child playing the piano. He leaves butPat asks him to come back to put the top on the pen.When he does, she comments, “You made dots and lines.”Allan points, “Put it right here.” Valerie puts it onthe wall near the back door.Carolyn draws briefly in brown, replacing the topcarefully,. She leave the table, following Allan.Valerie hugs her asking, “Did you finish your picture?Come and show me.” They return together to look atCarolyn’s drawing. (021200.01/15)Painting Routines. Teachers and children have separateroutines which coincide at particular points during the activity.For children in the 2-year-old program, the general routine155included: deciding to paint, getting an apron (sometimes),selecting brushes if they were not in the individual paintcontainers, applying paint to paper, determining completion, andfinding a teacher to respond to and hang the painting up, washinghands, if needed, and returning the apron to the easel. Forteachers, the routine included giving permission to paint (ifneeded) at the easel, or at the table, putting an apron on thechild, writing the child’s name on the paper, responding to thepainting, removing the finished painting and hanging it up orfinding a place for it to dry. The teacher also assisted the childin washing up, and reminding the child to hang up the apron.For Beth, not only was painting “scaf folded” for her by Mark andMichael but the routine of painting was introduced by her mother,reinforced by Pat and later by Ruth.When Beth approaches the easel where Mark and Jason arepainting, her mother directs her to the opposite side.She pushes up Beth’s sleeves, and puts an apron overBeth’s head, saying, “This is an apron for painting.”Later in the episode when Beth watches Jason, hermother, comments, “Yes, Jason is doing another one.Yes, he has an apron on. Yes, that’s fine..Jason is painting a picture too. It’s a lovelypicture too.” Pat tells Beth, “I’m going to write yourname up here, so we’ll remember this is yours.” Beth’smother concludes, “I think Jason’s all finished now.You’re doing a wonderful painting. All done? Oh, verynice.’T Pat comments to Beth, “Look at all the colorsyou put on the picture.” (003900.11/05)The sequence in this event is similar to a painting episodeinvolving Beth and Ruth, described under “ Teacher Scaf folding”.Although two different teachers and a parent are involved, theroutines are similar. Adults indicate the unoccupied place at theeasel, push up sleeves, put an apron on the child, write a name on156the work, respond and remove the painting and assist the child inhandwashing.In Allan’s first school painting experience (018600.10/06) hedipped the brush into the paint, then crossed the room to the watertable where he dipped the brush in the water, returned to the easeland applied paint to the paper. He did this about three timesduring the episode. It is unclear from the video tape whether hewas adding water to the paint on the brush, or washing the brush.His father, who was observing this process commented that at homeAllan had been painting with tempera blocks in a muffin tin withwater to rinse his brush since he was 18 months old.Typically, adults watched while children painted. They seldomdirectly modelled or scaf folded painting for children. Adultpainting routines coincided with children’s painting routines withregard to neatness, order and product, rather than around actualpainting techniques. Painting was done in a particular place, fora period of time, with a product at the end. This was true eventhough all the teachers would state that the importance of theexperience for young children was in the process of painting.Children incorporated these routines into their personal paintingroutines.Parents influenced the use of aprons because as participantobservers in the setting, they acted on their concern for theirchildren’s clothes by putting aprons on their children, orexpressing their concern to the teachers. Since the parents’ wereobserving classroom activities on video, teachers were continually157“on stage” and felt the pressure of this expectation. It was onlyafter reviewing tapes made in the first years of the program andtapes made five and six years later that I became fully aware ofhow much parental expectations had shaped my concern about painton children’s clothing.Clay/Play dough routines. The routine for using play doughor clay was simple. The play dough or clay was often set out onboards before the children arrived. Sometimes play dough was leftin a large lump in the center of the table or in the coveredbucket. If tools were used, they were in a container placed on thetable or on the art shelf. An apron was not usually necessary butchildren were encouraged to push up their sleeves. Play dough/clayuse was conceived as more process-oriented than drawing, paintingor gluing because childrens’ work was not saved. At the end of thefree play time, the play dough or clay was put back into thecontainer to be reused. The play dough table was centrally locatedto provide for ease of access and wide view of the classroom.The following of episode illustrates the social nature of theactivity and how adults are actively involved in the direct use ofthe material.Several children, two parents and a teacher are seatedat the play dough table. The purple play dough wasfreshly made and still warm. One mother comments,“Doesn’t that have a nice feel to it?” Allan patting aball, pushing it. He pulls off a little piece, flattensit and pokes his finger into it. One child says “Hot”,as he uses it. Pat responds, “A little bit hot, that’swarm”. Valerie and Carolyn joins the group. Valerieasks, “You want me to make a ball?” She rolls the playdough between her fingers. Carolyn brings her a pieceof play dough and Valerie rolls this into to a ball.Allan says, “Cut me a ball” holding out a piece.158Carolyn takes hers, holding out her right hand, “Mine,Mine, mine.” Carolyn and Ann hand pieces of play doughback and forth to each other. Pat, manipulating theplay dough, “Four small lumps of play dough, now thereare . . .big ones!” Carolyn gives more play dough toValerie, who remarks, “I seem to be turning into a ballfactory.” Carolyn tries pushing a ball across thetable, flattening in the process.Allan watches. Valerie shows Carolyn how to rolla ball. Allan asks her to show him saying, “I can’t makea ball.” Carolyn is holding her blanket and drops theplay dough several times. Carolyn asks Valerie to helpher roll another ball. She throws the piece across thetable and departs. She returns shortly.Allan remains,toy truck in hand. Allan begins pushing the truck andfilling the back of it with play dough. He rolls it andburies it in the play dough. Carolyn continues to rolland push the play dough, taking a piece from Allan whenhe doesn’t seem to be watching. He takes it back.Carolyn pushes a piece of play dough to Valerie, leansinto her and snuggles in Valerie’s lap, holding herblanket. Allan and Carolyn push cars into the playdough. Allan leaves for painting.Later Carolyn is back at the play dough tablewatching children play the piano and manipulating thedough with both hands. She pulls pieces off a largelump of dough while she watches. She throws the playdough at Pat, and takes it back and rolls a piece backand forth. Pat fingers the play dough while Valerie isflattening it between her palms. Carolyn gathers uplumps of play dough, hands them to Pat. She picks upher blanket and runs out as Valerie leaves the room.(020000; 020400; 020900.12/04)Making things is paramount in our understanding of thesemedia. Rolling coils and balls may be an accomplishment for2-year-old children, equal to creating a circle when drawing orpainting. In the routine of using clay/play dough teachers seemedto assume that children could make the leap from making balls tocreating more complex representational forms. They did not makethese assumptions for painting or drawing. For children such asCarolyn, making balls became a routine for using these media whichpersisted over most of the year.159Glue and collage routines. Glue and collage were left verymuch up to children to do independently, although an adult mightbe involved as a supportive observer, as in the following example.Kate had established a routine of dripping the glue from the endof her applicator. Late in the spring, Kate spent time creatingwiggly lines with glue as part of her collage making experiences.The following is one of two examples which stood out as she workednext her friend Oliver, a regular adult visitor to the program.Oliver greets Kate as she approaches the art table, “Hi.Would you like to use the glue like the others aredoing?” He arranges the materials, setting out ahandful of collage materials. “Then you can put thesethings on it.” Kate drips the glue onto the paper fromthe glue spreader. She lets it drip for a long time.Pat comments, “Kate is watching the glue drip. Look atthose lines.” Oliver reflects, “Look at those lines.Yes, you can make all those wiggly lines.” Katecontinues to drip the glue. Oliver suggests to Jody,“You might put some glue on that or they won’t stick.”Kate continues to glue, commenting, “I’m getting glue.Oliver, “Yes you are, I think you are making a veryinteresting design.” Kate comments on the smell andOliver asks, “Is it smelly2 Oh, I think you aremaking a very interesting design.” Kate drips the gluefrom about 8 inches above the paper. She places ayellow circle on her paper. She searches for anotherpiece to glue down, settling on a second yellow piece.She wipes her fingers and continues to drip the glue.She picks a purple circle and Oliver comments that sheis working deliberately. She places another yellowcircle on the paper and continues to drip glue on top ofthe circles. She comments to Oliver that she iscovering the paper. She looks into the jar as she dipsthe glue stick. She adds more shapes then holds out herfingers, which have dried glue on them, “Oh look atthat.” “Oliver, “It will wash off.” Oliver turns toJody who is seated at the table, “Lovely, put your nameon it.” Oliver asks Kate, “what do you need now?” Shereplies, “I need purple.” She takes two pieces from thecollage basket and one falls onto her paper. Oliverremoves this one, saying., “You didn’t want that one didyou?” He lifts it off. He puts an apron over her head.Kate, “I’m doing wiggly lines.” Oliver, “I can see whatyou’re making.” Kate, “I’m doing glue.” She places a160piece of orange cellophane on next. Pat comments, “Youcan see through that.” She adds more pieces, labellingas she places them down, “Two squares. Triangle.Square.” Kate continues to drip, stir and drip the glueonto the paper. Oliver asks, “How’s your painting?”“I’m gluing,” declares Kate. “Ah” she remarks as sheadds another square and drips glue over it. She placesone more piece and announces, “I’m going to show Pat.”(016300.03/22.) (Tarr, 1990)This 15 minute episode demonstrates both the teacher’s and thechild’s understanding of the gluing routine. Kate expresses thedifference between glue and paint. She still is concerned with thesticky properties of glue and is fascinated by its properties whichshe utilizes as she works on the collage. The adults express theirconcerns for extending vocabulary and neatness. Kate alsounderstands the activity-completion ritual of showing her collageto a teacher.There were no episodes recorded of adults demonstratinggluing. Instead, they relied on verbal directions. For example,on the first day glue is put out in Michael’s group, Pat tells himhe can put glue on the paper and put the paper on the glue. Noattempts were made to demonstrate “lust a little glue” or wipingexcess glue of f onto the edge of the jar. Teachers allowedchildren the opportunity to explore its properties within thecontext of collage-making. Children watched other children forcues. They were beginning to understand that gluing means to dripor spread this sticky white substance onto a sheet of paper, withthe possibility of sticking things down.161InteractionsInteractions as Defining ActivitiesThe process of creating meanings (Blumer, 1969) in theclassroom was not a one-way process in which teachers transferredthese assumptions to children, but a negotiated and recreatedprocess of defining art-making in this context. The definingactivities occurred through diverse kinds of encounters:- one-to-one encounters between a target child and anadult- group encounters between an adult, the target child andthe child’s peers- child to child interaction (one-to-one)- child to child interaction (group)- adult - child interaction - (indirect) inferences drawnby other children from observation- adult to adult - (indirect) inferences drawn by childrenfrom observation of adults.In keeping with the presence of parents in the classroom,adults includes both teachers and parents. Consequently, meaningabout art-making was not only created between teachers and childrenbut also between the teachers, and between teachers and parents.These encounters contained both nonverbal and verbal gestures whichserved to define the art experiences in the classroom.Nonverbal InteractionsIn Vygotksy’s view, language is considered one of the primarymeans for conveying meaning. Mead’s “conversation of gestures”162includes nonverbal and verbal responses. In this research setting,teachers consciously used non-verbal forms of communication whichgave importance to art-making in the classroom. Predominant was“being there”. The presence of a teacher at the art table, playdough table, or near the easel, provided support and validity forthe activity. It also provided a context for interaction to occur.Browne and Hopson (1983, p. 172), wrote, “An appreciative adultnearby, who shares the experience and observes the process, givesthe process more meaning for children who then invest themselvesin it. It is this investment of the self that turns materials andprocess into art.” In interactionist terms, this “investment”involves children interpreting the situation and acting accordingto their definition of it.Part of “being there” had to do with children’s entry into the2-year-old program, where the children were facing separation fromtheir parents. Fucigna, Ives and Ives (1983) stated, “As separatepeople toddlers are interested in exploring their capabilities andexercising their new-found independence. This need forindependence simultaneously exists with the need to be supported,protected and helped” (p. 48). The teachers recognized thechildren’s need for independence from their parents, and that thesechildren also needed sensitive adults to support them in the socialsetting of the preschool classroom. Children formed attachmentswith specific teachers as a way of becoming secure in the situationand often chose to participate in an activity based on this163teacher’s presence. (See Kasting, 1991 for discussion of theseparation process in this program.)Being there was based on the teachers’ belief that allowingchildren to shift their attachment from parent to teacher wouldfacilitate the child’s adjustment to the group setting. Once thisteacher—child relationship was formed, and the child felt securein the setting, teachers assumed that the child would be able todevelop relationships with other children. Thus, the teachermediated the child’s socialization process in the group, whilemodelling values and expectations for specific experiences withinthe setting. Although this behaviour may seem obvious to NorthAmerican teachers, it is not the role taken by Japanese or Chinesepreschool teachers as described in Preschool in Three Cultures(Tobin, Wu & Davidson, 1989), and so cannot be generalized to othercultures. The teachers used their presence in a particular areaof the classroom in five ways: 1) to attract children to an area,2) to develop positive relationships with children, 3) to supportchildren engaged in an activity, 4) to observe the specificactivity and the general classroom, and 5) to model ways of usingspecific materials. Although three of these categories did notoriginate with goals associated with art-making, teachers selectedart-making situations because they perceived these situations tobe important and potentially interesting to children.The general arrival procedure was for one teacher to remainnear the door to greet children and parents, while the otherteacher would place herself in one of the activity centers. This164was to draw children and parents into the room, away from thedoorway, and specifically to provide a focus for children whowanted to begin the program by connecting with a teacher. Theparent might walk with the child to the teacher, or remain forawhile before joining the parent group. Consistent withinteractionism, teachers selected this location based on theirinterpretation of specific situations which included knowledge ofindividuals in the group, their interests, their relationship withthat teacher, and teachers’ preferences for specific materials.When I asked Ruth if it was important for teachers to be atthe art table she responded, “Yes. Presence.. .trust. When a childtrusts you, the child will come.”During an interview Joan described her role at the play doughtable,I would usually go when children are there, or go at thebeginning of class and make pizza or cookies, somethingchildren are familiar with. They could participate ingroups or make their own.... to draw them in. Playdough seemed like my spot. Often Ruth was in the dollcenter.At the beginning of the year, Kate’s involvement in art seemedto be determined by her mother’s location in the room(011600.11/30). Later in the year, other adults assumed this rolefor Kate. In one situation, a teacher, knowing it was an artobservation day and of Kate’s attachment, moved to the art table,announcing, “I wonder if Kate knows where I am.” Kate quickly satdown at the art table and selected paper for a collage activity(017800.04/19).165Conversely, teachers may see children working independentlyand consciously avoid an area. In the 3 and 4—year-old class, bothMary and Sharon remarked that they had stayed away from the arttable so children could work on their own (O.N. 02/26).Once the child has joined an art activity, the situation canprovide an opportunity for teachers to foster their relationshipwith the child through their focused attention on what the childis doing. Tina was describing one of her first days as a teacherin the 2-year-old program. She was engaged in a cutting activitywith Carolyn. “I liked doing it with her as a way of being there.”Ruth commented that showing Jason some possibilities with playdough was a means of communicating with him (004500.11/26).Brittain (1979) concluded that children spent nearly twice aslong drawing and painting when an adult was present as when noadult was there. A review of the episodes in this study hasrevealed that adults were present at some point in the activityapproximately 80% of the time. Even when children were engaged intransitional activities, adults were present approximately 75% thetime. Sometimes children changed activities to be near or tofollow one of the teachers as they moved about the room (e.g.,Carolyn 020900.12/04). Some of the transitional activities arosefrom an individual child’s desire to be near one adult on aspecific day. For example, Jason attempted to leave the roomseveral times and spent time shadowing Pat (008600.03/18), whichaccounted for three transitional episodes in a single morning.166In one early episode, Jason began by the routine rolling ofdough. Ruth introduced the possibility of making animals, e.g.,a dragon, in dough (004500.11/26). When interviewed, Ruthexplained she was showing Jason possibilities with the material andusing it as a means of communicating with him. She recognized thatthe dragon (probably) didn’t have any meaning for Jason. She wasinterested in the social aspect of working with the play dough withseveral children together. She made an “extra push” to socializeas a means of keeping them interested. “I don’t expect them to makeanimals. (This was) an opportunity for Jason to stay and to feelcomfortable.” (T.I.) At the end of the year, Oliver’s position atthe art table and his attention to Kate, encouraged her to spendabout 15 minutes on a single collage (016300.03/22).Matthews (in press) described how his wife, Linda, throughfacial expressions and body position, supported her daughter’spainting activity. He also noted that Linda “stage manages” theactivity through unobtrusive gestures which he likened to a“ballet.” In a similar manner, teachers also used the opportunityof being there as support to facilitate children’s engagement withmaterials. They noted children’s interest in a material andfacilitated children’s access to the material (Lackey, 1988).Sometimes this took a non-verbal form such as pushing glue andpaper closer to a child (e.g., 06500.01/21).The children’s parents also used their presence to supporttheir child in a particular activity. Kate’s mother sat next to,and slightly behind her as Kate drew. She also adjusted her body167position and facial expressions to express her interest and helpKate sustain her interest (011300.11/02).When Beth saw Jason painting at the easel, her motherreflected her desire to paint and guided Beth to the empty side ofthe easel. She then sat just behind Beth while she painted(003900.11/05).Sometimes children took the initiative to involve an adult atan activity. Allan took his father by the hand and pulled him overto the play dough table (018800.10/09). Earlier in the day he hadtold his father to “sit down” at the play dough table(018700.10/09).Reciprocal engagement in the activity depended on eachparticipant’s interpretation, as in the following episode betweenMichael and Pat.Michael fingers the scissors, holding them to the paper.He holds them out, “Pat,” he says. He picks up a secondpair, opening and closing them. He picks up a thirdpair and holds them close to the paper. He then mouthsthem. (014800.02/15)When he holds the scissors out, it is unclear whether he isasking for assistance or indicating that he is using scissors. Patinterprets this gesture to mean he is showing her the scissors.She makes no attempt to show him how they work, believing that heis self-motivated in his independent exploration of the scissorsand he is not yet “ready” for instruction. He accepts herinterpretation, continuing to explore the scissors.The central position of the play dough/clay table provided anexcellent vantage point from which teachers could observe the168activities within the room while simultaneously attending to theimmediate activity. Video episodes of activity centered aroundclay/play dough use show teachers scanning the room whilemanipulating clay or play dough. Children also observed the roomwhile using clay or play dough, e.g., Carolyn watches childrenplaying the piano while she manipulates the play dough with bothhands (020900.12/04). The tactile, manipulative qualities of clayand play dough make these materials easy to use without looking.The frequency with which both children and adults used this centeras an observation post suggests that, not only are the location andmaterials conducive to this, but also the behaviour may be mutuallyconstructed. Teachers note what children are observing whilechildren notice teachers scanning the room.Browne and Hopson (1983) noticed that some children used theeasel as a place to observe classroom activities and suggested thatthe easel be in a “private place overlooking the room” (p. 170).While there were frequent easel painting episodes where childrenstopped and looked around, they did so largely in response tonoises occurring elsewhere. Children used the water table,climbing structure or play dough table frequently for observationposts.Renninger (1989) stated that “what the child understands aspossibility for action is informed by the functional properties ofthe play object, as well as the culturally prescribed use of theplay object” (p. 152). Modelling interactions with materialswithout verbal comments is another way that adults engage children169or create meaning for children. Sharon playfully printed afish-shaped sponge across the paper (ON. 01/22). In this mannershe demonstrated a printing technique to children, who otherwiseoften scrub back and forth, rather than stamp or print with objectsostensibly set out for the purpose of printing. When discussingthis episode Sharon stated, “Children don’t always see thepotential of a material, you have to do the teaching or showingthem. I might just do this, without saying...” (T.I. 03/06). Ruthresponded in a similar manner, “We have to guide and show thepotential of the material” (T.I.). Although Renninger (1989) didnot support the view that there are “cultural prescriptions” (p.152) for using play dough by either children or adults, she sawchildren’s use of play dough being highly susceptible to how othersused it in a particular classroom. As a teacher, I would oftensit at the play dough or clay table rolling coils or balls. Thiswas based on my belief that this activity was within capabilitiesof the 2-year-olds, and might encourage them to move beyondflattening and squeezing the dough. However, there was only onedocumented incident in Phase I of the study where a teacher madea representational object as part of modelling behaviour (Lackey1988), and two incidents from the single child tapes.Modelling behaviour is one component of “scaffolding” becauseit assists children to attain a more advanced level of development.I have included these nonverbal examples as a discrete categorybecause they may be employed without the use of other scaffoldingtechniques. Teachers may use them less consciously than other170scaffolding techniques. Scaffolding, as described in the followingsection, may include multiple strategies, both verbal andnonverbal.Verbal InteractionsThe main categories of verbal interactions which emerged fromthe data included labelling things and behaviours, and providingverbal reinforcement or recognition for children’s visualexpressions or their behaviour. Verbal interactions conveyedmessages about completion, ownership, and limits to the ways inwhich materials were to be used. (Language around ownership andproduct was discussed under those topics.)Labelling. Labelling things and actions are part of languageacquisition. Young children come to the program understanding thisprocess. Language interactions under the heading “labelling” canbe divided into labelling actions or labelling things, whichincludes words around art elements (color, lines, shapes, etc.).These labels can be used by both children and adults. They includegeneralized responses such as “beautiful”, “lovely.” Through thislabelling adults set expectations for representations or particularqualities in works. Teachers did supportively accept children’snon-representational work, but expectations for representation wereexpressed in the 2-year-old classes and the 3 and 4-year-oldclasses.Labelling may be part of a teaching, or “scaffolding”,interaction but may be used independently, when it is employedsolely as a response to a completed work. The following painting171episode involving two children and a teacher illustrates labellingwhich conveys expectations about paintings:Joan holds up Tanya’s painting for Andrew to see.“Here’s Tanya’s painting, isn’t it great? Lots ofcolor.” Andrew doesn’t appear to look at the paintingbut is interested in identifying components of his ownpainting, indicating “A person, a red mouth.” Joan askshim, “Do you have any other words to tell me about yourpainting?” She writes a word and his name on the paper.(001620.01/21)In this situation, Joan has expressed the value that usingmany colors is good in paintings and that paintings may berepresentational. She also connects the written word with thevisual expression.The following dialogue at the clay table includes labellingas part of the scaffolding process of creating a representation inclay. Three children and a teacher are working at the clay table:Richard is pushing clay down on the table. Ruth handshim a clay animal which she had made, “Richard can havethat one”. We can give it some hair. Roll out littlethings, like this.” She demonstrates rolling. Andrewloins them.. “We’re making some animals. You can giveit some hair, eyes...” I’m making a mouth”. Ruth asksAndrew, “Do you want to put the tail on, Andrew?” Hestarts to put the animal down and push on the tail.Ruth continues, “Do you want to give him some eyes? Youcan roll a tiny ball like this?” Andrew rolls a ball.Ruth “Shall we give him another eye?” (002200.04/15)Mark identifies colors for Jason in his first school paintingexperience. “Red”, says Mark. At the end of the month, Jasonlabels “anodder red” in a drawing (004600.11/26).In the example following, Pat uses another child’s work toidentify colors for Jason. Not only does she use the painting forlanguage development, she implicitly conveys that paintings can beabout colors and this aspect of thingness can be labelled:172Jason and Pat are working at the clay table. Pat leavesto hang up a painting that Beth has just completed.Jason follows. She traces her fingers around the linesand shapes and comments, “Big red line, yellow, blue,blue, blue and red. A big red circle.” Jason repeats,“blue, red.” Pat, “What’s this color?” Jason, “White.Pat, “That’s yellow. I’m going to hang it up.” Jason,“Right there.” Pat, “How’s that?” They return to theclay table. (008800.03/18)Late in the school year, Michael labels his own work in thefollowing episode:Michael rides by the clay table on a wheel toy,dismounts and goes to the easel. He makes a quick bluestroke and says “Bu” He chooses a new brush, puts itinto the green and makes another quick stroke. Heselects another brush, painting on the green withyellow, saying “yeyow”. He goes around to the otherside of the easel and paints. When a teacherapproaches, Michael says, “I make that. That’s mine.”(017600.04/19)Children also began to label the subject matter in their work,“babies” (Kate 010520.11/02), “Mummy whale and baby” (Jason,05/06). Naming objects in their drawings and paintings was lessprevalent by the 2-year-olds than naming their play dough or clayformations.The above episode and the following one of Beth painting,illustrate how, according to Vygotsky (1978, p. 25), children uselanguage to guide their actions. Michael has internalized thelabelling of colors and ownership which have been part of hisinteractions around art-making throughout the school year. He nowuses this language to guide and label his own actions.Beth has approached the easel. Pat tells her that thebrushes are in the can at the end of the trough holdingthe paint cans. Beth puts one brush in each can, namingthe colors as she goes. She does not work down theeasel systematically but selects certain colors forbrushes. She asks, “Where does this brush go?” Pat173responds, “Where would you like it to go?” Steven givesBeth a brush which has been in blue paint, telling herto place it in a can containing black paint. She pausesawhile before she does place the brush in the black can.When Steven leaves, she watches him. Then announces,“I’m using paint,” to no one in particular. She glancesto see what Michael is doing at the other side of theeasel and declares “I’m all done.” (007300.02/18)Recognition. Teachers may indirectly encourage a particularform of art through recognition of the work of a child in thepresence of other children. This example from the 3/4-year-oldclass illustrates this technique:Sam has made an outline of a house using wooden stirsticks which he has left on the table. Stephanie is inthe process of making a similar house when Sharoncomments, “Well, Stephanie, What are you up to?Stephanie, “I’m making a house.” Sharon, “That’s a goodidea. Where did you get that idea?” Stephanie, “Fromthat.” pointing to Sam’s house. Sharon comments to Sam,“Stephanie thought that was a good idea and she’s makingone too.” (O.N. 02/26)Sharon described her recognition of a painting by one of theyounger children in the group in the presence of older children:I lust really stopped and said, Stephanie, did you seewhat Rhiann did?” I wanted to make a big deal of it forRhiann’s sake. I think it is important for some of theolder ones who are producing to see that Rhiann can doit too. And I really thought it was spectacular. Butyou can’t set those things up. (T.I. 03/06)The following is similar recognition from one 2-year-oldclass:A teacher in the background can be heard to ask, “Do youknow who painted this picture? I’ll put their name onit. It has beautiful colors.” (002330.04/15)Through vocabulary instructional strategies of pointing to andnaming actual objects in the environment, and representations ofobjects in pictures, children acquired an interactive pattern of174naming things with adults which they brought to the art-makingexperience. The episodes described illustrate how adults labelactions and objects in their own and children’s work. Theyverbally indicated the representational potential of materials.Play dough and clay seemed to be most frequently described asthings, which relate to the transformative potential of thesemedia. Thus, these experiences set the stage for children to labeland identify the visual forms they create. The notion of marksand forms representing things is socially constructed, and isdeeply embedded in our culture. In my experience as an arteducator, I have found that adults are often at a loss to talkabout abstract visual images without resorting to “it reminds meof.. .“ When children first name their marks, it may come from adesire to please adults (Golomb, 1974; 1992) but the pattern to doso has become well established through language acquisitionstrategies.Scaf foldingScaf folding (Bruner, 1983; Wood, 1980), or learning in the“zone of proximal development”, (Vygotsky, 1978, 1986) occurs whenan adult or peer provides guidance to complete an activity justbeyond what a child can accomplish independently. Gradually the“teacher” turns the task over to the child to do withoutassistance. Scaffolding situations can include both verbal andnon-verbal components. In interviewing teachers, Edwards andMercer (1987) found that,All teachers in our sample appeared to operate withsomething like the scaffolding and handover principle as175an implicit part of their teaching methods, though noneof them talked of it in interviews, where theirconceptions of education appeared to be dominated by thetwin principles of Piagetian experiential learning andof innate intellectual ability. (p. 88)Of the five teachers who were part of this study, Ruth mostdirectly expressed the idea of scaffolding,Some children need demonstrations with material. Witha good recipe you can make variations on the recipe.Teachers provide the ingredients and recipe so childrencan start. Once they get the hang of it, they can startto explore so they can use those skills. (T.I.)There were a number of examples where teachers engaged inscaffolding the activity for children. Most often these focusedaround cutting which requires specific skills to master. Thefollowing is one example of these cutting interactions in whichOliver engaged in an interpretative, reflective dialogue with Kateabout her intent.Oliver is seated at the art table with Kate. Kate takesa sheet of green construction paper from the shelf. Shestruggles to fold it, managing a kind of 3-way fold.She picks up the scissors, commenting, “I did.” Oliver,notices, and responds, “I think you are trying to dowhat I did before.” Kate tries to cut out a shape asOliver had done for Ross a short time earlier. He asks,“Do you want me to cut out a circle?” Kate, “No, justa rectangle.” Oliver cuts, and asks, “Is that OK?”Kate cuts his piece again, scissors toward her. Oliverwatches, holding the paper up. Kate tears the last bit.She picks up the cut pieces. She cuts a piece towardher body. Oliver, “There.” Kate, “Pants.” Oliver,“They’re pants. They are a pair of interesting pants.What do you want to do with the pants? I thought youhad pants here and I guess that you cut the pants. Isthat what you did?” Kate wiggles. Oliver interprets,“You don’t know?” Kate begins to cut on a new piece ofpaper. She hands the paper to Oliver, who asks, “Whatshould I do?”“Cut a worm,” Kate tells him. He cuts a wavy piece.Kate then announces, “I need a spatula.” Oliver laughs,“How should I make a spatula?” He cuts a wider piece.Kate asks for a squirrel. Oliver cuts. Kate turns the176paper over and fits the pieces back into the largerpiece from which they were cut. She drizzles glue overthem. She says, “That’s enough.” She continues toplace the pieces. Oliver asks, “That’s veryinteresting. Shall I put your name on it. Shall I sayanything about it? Kate walks away without responding.(018100.04/19)In this scissor cutting episode, the on-going, reciprocalinterpretative quality of the interaction is apparent. Oliveractively attempts to understand Kate’s intentions, and adjusts hisactions to hers. He is receptive to her requests to cut things andas he cuts, she continues to redefine the interactive potential ofthe situation, both with the media and with Oliver. In the end,Oliver’s values for representation and ownership emerge when heasks if Kate would like her name on it, or to have him writesomething about her work.In this second cutting episode, Tina also scaffolded Carolyn’scutting experience, attempting some direct instruction. Thissituation is an example of an asymmetrical intersubjectiveinteraction (Wertsch, 1984),Carolyn’s mother is sitting next to her at the arttable. It is Tina’s first day working in the Centre andshe joins them. “Look at this, Mummy,” Carolyn says asshe opens and closes the scissors.She begins to snip atthe edges of the newspaper which cover the table. Sheholds the scissors in two hands as she cuts. She gets asecond pair of scissors. Tina offers Carolyn a piece ofpaper. She holds the paper vertically for Carolyn sothat she can cut more effectively. She offersencouragement and turns Carolyn’s hands so they arevertical, showing her another way to cut. Tinaencourages, “You can make frills. Good stuff.”Carolyn’s mother has left and Carolyn continues to snip,2-handed. Tina, “You’re making all kinds of patterns.Want a new piece of paper? A different color? Whatcolor do you want?” Carolyn starts to cut on a new bluesheet of paper, still using both hands to manipulate thescissors.177Tina positions the paper so that Carolyn’s cutting iseffective. Carolyn is involved, smiling, andconcentrating. Tina points out that the paper has to beat a particular angle for the scissors to cut. “Did younotice?” she asks Carolyn. Carolyn indicates she wantsa third piece of paper. Her cuts become more vigorous.Tina, “You’re doing a big one now. You’re cutting rightacross the page.” Carolyn asks for another sheet. Tinaasks, “Can you do it by yourself? Let’s see. Can youdo it?.” Carolyn has trouble so Tina props the papervertically, then resorts to holding it. “See how I holdit? She demonstrates holding the paper with her lefthand and snipping it with her right. They start a newwhite sheet of paper, with Tina cutting one side andCarolyn the other. Another child joins the table. NowCarolyn tries holding the paper herself and cuttingone-handed. Unsuccessful, she returns to her originalmethod. She switches to using glue, then crayons.(022600.03/12)When Tina reviewed the tape she responded to her originalinterpretation of the situation,I was operating in my “parental mode” which is productoriented rather than process oriented. I could havebeen her Mom. She left as soon as I took over. Now myvalues have changed. I would now take the time tofacilitate Carolyn in the cutting task, rather thandirectly teaching cutting. In the video Carolyn is ona different task than I was. She was figuring out howto practice rather than mastering scissors. I assumedthat she had mastered the first step of how to go aboutpracticing.... I remember thinking “Bandura -modelling”. I clicked back to a piece of knowledgeabout social modelling and saw a differentavenue.. .thinking “oh, model it. I’ll do it too and shecan see me do it, and we can do it together.Tina also explained that she expected her modelling wouldfacilitate Carolyn “getting it.” She commented, “I liked doingit with her as a way of being there. It started as one thing andbecome something else” (T.I.).Ruth engages Beth in a painting episode. This was the onlyvideo example where an adult painted on the easel with one of thetarget children.178Beth is watching Ruth and Catherine painting. Ruthremarks, “Beth has come to help us. I think she’s verygood at doing tigers. Are you, Beth?” Beth, “Yep.”Ruth directs, “You need a smock. Stick your head in thehole. Push your sleeves up.” She puts the apron overBeth’s head. “You know, on the other side there’s anempty piece of paper.” Ruth guides Beth around theeasel and asks, “Do you want a chair like Catherine?”“Yep,” replies Beth.Ruth lifts each can of paint, asking, “what color do youwant to use first?”Ruth paints, working down the colors as they are placedon the easel. Beth takes the brush in her left hand andpaints, yellow, which is adjacent to her. She switcheshands to reach the red and green paint. As Ruth stirsthe blue paint, she exclaims, “Oh, what a neat bluecolor!” At one point, Beth switches to blue, jabbingand stabbing at the paper with her brush. She alsowatches other children in activities around the room.About four minutes into the painting activity, Pat asks,“Are you finished, Beth?” Beth responds affirmatively,and as Pat removes the painting, Beth rubs her handacross the paint. Pat asks, “Where shall I put it? Onthe wall?” Beth points, “Put it on the wall.” Theyleave to wash Beth’s hands. (005400.11/26)This episode occurred about the third week painting wasoffered to the group. Ruth introduced a variety of values relatedto individuality, ownership, place and choice. As well, shedemonstrated how to apply paint to the paper. Ruth singled out theblue paint as special, which Beth recognizes through her use of theblue. Pat also reinforced the completion of the activity byhanging the painting on the wall.As children actively interpret and construct their own meaningin a situation, they may not share the teacher’s interpretation.In this case the child rejects the teacher’s attempt at scaffoldingthe drawing experience through extending the child’s mental image.Mary was engaged in a dialogue about drawing a shark, following afield trip to the aquarium.179“How will you do it? Eyes, teeth? Remember the sharkwe saw yesterday?” The child responded, “I’m not makingthe teeth.” (0. N.01/22)Children came to the program already having experiencedparental interactions which clearly fit the definition ofscaffolding. The following examples came from parent interviews.Beth was given crayons when she was 1-years-old. Shewas not overly keen. I would draw a line or two and shewould draw a little bit. Now when she draws with us sheis really into it, if we’re sitting at the tabledrawing. She tells us, “Mommy draw”. “Daddy draw.”When I work with Beth I draw, then she draws. Sheusually tells me what to draw and decides what color.She likes to draw Sesame Street characters. She likescars, feet, big toes, but is not much interested inpeople or animals. She likes us to do it first to seewhat it looks like. She has felt pens and crayons on acoffee table in the living room with a huge pad. Shegoes there a lot to draw. She also has a chalkboard andchalk in the hail.Early in the year, Beth’s mother demonstrated this kind ofdrawing interaction at the classroom chalkboard with her daughter.Beth began by drawing on the chalkboard with a piece ofyellow chalk. She approaches her mother who tells herto take the chalk back to the board. Beth gets a chair,pushing it close to the board, saying something to hermother who joins her at the board. Her mother draws alarge sun with a face high on the board. Beth,underneath her, makes a large circular shape in pinkchalk. She turns away, then makes a second oval form.Beth looks up at her mother’s drawing and draws a loopshape. (003000.11/05)Kate’s mother told a similar story about drawing at home withher daughter:Kate was given crayons for her first birthday, orChristmas of that year. My husband likes drawing andpainting. He made sure she had crayons early. She usedto like to sit on my lap and I would ask “What shall Idraw?” and Kate would reply, “Draw a baby.” I woulddraw a stick figure baby. I would also draw faces,trees, houses, stars, birds, trucks, cars and buses.Kate would specify what to draw but wouldn’t do any of180the drawing herself. After awhile she would put onhair, or a wheel on a truck. Shortly after, we got thechalk board which is in her room. We did some of thaton the chalk board. Most often we did it. Sheoccasionally does it with her Dad. She gradually tookthat over herself. She has an older sister and brother.She draws with them. Donna prefers coloring books andKate will color with her. She only uses crayons in thecoloring books. I try to buy coloring books with blankspace on the side. Kate will add on to the coloringbook. It seems to me to be legitimate to see thefigures there, especially if she is tired. When theyare drawing together using felt pens, they always usethem on blank paper and Donna will follow Kate’s lead.Brian prefers to draw on blank paper.Jason’s mother commented that he had probably had crayons forthe first time when he was about a year old. She stated,When we are doing things together, I often want todirect him so he does it in an improved way. I getfrustrated. He gets angry. He prefers to do it his ownway. He works with an older sister. She will tell himwhat to do and he will tell his younger sister what todo. They play school and my older daughter will suggestsomething. He copies and tries to paint in the linesusing the “right colors”.It is clear from these interviews that in the second year oftheir lives, Kate, Beth and Jason developed an understanding ofrepresentational possibilities of drawing media. Beth and Kateunderstood that they were not capable of creating representationalforms, and actively engaged their mothers in drawing dialogues.One episode, involving three children illustrates howscaffolding occurs between peers. It occurred during Jason’s andBeth’s first painting experience at the Centre. In this situation,Mark does more that model the painting process for Jason. He takesan active teaching role, and remains sensitive to Jason’sengagement with the paint as he redefines his own interactions withpainting and with Jason.181Mark has been painting at the easel, when Jason arrivesand picks up a brush. Mark tells him, “I’m painting. Youcan’t come.” Mark pushes the brush down but Jasoncontinues to paint. As Jason replaces his first brushand tries the yellow paint brush with his right hand,Mark changes his approach, announcing, “We’re painting.”Jason swirls his brush in the can of paint, and createsup/down strokes on the paper. He watches Mark, but doesnot appear to imitate him directly. Pat brings Jason apaint shirt, and adds his name to the paper. Marklabels “Iss Red” for Jason, directing Jason’s attentionto the can of paint. Mark walks around Jason to reachthe other side of the paper. He leaves but laterreturns to continue painting with Jason. 003400.11/05).Beth approaches the easel with her mother andwatches Jason paint, “E peting”, pointing to Jason. Atthis moment, Jason is wiping his paint-covered fingerson the paper. Her mother guides Beth to the oppositeside of the easel, telling her, “ This isn’tfingerpainting. This is brush painting.” During thispainting episode, Beth walks around the easel severaltimes to observe Jason painting. In turn, he watchesBeth as she paints. (003900.11/05)In the above episodes, Mark scaf folded the painting processfor Jason, who in turn demonstrated it for Beth. Unlike Mark,Jason did not redefine his activity or deliberately demonstratepainting to Beth, so in this way their interaction is not ascaf folded experience as Bruner (1983) or Wood (1980) described.Indirectly, however, his painting activity facilitated Beth’spainting experience, and he is conscious of his interaction withher.182CHAPTER VII. CONCLUSIONSReview of the StudyThis chapter reviews the original foundation and purpose forthis study, and summarizes the major findings. The originalquestions are divided into three categories: a) children’s use ofmaterials, b) social interactions and the context of art-making,and c) the relationship between children’s use of materials and thesocial context in which they use these materials. The findings areintegrated into a model formulated to describe the complexrelationships between the child, art media, and the art-makingcontext. The last section of the chapter addresses theimplications these findings have for early childhood art education.In setting the foundation for the study, I argued thatresearchers have largely ignored children’s presymbolic work, andthere is little knowledge about the process (experience) ofart-making within a social context. Support for a contextual studyof children’s art making came from infant research (Meltzoff, 1985;Trevarthan, 1980) which has demonstrated infants’ capacity toengage in reciprocal, intersubjective interactions. According toMead and Vygotsky, these mutually constructed interactions enableinfants to gain understanding of their world.Additional support came from researchers, representing diverseorientations to studying children’s artistic development (Gardner,1980; Golomb, 1992; Korzenik, 1979; McFee & Degge, 1980; Wilson &Wilson, 1982a, 1982b, 1984), who recognized that children’sart-making occurs within a social context. Although researchers183debate the impact culture makes on the children’s visualexpressions, cultural influences go deeper than visual forms.Social interactions determine children’s understanding about thevalues and purposes of art within that context, whether or not thatunderstanding is overtly expressed in the visual image.Two threads have been interwoven throughout this paper: thesymbolic interactionist perspective, which explains how individualscome to understand themselves and objects in their world throughinterpersonal encounters, and the Vygotskian perspective, whichlinks changes in children’s cognitive functioning to interpersonalinteractions which assist children to operate at levels beyondtheir independent ability. The purpose of this study has been toinvestigate the relationship between 2-year-old children’sinvolvement with art media and the social interactions they haveconcerning these media.Summary of the FindingsChildren’s Use of the Tools and Art Media1. How 2-year-old children used tools/implements and art mediain a social settingThe study began with collecting video and written observationsof children using media and tools. Originally, the intent was tofocus on children’s “natural”, or unmediated use of these materialsin order to understand, in more detail and depth, children’sartistic development. I also wanted to reconcile children’swatching behaviour with developmental stage theory.184Observational data showed that the basis of the 2-year-oldchildren’s experiences lay in the exploratory behaviorcharacteristic of very young children, as they investigated theinherent properties of materials (Vygotsky, 1978). Whilekinesthetic movements provided the foundation for their markingbehaviours (Smith, 1972, 1983; Matthews, 1983, 1984), visualinterest in the properties of the media and results of theiractions appeared to have a stronger impetus in their painting,drawing, and collage behaviours. Their interest was apparentthrough their visual tracking and deliberate placement of marks orcollage pieces in blank areas of the paper. This deliberateselection of specific materials and placement of marks suggest thatyoung children as young as two years possess aesthetic sensitivity(Matthews, in press).Initial data analysis revealed that there was not one simpleanswer to questions about children’s color selection and placementon the paper, the role of body position in relation to the markingsurface or grip of drawing and painting implements, or obviousgender differences. Detailed observations of individual childrenmade on a more frequent basis would be needed to tease out anyconsistent patterns.Children’s behaviours were manipulative, rooted in kinestheticactivity consistent with the physical properties of play dough andclay. The children’s interest seemed to be primarily inmanipulative and transformative possibilities of play dough or clay185(Renninger, 1989), rather than in the visual configuration of theformed material.Analysis of the data during Phase I of the study revealed thatsocial interaction played a large part in the art-making experiencefor these children. The frequency of children’s involvement withothers during art experiences and their ability to shift theirattention from their activity to classroom activity and back,without apparent disruption, stood out in the review of the data.As a result, the focus of analysis shifted from examiningchildren’s imitation of others, although imitation did occur(Lackey, 1988), to an interest in how they were interpreting andunderstanding their experiences within the social context.The context in which children used art materials included thephysical environment and social interactions (Kelly-Byrne, 1989)of each art episode. For clarity, analysis of the context wasdivided into the components of values, frames and interactions,each interwoven with the other in a dynamic, fluid relationship.Physical space is one part of this relationship, mediating andbeing mediated by social interactions.2. How adults frame the art-making process for childrenFraming was interconnected with values and interactions andit is difficult to separate each into distinct categories. Frameconstruction originated in adult values for symbolicrepresentation, order, work, independent production, and ownershipwhich identified the individual with what they created. Analysis186of the context of art-making revealed that art-making served as avehicle for inculcating these cultural values.Adults framed art-making through arranging and defining thephysical space and time in which art-making could occur. Spatialframing occurred at levels from micro spatial framing - marksbelong on a specific sheet of paper to using materials in specificlocations within the classroom. Temporal framing limited the timeto use the art materials. Scheduling constraints terminatedchildren’s experiences. Temporal framing also communicated thatart-making is a linear process consisting of a beginning, a middleand an end, determined by the child leaving the work. Thistermination did not support the idea that children might wish tore-engage with a work, or the concept of process as a spirallingactivity, rather than a linear one.Media centered routines directed the art-making process.Teachers promoted routine use of art media through verbalinstructions and modelling which guided children’s behaviour inroutine ways, such as making balls with play dough. Throughroutine and procedure-centered interactions with children using artmedia, teachers expressed their values for particular visualqualities in a work, such as neatness, completed products, andownership, which culminated in the product-completion ritual.Through these interactions children adopted patterns which led toroutinized use of media as the children re-engaged with them in apredictable pattern over a period of time.1873. How adult-child interactions define the art-making processThree major categories of adult-child interactions contributedto the definition of the art making process: being there, verbalinteractions and scaffolding.Being there formed a major component of non-verbalinteraction, and served a variety of purposes: to attract childrento a particular activity, provide support and encouragement for theactivity, facilitate the experience through making materialsaccessible, and demonstrate or model actions with certainmaterials. Adult presence served to enhance and lengthenchildren’s engagement in the activity. In being there, teacherstook a modified parental ro1e,utilizing some of the non-verbalbehaviours parents used when drawing with their children at home.Verbal interactions were an important part of the dynamicsaround art-making. Tobin, Wu and Davidson (1989) observed thatAmerican preschool teachers have a preoccupation with monitoringand encouraging children’s use of language, which was not apparentin the Japanese or Chinese preschools they observed. Most often,teachers at the Centre used verbal interactions to promote culturalvalues for cleanliness and order, the notion of work to produce andcomplete a product, and recognition of that product. Thisrecognition included comments about children’s work habits, andgeneralized expressions of acceptance.Language interactions which directly related to art conceptsserved to encourage children to create and identifyrepresentational art forms through object naming interaction188patterns. Through labelling, teachers encouraged children’sacquisition of vocabulary relating to the colors of the materials.Less frequently, teachers talked to children about other visual orsensory qualities relevant to children’s art experiences. Teachersencouraged children to use bright colors in two-dimensional workthrough the provision of such colors, and enthusiastic commentsabout the many colors, or brightness of the colors in a painting.Scaffolding strategies reflected teachers’ and parents’differing perspectives about children’s artistic expression.Parents took a direct teaching role when scaffolding artexperiences for their children at home. In the observations,teachers relied on language to suggest media possibilities or tointroduce materials, rather than modelling behaviours for drawing,painting, or collage activities. When teachers did modelbehaviours, they were usually of an exploratory or manipulativenature, such as rolling play dough balls or coils. Teachersscaf folded children’s cutting with scissors by holding the paperin order to facilitate children’s success. Classroom teachersscaf folded the routine tasks around art-making, rather thanteaching children procedures for drawing or making something.4. How child-child interactions define the art-making process.Children were in the position of defining and helping todefine the art-making process for other children, through theirbehaviours. The extent to which this occurred was not quantifiedbecause children did not necessarily define the action in terms ofimitation, and imitation does not necessarily happen immediately189after the behaviour is modelled. Children did provide scaffoldsfor the experience for others, as in the painting episode whereMark scaf folded painting for Jason. They modeled the proceduresfor using a material, as Jason then did for Beth when she began topaint. Children also reinforced the cultural values which theywere interpreting from adults through their interactions with eachother, e.g., “I’m painting here” as an expression of ownership andengagement with art production.5. The relationship between tool use and meaning acquisition for2-year-olds using art materialsThe last question is answered in the form of a model. Thisquestion is grounded in Vygotsky’s dialectical relationship betweenbiological development and cultural mediation and Mead’sdescription of the unified relationship between body, mind, andsociety. Recognizing that theories about the social constructionof mind do not negate biological, or mental structures which may,in part, direct the kind of visual images children create, Ipropose a model to depict the relationship of young children’s usesof tools and art media, and their acquisition of meaning aboutthese tools and media. This model focuses specifically on theindividual’s interpretation and intersubjective construction ofunderstanding. The model is designed to provide a way to describechildren’s artistic expression which takes into account thecomplex, interpretive relationships which exist between children,their visual expressions and the external world, making it possiblefor the model to accommodate both innate and cultural components190of artistic expression. The model is a static presentation of adynamic system, and demonstrates the interrelationships betweenelements. It is not intended to represent proportionalrelationships between the key components of the model. In aphenomenological sense, each interactive situation is unique, andis uniquely interpreted by each individual. As meaning isconstructed through this interpretative process, experiences arereinterpreted in a continuing dialectical cycle.AnInteractionistModelofChildren’sArtisticExpressionChild1.SelfMedia1.Inherentproperties2.Potential3.Cultural Expectations1.Self-biological-mentala)pastexperiencesb)reflexivity-biological-mentala)pastexperiencesb)reflexivity2.Interest3.Potential forinteractionAdult2.Interest3.PotentialforinteractionIo192An Interactionist Model of Children’s Artistic ExpressionThe largest circle represents the framing context in which theart-making experience occurs. It may be delineated at increasinglyexpansive levels from the micro level of a particular location suchas the easel, the art area, or the preschool classroom within theCentre, to a macro view of the Centre within a particularcommunity. It is permeable in that participants may flow in andout of the context, creating potential for change.The shaded center area of the circle represents the point inthe art experience where the participants interact to define andinterpret the situation of art-making within the broader contextrepresented by the outer circle.The arrows within the intersections of each pair of circles(child-adult; child-media; adult-media) indicate that this 2-wayinteraction is also a dynamic changing relationship.The elements which the child and adult bring to eachinteraction come from Meadian and Vygotskian psychology.1. The self is composed of a biological component and asocially constructed mental component. Crucial to socialconstruction is the individual’s reflexive ability, whichallows the individual self-objectification and integration ofpast experiences which they bring to their interpretation ofthe immediate situation.2. Interest - Renninger’s (1989) definition of interestreflects a symbolic interactionist perspective,interest is the individual’s cognitive and affectiveengagement with the identified object of interest,193perception of possibilities for action, representationof these possibilities to the self, making of choicesabout activity, and finally the setting, resolving andresetting of challenges. (p. 148)3. Potential for interactionThe Tools/Media have inherent properties which limit or directtheir use. Within the limitations of their inherent propertieslies the potential for the medium to be transformed or used toexpress meaning. The potential for use is not culturally specific.The actual use of the medium or tool is culturally constructedthrough the interactions which occur around their use.This model depicts the surface level of these interactions butmay be read three-dimensionally with layers of interactions andinterpretations interweaving into the fabric of classroom life.194Implications of the StudyThe Interactionist Model of Children’s Artistic ExpressionThe Interactionist Model of Children’s Artistic Expressionprovides a way to describe children’s art-making useful toresearchers and teachers alike. The dialectical relationshipbetween biological development and social interaction from Mead’sand Vygotsky’s theories of mind eliminates the need to debateissues revolving around innate or cultural origins of children’svisual expressions. The model is not limited to describingchildren’s drawings, but may be utilized to describe children’svisual expressions in any two-dimensional or three-dimensionalmedium. The design can accommodate more traditional areas of artresearch such as production strategies and children’s mentalstructures which are classified as part of the biological componentof the model. Mental structures must be seen as part of thedynamic relationship between the biological and social components.The model can be useful to assist teachers in addressing therelationship between what they do in the classroom and children’svisual expressions.Limited Comparative PossibilitiesThe dearth of research about children’s art-making within asocial context has meant that limited comparisons could be madebetween the findings from this study and other contextual studies.This leaves the area open to many possible areas of research forcontextual studies utilizing qualitative research methods, andquantitative studies examining specific aspects of presymbolic195children’s art-making. In addition, there have been only a fewinvestigations about children’s use of three-dimensional materials,such as play dough, and few, if any, about children’s work withcollage materials. Findings in this study, as well as those byBrittain (1979) and Matthews (in press), suggest that the natureand origins of young children’s aesthetic sensitivity would beworth further investigation.The descriptive design of this study means that findingscannot be generalized to other settings. Nevertheless, commonexperience on the part of preschool teachers should satisfy them,and the non-specialist reader, that the conclusions might beequally appropriate to similar settings. Some corroboration withSwann’s (1985) findings about children’s interactions with adultsand peers suggest that values of neatness and ownership are notsite specific. Further descriptive research in other preschoolprograms for 2-year-olds would provide additional insights into howthese and other values direct art experiences. Research studiesin populations representing other socioeconomic or cultural groupsboth within North America and in other countries would also provideopportunities for comparison. Studies in these diverse settingscan aid in developing additional insights about the researchers’own values. Gardner’s (1989) and Winner’s (1989) descriptions ofart classes in China, where children are taught step-by-steptechniques for creating visual images, and Tobin, Wu and Davidson’s(1989) comparison of preschools in Hawaii, Japan and China haveprovided insights about cultural values and expectations for young196children. These studies from other cultures helped to clarify theimplicit values operating in this research setting.Uncovering Teachers’ Values and AssumptionsThe study uncovered as much about teachers’ values andassumptions which guided their pedagogical practices in thissetting as it uncovered about children’s artistic expression. Theart-making experiences served as transmitters of broad culturalvalues. Children were learning about the relationship ofself-concept to work, production, and ownership within temporal andspatial constraints. These temporal and spatial limitationsconveyed values for neatness and order. Children were beginningto acquire skills such as cutting, and art-related vocabulary, suchas color names. They did this within a cultural context whichvalued realistic representation in artistic expression. Theylearned little about the adult world of art or art-making, and hadfew opportunities which would promote their understanding thatadults use these materials for their own unique expressivepurposes.Teachers’ stated beliefs and assumptions about early childhoodeducation, and the importance of art for young children placedthem, often unconsciously, in contradictory situations. Forexample, teachers strongly believed that the process is moreimportant that the art product for the young child, but many oftheir behaviours contradicted this belief. Through adults’ordering of the temporal-spatial components of the art-makingexperience, children were not allowed to engage in a process of197creating art that might parallel the working mode of matureartists, who may have several works in progress over a period oftime. Values of order, seriality, and production overrode theprocess or experience emphasis in art-making. Sharon expressed adilemma that teachers continually attempt to reconcile: youngchildren’s need to explore and experience materials, and theteachers’ need for order in their classrooms.The developmental perspective of child art has been useful toteachers as they plan art experiences which are “developmentallyappropriate” for young children. But connotations of childautonomy within that developmental perspective have discouragedteachers from taking an active role in the art education of youngchildren. This was in strong contrast to the direct role parentssaid they took when guiding their children’s art experiences athome. They scaf folded experiences by drawing objects that theirchildren named, then gradually involved them in contributing to thedrawing. This practice is in direct opposition to many teachers’beliefs about developmentally appropriate art experiences which areassumed to encourage children’s independent exploration of drawingmedia. We do not know whether this structured drawing interactionis a common parental practice, but it raises questions about theorigins of children’s graphic forms, and highlights the extent towhich art-making occurs within a context of social interaction.As Woods (1986) suggested in discussing the value of teachers’engaging in ethnographic studies, I gained insights about my ownvalues and how these directed my teaching practices, through my198dual roles of teacher-researcher. This involvement caused me toreflect about my role as an early childhood art educator. in apreschool classroom. This discovery was true for other teachers atthe Centre. For example during an interview, after reviewing someof the video tape segments, Joan commented that as teachers weoften talked about children, but as a staff we seldom reflected onwhy we did certain things.Using the “Interactionist Model of Children’s ArtisticExpression” as a guide, self-reflection and discussions with peerscould help teachers clarify their values, their beliefs aboutchildren and children’s artistic expression. Self-reflection anddiscussion can help teachers understand how their values, framesand interactions provide an art-making context which directschildren to engage in specific kinds of art behaviours and createspecific kinds of visual forms. The last step in this reflectiveprocess is to examine the relationship between children’s artworldsand adults’ artworlds, to determine what is unique to each artworldand what can be shared. 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The drawings of Onfim. School Arts, 84(7),6—8.216parents meeting roomcubbieswater tableAPPENDIX A11book shelftwo year oldclassroomfridge=>art tableartmain hailstorage cupboards obServers Position.rrrrra I sink-‘ “ “gait shelf11dMderIDETAIL OF ART AREA217rabbit cagestoragemain hailrsblocks centrebook shelf dMderart centre H_______________________puzzlesrsadoll centreIsink/iescapetwo year oldclassroom IAPPENDIX BIDCI-ICZn:wø<0C”I=I%IN‘LII-o.nocowe—4-’C)a’I.9?C=zaS-C.0IE0B0219APPENDIX DAGES OF TARGETED CHILDREN IN 2-YEAR-OLD PROGRAMName Birthdate Age in September(Month/Day) (years/months)Phase IYear 1 (1984—1985)Beth September 11 2.0 yearsJason July 7 2.2 yearsKate July 22 2.2 yearsMichael September 9 2.0 yearsYear 2 (1985—1986)Allan October 16 1.11 yearsCarolyn December 19 1.9 yearsPhase IIISingle—Child Tapes (1986—1987)Deborah October 8 1.11 yearsKen June 15 2.3 yearsLeanne March 4 2.6 yearsRichard September 15 2.0 yearsTanya July 1 2.2 years‘‘-jczzc0)CD0)CD00I-’iiIIb(<<0)HCIICDCDCDU)0)U)0)II)I-II‘<CDCDCDI-i-IIIIII-I-i-t%)UiIcooo___—____———ICDti——0)CDi.Ij20>IIliZCDZ>P)ZO)CD00CDi‘1H•I-’ZOZ0<rI—’1Hi0H•Iii—’i--CDCD000I-i-io-.jQP)0)<0)0>CDCIDI-.CD(i1‘..o!-01<Q.’<CDCDli1<iCDliii0ti-‘-‘-U)U)i-oco2tCDH0CDIUiCDU)Ui‘—022CDCD0ltxlI-I0)0‘<U)P.CD0.CD00110)Z>0)F-iiIi0<<Z9)ZZH011CDCDCD_CDZ<HHiQH•CDI0)ii:3I0I-I<CDCDCD0ZCDI-IIi112Qt-3ti0)>______=—____===UiI—i(.,3U’C==——D U)Wk) I.J 0221APPENDIX FOBSERVATION AND INTERVIEW DATES- 3 AND 4-YEAR-OLD CLASSROOMObservations InterviewsJanuary 19 January 20January 22January 29February 2 February 9February 26 February 24March 5 March 5March 6Breaks occurred in the observations and interviews due to fieldtrips, other research projects, and University semester break.222APPENDIX GSTAFF MEMBERS2-Year-Old ProgramYear 1Pat- Head TeacherRuth -Assistant TeacherOliver - Regular visitorYear 2Pat - Head TeacherValerie - Assistant Teacher, September - MarchTina - Assistant Teacher, March - MayYear 3Ruth- Head TeacherJoan - Assistant Teacher3 and 4-Year-Old ProgramSharon - Head TeacherMary - Assistant Teacher223APPENDIX HART BEHAVIOURS TAXONOMYBehaviours with Drawing ToolsSources: Brittain, 1979 (Holladay); Golomb, 1974; Kellogg (1970).Specific Tool:crayonsfelt pens - thick or thinVerithik* (Registered trade name )pencilsballpoint penoil pastelschalkGrip: Hand:fist rightadult leftbothnear writing tipend of marking toolmid-marking toolChoice of toolproximity (nearest)deliberatechanging tooldrawing mediacolorVisual focuson workawayPositioning of markslooking for empty place on paper (deliberate)apparent random positioning of marksMarks (Kellogg, 1970):circular semi-circle enclosing multiple overlaidhorizontalverticaldotTool interest other than mark-makingadmiringfingeringarranging/sorting224Behaviours with PaintSources: Griffin, Highberger, & Cunningham, 1981; Kellogg, 1970.Hand positions:fist - brush held against palm, fingers wrapped around itfist up - fingers facing upwardfist down - fingers facing downwardwriting position - brush held in finger with thumb and indexopposing.palm -index finger extended - tip of brush held against palm,all fingers stretched along handletips of fingers - tip of brush handle held in finger tipsHand location:near tipmiddlenear bristlesColor Choicerandom (no apparent reason)placement at easel - painting above colordeliberate searching for colorpainting along array of colorsBrush strokescircular semi-circularverticalhorizontaldotroving lineApplicationjabbingup/downdown/upback and forthbouncing brush off paperpaint on paintseparate color/lineOther Behaviourspaints on blank paperpaints on another child’s paintingmakes attempt to write namegets smockputs brushes in paint cansin sequenceselects specific colors for brushreturns brush to specific colorattempts to remove painting from easelcalls adult to remove painting225Behaviours with Clay/Play DoughSources: Brown, 1975; Golomb 1974.FlatteninghandstoolPulling pieces offPushing pieces togetherRolling coilson surfacebetween handsRolling ballson surfacebetween handsFingeringMaking pilesCuttingknifecutting stringscissorsFoldingSqueezingPattingPoundingPoking objects into itUsing with other objects from roomNaming created formMaking recognizable form226Behaviours with Glue and Collage MaterialsStirring glueJabbing glue stick in jarSpreading on paperback and forthup and downotherDripping/drizzling glue onto paperGluing without sticking anything downApplying glue to piece to be stuck downApparent random selection of item to be gluedApparent interest in selection of itemPlacementrandomdeliberateConcern for sticky fingersUses with other media or tooldrawingpaintscissorsotherObserving properties ofgluecollage materialBehaviours with ScissorsHoldingpart other than handles2 hands1 handhand turnedfingers in correct positionCuttingtowards self from top of paperaway from selfsuccess fulunsuccess fulMouth opens/closes with cutting action227General BehavioursBody positionsittingstandinghead position (near work)position of other hand/armmouth/tongueVisual Attentionon workelsewhere - continues workingelsewhere — stops workingfrequency of distractionsWatchingpeer engaged in similar task engaged in other activityadult engaged in similar task engaged in other activityProximity of othersalonenear peer(s)near adultImitation of otheradultpeerVerbal Interactionpeer initiates respondsadult initiates respondsTask Sequencebegins independentlyasks permissiongets materials from shelf or clay containeruses materials on tablegets smockpushes up sleevesputs material awayapparently understands task sequencedemonstrates exploratory use of materialsdemonstrates past experience with materialmasterydemonstrates familiar technique in new materialtask completionattempts to remove work or put it away to dry228calls adult to assistAttention spanLanguagenames: colors, shapes, otherlabels work: “romancing” (Golomb, 1974)“reading off” (Golomb, 1974)Affectiveexpresses pleasure verbally nonverballyshares with otheradultpeerexpresses displeasurefrustration229APPENDIX IMESSY AND NON-MESSY ART ACTIVITIES AND MATERIALSPRESENTED IN 3 AND 4-YEAR OLD CLASSROOMMessy Art Messy/Non-Messy Non-Messy Artfingerpainting easel paint crayonssponge painting collage felt pensstring painting collage w/legumes play doughfish prints collage w/natural scissorschalk materials on seatable paints themestuffed paper fish collage with paperpaper mache whale bagscollage w/shapesRectangular Table Rectangular/Round Round TableTable/Easel Small TableMessy and Non-Messy Art Activities with Location of PresentationBased on typical activities presented during observation period.Classification came from Teacher Interviews and ClassroomObservation.230APPENDIX JSAMPLE PARENT/TODDLER SCHEDULE, FRIDAY CLASS, JANUARY - MAY 1984Jan. 11 - Gradual re-entry. Emphasis on readjustment to classafter holidays.18 - VTR observation and discussion of single child.25 - Discussion of home observation (getting up, breakfast andmorning routines).Feb. 1 - VTR observation and discussion of single child.8 - Discussion of home observation (dinner and bedtime).15 - VTR observation and discussion of single child.22 - midterm break - Centre closed.Mar. 1 - VTR observation and discussion of single child.8 - Discussion of sibling rivalry (new babies and oldersibs.).15 - Discussion of home observations (discipline, settinglimits, dealing with conflicts).22 - Discussion of language research project.29 - VTR observation and discussion of single child.Apr. 5 - Good Friday Holiday - Centre closed.12 - Expectations for 2 - 3 year-olds.19- 3 observation and discussion of single child.26 - VTR observation and discussion of single child.May 3 - Discussion of TV and the young child.10 - VTR observation and discussion of single child.17 - Discussion and review of growth observed throughout year.24 - Parents participate in classroom. Last class forchildren this term.31 - Parent-Teacher Conferences this week. No class.231APPENDIX KART BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIREDate:____________colouring books____________________crayons____________pencils____felt pens_paper___ _gluescissorspaintfingerpaintplay doughotherWhere does you childDo you mind if child makes a mess or gets dirtywhile working?___ yes ____noDoes your child use art materials with adults?yes __ noother children?_ yes _ noif yes____ arsmonthssibling or friend_ __ _____I. Personal InformationSex of Child____M _FCurrent Age of Child_yearsChild is enrolled indaycareII. Art Materials Available at HomeCheck if Material Frequencychild usesat home often sometimes___ _months_ preschoolAccessrarely you put out childcanhelpselftable, etc.)use art materials? (kitchen232III. Attitudes towards Children’s ArtWhat do you do with your child’s art work? (display, save, thtrwout, etc.?Do you talk to your child about his/her work?____yes ____noGive an example of what you might say:_______________________IV. Exposure to Art1. Do you take your child to art galleries and museums?_____often _____sometimes _____rarely __never2. Do you look at art books in the library?3. Do you have original art works in your home?yes __ noIf yes, state kind_____________________4. Do you have art reproductions in your home?If yes, realistic style______abstract style_____5. Do you have art books in your home?__y ___n6. Do you display your own art work in the home?7. Do you talk about your art work to other adults?8. Do you have any favourite artists?If yes, state____________________________9. Do you talk about art work with your children?

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