Drawing as a Relational Event: Making Meaning Through Talk, Collaboration, and Image Production

  • Kristine E. SundayEmail author
Part of the Educating the Young Child book series (EDYC, volume 12)


Contemporary understandings of child art suggest that the drawings of children are best understood as cultural productions that are influenced by the intentions and circumstances that surround children’s work. Whereas the artifacts of children’s drawing activity may provide insight into children’s interests and personal experiences, it is within the act of drawing itself whereby children come to make meaning of their everyday worlds. In this chapter, I propose a relational view of children’s drawing in which meaning emerges in the in-between spaces of talk, gesture, mark-making, and artifact. In doing so, I bring forth the idea of children’s drawing as an embodied experience in which thought, talk, activity, and objects are intra-connected. Focusing my discussion within early childhood education, I conclude with thoughts regarding children’s capacity to construct meaningful experiences and advocate for the inclusion of children’s voluntary drawing activity as part of a comprehensive early childhood program.


Drawing events Relationality Children’s meaning-making Interpreting child art Relational space Drawing and talk 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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