Drawing is a highly participatory mode of communication, particularly suited to allowing children to express their knowledge and ideas about various aspects of reality. It is necessary to ascertain whether children are able master drawing sufficiently to place it at the service of their representational intentions, and whether they possess the pictorial flexibility needed to articulate and differentiate their graphic representations. The presence and development of this important cognitive–symbolic ability are investigated. This exploratory study aimed to investigate, in children living in socioeconomic and cultural disadvantaged conditions, 1) the emergence and development of the pictorial flexibility needed to effectively represent and differentiate the building in which they live from the building in which they wish they lived; and 2) the patterns in the number and quality of pictorial differentiation strategies adopted for representational purposes. Two hundred 8-to-12-year-old Brazilian children living in a favela were asked to produce two specific thematic drawings, representing their real house vs. their desired house. The children’s pictorial representations were coded according to their communicative efficacy (allowing the viewer to distinguish, in each pair of drawings, between the real house and the one desired by the drawer) and according to the number and type of pictorial strategies used to diversify the two types of buildings. The children were had sufficient representational flexibility to effectively perform a pictorial differentiation task, and express their point of view on the environment in which they live, and imagine alternative scenarios, adopting a variety of painting strategies. Drawing, prompted with a contrastive task, has proven to be effective in allowing even disadvantaged children to differentiate their real and desired urban environments. Children’s pictorial flexibility manifests itself through a wide range of strategies, varying in number and quality according to the age of the artists. As such, its use can be encouraged by educational interventions aimed at broadening the expressive potential of children, and as a tool for fostering resilience.
Drawing places, recreating spaces: visual voices from at-risk children / Giuliana Pinto; Francesco Tosi; Oriana Incognito. - In: HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES COMMUNICATIONS. - ISSN 2662-9992. - ELETTRONICO. - (2021), pp. 1-7. [10.1057/s41599-021-00872-0]