Progressive Work with Drawing in Groups of Preschool Children in Mexico and Colombia
It is well known that pre-school age is the period of significant importance for psychological development and for preparation of children for learning at school. The process of learning and achievements at school depend on the types of activities selected at pre-school level. Unfortunately, it is often to find out that introduction of writing and reading is among the most common activities in pre-school institutions all over the world. The goal of our article is to share a formative experience of drawing as suitable activity for children development at preschool age. Mexican and Colombian preschool children were included in the study aged between 5 and 6 years. All children belonged to suburban area of the cities state of Tlaxcala (Mexico) and Bogota (Colombia) and assisted to pre-school official level without any kind of previous experience in drawing. The original program for gradual formation of drawing by stages was applied for 8 months daily for 1 hour. The program is based on the conception of the zone of proximal development, introduced by Vigotsky for developmental psychology. The program included different stages with multiple activities directed to analyses of concrete objects and toys and its essential features, denomination, classification, differentiation, comparison of objects, analyses of basic shapes and spatial organization of details. All activities within the program were collective and guided by a teacher, previously trained for this purpose. After that graphic representation of shapes were used with the help of constant external orientation. All children were tested before and after application of the program. Specific tasks were selected from Brief Neuropsychological Assessment  for assessment of children. Among the tasks were included: copy of objects with elements of spatial orientation, free drawing, production of drawings by categorical instructions. After program application children from experimental group showed qualitative positive achievements in graphic representations of objects, spatial orientation, number of drawings and of essential features of represented objects. We conclude that drawing is extremely useful activity for psychological development of children and the level of preparation for school learning, especially for writing process. Drawing activity had positive effect for spatial functions and images of objects in visual modality. We suggest that our program might be used in pre-school official institutions with in order to guarantee required level psychological formation of pre-school age. The program might be used even in groups of children in conditions of poor leaving conditions and social deprivation.
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Faculty of Psychology, Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico.
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