Beyond their Capability? Drawing, Designing and the Young Child

Gill Hope
2000, Vol. 5, No. 2,


Over the last four years I have become increasingly interested in the processes involved in drawing for design and the way that young children (aged 5-9) use drawings to aid their thinking about products that they are planning to make. The assumption by the writers of the ational Curriculum appears to be that even young children can use drawing as a means of modelling and developing ideas. This has been increasingly challenged and has led to modifications in subsequent documents. Yet informal observations of children's play and their inherent creativeness has suggested to others that they could use drawing as a design tool if only they were shown how. This has caused me to consider the nature of the underlying cognitive processes involved in drawing for design - as a tool for thought rather than just a recording medium - and to try to find out when and how these skills develop in young children. This paper discusses research into children's picturing and the demands ma

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