Date of Award

1994

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Tony Monk

Abstract

The main purpose of this study was to determine what children draw when given a free choice of subject in the context of the classroom. The social Influences believed to affect children's drawings were also investigated. Another research interest related to Whether or not gender was a significant factor in the production of different drawing types. The significance of this study is connected with the desirability for teachers to have an understanding of children's perceptions of the world and the factors which influence them, as it is accepted that awareness of children's interests and influences may lead to more relevant teaching. The study was also undertaken to evaluate the worth of Duncum's (1992) model and discover whether or not it was a comprehensive and appropriate model for the classification of children's spontaneous drawing types. The sample tor the main study comprised 26 Year 3 students, 16 girls and 10 boys, selected from a State Primary School in the Northern Metropolitan Region of Perth. The children were given thirty minutes to complete a drawing of their own choice in the classroom. Each child then participated in a short, semi-structured interview conducted by the researcher. The drawings produced by the children were analysed in conjunction with the interview transcripts in order to discover what subject matter children chose to portray in their drawings, and what influences affected their drawings. A scale constructed from Duncum's (1992) grid of spontaneous drawing types was used to rate each drawing on three continuums, (Narrative, Factual and Borrowed) and non-parametric procedures were conducted on the scores to determine any significant differences between the drawing types produced by boys and girls. Results showed that the subject matter most popular with the children studied was games, a category of drawings based on the computer game format. Drawings containing people, animals and landscapes were also found to be popular. Influences which impacted on the children's drawings were Identified as personal (out-of-school) experiences, peer influence, popular culture and school experiences. The influences the children perceived as affecting their drawings were similar to the influences Identified as influencing the drawings in the study. Personal (out-of-school) experiences, peer Influence, popular culture and school experiences were all identified by children as important influences on their drawings. However, the major influence identified by children was the family, a factor not covered in detail in the literature on children's drawing. Non-parametric tests were conducted in an attempt to discover any significant differences between boys and girls on the Narrative/Separate Object, Factual/Fictional, Borrowed/Self-generated dimensions of Duncum's (1992) model of spontaneous drawing types. The Mann-Whitney U test produced a significant difference (p=0.0063) in the Narrative dimension, with boys producing more narrative drawings than girls: a finding which contradicted assertions by some other researchers. From the findings of the study it is clear that more research is necessary In the areas of the influence of popular culture on children's drawings and the narrative dimension of boys' drawings. A larger sample of children may reveal the trends identified in this study more clearly.

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