Literature Review

October 7, 2019


In Integrating Art into the Early Childhood Curriculum: Appendix A—Children’s Art Development, authors Althouse,, seek to provide teachers with a rating tool used to evaluate student artwork. The writers included ten indicators on their assessment.  These items work together to measure a student’s level of creative, cognitive, and artistic thinking which all translate into artistic thinking. The authors cite the first 6 indicators on the rating scale as items that can be observed in a student’s artwork, they are: repletedness, elaboration, originality, composition, expression, and fluency.  The 4 remaining indicators are designed to be observed over time, they are: flexibility, problem solving, transfer of artistic knowledge and skills, and use of art language to discuss work. This seems to be a well throughout rating scale that will be helpful to me during the experimental process.


In Visual Art: Accessing Content through Image, the authors Donovan, seek to convey that images help to construct meaning.  They believe visual art are relevant in the education sector because they see visual arts as a universal language that enables students to grasp concepts that may otherwise be hard to understand. The authors assert that visual arts can enhance many of the subjects’ students study in school. They affirm that reading is enhanced by the creation of mental images. In writing, students’ imaginations open up once visuals are incorporated, writes block is also avoided. In science, visual art education helps students make better observation which will enables students to include more details in their sketches, which in turn helps them better understand the specimen at hand.  They also point out in mathematics that visuals are key and are helpful in making mathematics more concrete. The authors go on to further justify their claims that visual arts improve academic achievement. They affirm that engaging readers in visual arts allows readers to visualize and interpret text better than text alone, which in turn enhances literacy skills.  The authors quoted a study that stated that students enrolled in a visual arts program by the Guggenheim Museum performed better in six categories of literacy and critical thinking skills, namely: detailed description, hypothesizing, and reasoning than those who did not attend the program.


In Significance of Adult Input in Early Childhood Artistic Development, Author Anna M. Kindler believes that there is a discrepancy between what is known about the stages of artistic development and how art instruction is approached by both teachers and parents. Piaget believes that artistic growth begins in his preoperational and early concrete operational stages, which is as early as two years old and goes up to 9 years old. The authors hold that there is not much of an emphasis on developing preschool children’s artistic development. Unfortunately, history reveals that in the 19th century children were seen as unskilled, miniature adults so there was no real concept of childhood whatsoever, thus no emphasis on artistic development in children. It was only in the last century did a shift begin to occur when it came to children’s’ art development.  This emphasis was on allowing children to find their own sense of creativity that is supposedly buried within them. Philosopher Franz Cizek believed that “method poisons art” (Efland, 1976, P. 71) this belief caused educators to take a hands-off approach when introducing children to art. This view is still perpetrated in preschool classrooms and beyond in North America. Many, who have learned under the pretense of “unfolding” confess that they lack the knowledge needed to facilitate artistic expression and development to their students, therefore this reality disproves that adult intervention is detrimental to a child’s artistic development, rather the opposite is. Vygotsky (1978) disagreed with this notion, and instead asserted that learning inspires development, and once learning is internalized then it becomes a part of a child’s “independent developmental achievement” (p.90).  Vygotsky further elaborates his theory by stating that using a laissez-faire approach to learning does not encourage students to progress on to areas that they are well ready for.


In Preschool Day Care and Artistic Expression of Pupils in the First Grade of Primary School, Kljajic and Cagran (2015) are convinced that there are specific variations among pupils concerning their form of preschool day care with the aim of explaining whether a child’s environment impacts the development of their artistic abilities. The authors highlighted that children spent time between their birth and school enrollment in various environments. During this time, children develop at different rates with some progressing faster and some slower. Besides school and kindergarten environment, children often learn spontaneously uniquely depending on the world around them. By the age of two they begin developing artistically. It is then that they notice materials that leave stains on their cloths or floor. Developing artistic skills in children has been associated with their cognitive processes, motor development and use of materials of art. The study found that there was a statistically significant variation in the level of art skills among the pupils considering with regards to their form of early childhood daycare technique of charcoal drawing.  The highest level of artistic skills was evident among children who spent time with grandparents unlike those that attended kindergarten. The study also found that tendency of artistic skill level among pupils was evident in crayon painting, potato printing, and monotype. The findings mean that regardless of the environment a child grows up in, subjecting them to various art techniques by providing them a variety of materials, they develop motor skills.


In Cross-cultural Analysis of Artistic Development: Drawing by Japanese and U.S. Children Toku (2001), disagrees with the belief that drawing in children follows a universal pattern during their early years despite their culture or gender. Toku proceeds to reveal that characteristic and universal patterns in children including spatial patterns and graphic representational patterns emerge with children’s cognitive development and physical growth. However, Toku confirms that during their early ages, children’s artistic development depicts a universal pattern coupled with cultural specificity upon attaining particular ages. Consequently, the universal artistic development tendency is restricted within the early years up to 6 years, when cultural and educational influences kick in. The study was conducted in spring 1993 to a total of 1250 collected drawings from among United States children in second fourth, and sixth grades. Another set of 767drawings were collected among Japanese students in the same age group 2nd, 4th, and 6th grade from the same areas as those of the US children. The subject for each of the drawing was me and my friends playing in the school yard.  The study found significant variations between US and Japanese children within the process of spatial treatment. The differences were attributed to education culture in Japan requiring that children begin drawing at an early age, and intense training of Japanese kindergarten teachers as art experts. The difference in language was also found to be contributing factor to the variations. In essence, the findings depicted that cultural differences contributed to the variations in artistic development among children across various cultures.





Donovan, L.; Pascale. L. (2004) Integrating the Arts  Across the Content Areas Huntington Beach, CA: Lesley University.


Althouse, R.; Johnson, M.H.; Mitchell, S.T. (2003). The Colors of Learning: Integrating the Visual Arts into Early Childhood Curriculum. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. 129-144/

Althouse, R.; Johnson, M.H.; Mitchell, S.T. (2003). The Colors of Learning: Integrating the Visual Arts into Early Childhood Curriculum. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Apendix A

Kljajič, A. and Čagran, B. (2015). Preschool day care and artistic expression of pupils in the first grade of primary school. The New Educational Review, 41(3), pp.27-38.

Toku, M. (2001). Cross-cultural Analysis of Artistic Development: Drawing by Japanese and U.S. Children. Toku, Masami, 27(1), 46-59.