Visual learning is a great tool: If you draw something you know it, and to know it, you draw it. As Frederick Frank puts it, "I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen " Children across the learning spectrum can benefit from learning to draw in a variety of ways:
Drawing can help where skills have been or are compromised because of various challenges. Those with only average academic skills, for example, can have well above-average skills in visual areas, and even enjoy careers as visual artists, artisans, and craftsmen. Research has shown that learning disabilities are often problems in the processing of language-based information, and learning-disabled people often have very strong visual skills.
Whatever a child's skills, new levels of competence and a sense of reward can be attained with effort and patience. Then, with the confidence gained from the new learning and activities, potential career options increase as well. Children who draw no longer view their sense of self as narrow or traditional.
Drawing promotes new energy and confidence in any endeavor, adding important reasoning skills to the battery of left-brain thinking. Drawing a difficult subject can speed the rate of learning the information—and extend the retention time, too.
In the electronic arena, the creative relational mind is a plus; the ability to see the big picture and look at it from another angle and continue to see it anew is a gift.
Human expression has a value all its own. To be able to express feeling and thoughts visually is to encourage one to feel and express those feelings—and a step along the way to greater understanding amongst us all.
School curricula generally undervalue art in favor of left-brained learning. Drawing can help children organize and develop sequential thought patterns and step-by-step habits. New York State Art Teacher Assessment Supervisor Roger Hyndman has done statistical studies on students with drawing backgrounds—they achieve higher academic ratings.
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