Author(s): Martlew M, Connolly KJ
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Abstract Human figure drawings were collected from 287 schooled and unschooled children, aged between 10 and 15 years, living in a remote region of the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea, an area with no tradition of graphic art. A classification and ordinal scoring system was devised which encompassed graphic productions ranging from scribbles to conventional competent human figure drawings. The effects of school experience on drawing, even brief and indirect experience, were found to be significant. All the children attending school drew only conventional human figures, but the whole range of drawings, scribbles, transitional forms, and conventional human figure drawings were found in the unschooled children's attempts. Nonrepresentational scribbles and shapes were largely produced by unschooled children living in remote villages without a school, trade store, or mission. Some children appeared to be able to draw representations of the human figure without going through a scribbling stage. The material is considered in relation to other reports on drawings produced by children from societies with little or no indigenous graphic art. The results are discussed in relation to various theories on the development of drawing and representational abilities.
This article was published in Child Dev
and referenced in Journal of Socialomics