培养孩子从画画开始 : 走进孩子的涂鸦世界
鸟居昭美著 ; 于群译
I read the Chinese translation of this book quite a while ago, and read it again recently after I chanced upon Mrs Kam’s post on the same book. It is one of the books which influence how I teach my kids to draw… or rather, how I don’t teach them to draw. Just like I don’t test my children, it is a conscious and purposeful decision.
The author is a renown early childhood educator in Japan with more than 50 years experience in the field, and an artist himself. According to him, young children’s drawings are a form of expression, just like young babies express themselves by crying. As such, adults should not so much look at their drawings but to ‘listen’ to their drawings. Listen to what the child is trying to express via his drawings. But once the child is taught how/what to draw, he loses the ability to use drawing to express himself.
The progression of children’s drawing is similar to their other developments as they grow – there is no hurrying them! However the parent’s way of ‘listening’ should change according to the child’s age. At 2-3 years old, we ask him ‘what is this’. At 4 years and older, we ask ‘what are they doing’ and listen to the narration. The author reminds us not to be overly zealous and keep questioning the child while he is working on his drawing.
It is not just formal art lessons which the author cautions against – adults drawing for the child, caregivers teaching the child to draw, guiding the child about using colours (‘why is your sky not blue?’), letting the child do colouring books are all included. He explains that instead of being free to explore what her hand movements can create, the child tries to control her hand movements to go a certain way as instructed. She loses the chance to learn new movements and the joy of exploration. In addition, the adult is imposing on the child what he feels, while the child is unable to express her own feelings according to her will.
I can’t find the English version of the book. Anyone knows whether there is one? The Chinese version is available from the library. Other than the points I have translated here, the book has many illustrations of the development of drawings for each age range and explains each point in more detail.
Kor Kor’s drawings at 4 years old
These are not as advanced as the 4-year-olds’ examples in the book, but given my inability to draw, I think he’s already doing very well!