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The reciprocal construction of young children’s visual and verbal representations during children’s drawing activities
naming and proclaiming
Drawing is another type of communication: to represent concrete things or to represent abstract thought. Exploring the development of young children’s drawing abilities is a window for us to understand the children’s thought. But it’s not enough to explore only the children’s drawing representation to reach their thought, feeling and behavior. By literature reviewing, it showed that most of the past researches focused on children’s drawing skills, the development trend by age, or the forms and contents. Rare of the researches concerned about the social interaction processes of children’s drawing activities. So the significance of language representation was usually ignored. The present study used qualitative method to explore children’s development of drawing process. The researcher entered the Shin-Je class for one year to observe children’s interactions with their classmates, teachers or other adults during their drawing activities, to explore the reciprocal construction of the children’s visual and language representations. By analyzing the collected data, the meaning of the reciprocal construction of the children’s drawing and talking were explained. The results showed that, firstly, it’s common for the children to name or to proclaim their drawing topics before, during or after their drawing .For children, the functions of naming and proclaiming were to explain, to supply, to preannounce or to plan their drawings. Children also communicated and explained their thoughts, desires, and creativities through their drawings. Secondly, childen’s ego-centric speech during drawing was noticeable. There were two kinds of ego-centric speech: monologue while drawing alone and monologue while drawing with peers. The consistency of the monologue was the indicator to classify the two kinds of speech. The functions of childen’s ego-centric speech were to guide, adjust, modify, or to explain their drawings. In the process of construction, drawings were the pioneer, mediator, or the actualization of language. Drawings were also the results of children’s thinking and feeling. It seemed that the histories of children’s short narratives were specified by their private speech. Thirdly, the interaction with others during children’ drawing activities showed the developmental meanings of children’s knowledge, skills, creativities, and emotions. The construction of visual and language representation were helpful for children’s discussion and conversation about knowledge, skills and creativities. It could foster children’s zone of the proximal development and raise the level of children’s cognition and creativity. The reciprocal construction of visual and language representation during drawing were also used as tools to express children’s negative feelings. So the values on emotional and social development of the reciprocal construction of visual and language representations were important. To sum up, for young children, verbal representation was usually the complement of visual representation, and the visual representation was also the deduction base of verbal representation. By reciprocal constructing, children expressed their thought, feelings and creativity. So, in the process of children’s drawing activities, the beautiful visual representation of the drawing and the touching verbal representation of their talking were significant in children’s development of cognition, emotion, and creativity. By deeply exploring and analyzing, we got the insight of the influences of family, peers, teachers, and the impacts of social and cultural factors. Worthing the double vision of the people who care about the art education of the young children.
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