How Gender Based Differences in Drawings of Preschoolers Can Help to Inform Preschool Visual Art Curriculum
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The purpose of this classroom-based study was to explore the gender based differences in the free drawings of students at Beginnings Preschool. The researcher explored these patterns and their implications for the field of art education. Through the collection of free drawings created over the course of six, 15-minute sessions, the researcher studied patterns relating to students’ choice of content, use of color, and use of space within their drawings. Audio recordings of sessions and in-process photographs of student work provided supplemental data. Through an analysis of the data, the researcher found certain gender based patterns in preschool students’ choice of subject, use of color, and use of space. The work of male students tended to involve more adventure and conflict, whereas the work of female students tended to depict tranquil outdoor scenes or people living harmoniously. Drawings by male students were more likely to have a limited color palette and female students were more likely to use the bottom of the page as a ground line. Although gender based patterns were found, there were always several drawings by both males and females that did not fit the patterns. The researcher concludes by making recommendations for art educators based on the findings from this study and designed a unit plan that serves as an example of how to put those recommendations into practice.
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