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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Aesthetic responses of five and six year olds to pictures, objects and dress-up clothes in kindergarten Prescott, Jean Elizabeth


Aesthetic responses by 5 and 6 year olds to pictures, objects, and dress-up items were categorized using methods derived from ethnographic research. Two classes of kindergarten children attending a morning and an afternoon session respectively were interviewed to discover which of a series of items were preferred and which were not preferred. Thirty-one children were involved in this study, conducted in a large suburban British Columbia community. The children represented a range of cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds. Items used in the study were initially researcher selected, then used in a pilot study to determine which items elicited strong responses from a small group of kindergarten children situated in a nearby, similar setting. Twenty-two pictures, 22 objects and 30 dress-up items made up" the instrument used in the main study. Children's responses and criteria for their aesthetic decision making were recorded as field notes, then developed into subcategories within each of the study's three main categories: pictures, objects, and dress-ups. Statistical comparisons of the three groupings of responses, along with descriptive data indicated that aesthetic decision making among 5 year old children takes account primarily of colour, decoration, design elements, surface and texture, socio-cultural aspects and association. Dress-up items elicited special practical considerations of size, fit, and condition. Association both with Hallowe'en and with sex-role stereotyping was evident in a large portion of dress-up responses.

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