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Publish at 05 novembre 2018 Updated 03 novembre 2021

The Importance of Drawing in the Classroom

Why is Looking at Drawings or Drawing a Picture Yourself so Important for Learners and Teachers?

Classroom learning is mostly associated with the auditory sense. After all, the teacher speaks up from the front and the students listen to what is shared. Yet, one only has to open one's eyes to see that a room is usually lined with pictures, diagrams, etc. It is very rare indeed that children are not immersed in visual stimuli. This is rather desirable. We would tend to forget this but drawing has very good effects on learners.

Visual Art as Learning Aids...

Science is particularly a subject where drawing can be beneficial for students. It is not only a method of demonstrating different concepts but also a way to acquire knowledge. For example, an interesting exercise is to ask children to draw beforehand what they think they know about a topic and then to draw it again once they have learned the material. This can be a great way for them to better understand an object, a plant, an animal, or simply a geometric shape in space.  It even provides an opportunity to document the steps of an experiment or observation with a microscope or the naked eye.

Drawing can also be interesting in language classes. Since children already have a predisposition to draw, this creativity can be used in many different forms. Whether it's a poster of something they're passionate about, a picture related to the lyrics of a song, or a comic book story, this form of visual art is truly an educational approach. By the way, it is not necessarily necessary to ask them to be 100% creative. It can also be interesting to do directed drawing where the image to be drawn is dictated by the teacher. A method that can be useful to show children how to use digital tools to draw.

... and Teachers Too

Drawing can be a way for the teacher to offer students real support to better understand a subject. For example, a teacher from Taiwan uses drawing skills to show all the intricacies of the human body. A habit that blends his two passions.

Sometimes, chalk drawing can be a stopgap. In early 2018, many talked about this teacher in Ghana who could not take advantage of a computer park taught word processing on the blackboard. His talent allowed a rather accurate recreation of the software window. Moreover, the high-profile story allowed Internet users to call out Microsoft which promised that the teacher would have access to hardware and would no longer have to draw to teach computer science.

However, you do not have to be such a talented drawer to use images pedagogically. Small comics can be good supplements to the course. Especially since this approach is usually striking, often humorous, and is much appreciated by learners of all ages. As this article argues, the use of comics can be an interesting way to remind even older students of techniques and knowledge. They are a fun reminder of the dos and don'ts of, for example, computer technology.

Drawing is thus both a tool for acquiring knowledge and also for being a reminder of it. Learners and teachers are right to use it and frequently. It does not matter if the strokes are not worthy of great artists, the point is to be understood and effective.

Illustration : marcoverch Mädchen schreibt auf einem großen Touchscreen mit Stylus-Unterstützung von Steelcase via photopin (license)

References

Alikhail, Khyber. "Taiwanese Teacher Uses Extraordinary Chalkboard Drawing Skills to Teach Students Anatomy." Architecture & Design. Last updated November 8, 2017. https://www.architecturendesign.net/taiwanese-teacher-anatomical-chalkboard-drawings/.

"Au Ghana, Un Professeur Est Forcé De Dessiner Word Pour Enseigner L’informatique" MinuteNews. Last updated February 28, 2018. https://www.minutenews.fr/divertissement/trendy/ghana-professeur-force-de-dessiner-word-enseigner-linformatique-elo-19h31-290116.html.

Evans, Julia. "How to Teach Technical Concepts with Cartoons." Julia Evans. Retrieved 1er November 2018. https://jvns.ca/teach-tech-with-cartoons/.

"The Importance of Science Drawings." The Owl Teacher. Last updated June 18, 2018. https://theowlteacher.com/the-importance-of-science-drawings/.

"Learn English Through Drawing." Cambridge Assessment English. Retrieved 1er November 2018. https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/learning-english/parents-and-children/information-for-parents/tips-and-advice/learn-english-through-drawing/.

Lynch, Matthew. "Using Cartoons to Spark Engagement in the Classroom." The Tech Edvocate. Last updated March 12, 2018. https://www.thetechedvocate.org/using-cartoons-to-spark-engagement-in-the-classroom/.

Smith, Julie. "Using DIGITAL Directed Drawings in the Classroom." The Techie Teacher®. Last updated March 24, 2018. https://www.thetechieteacher.net/2018/03/using-digital-directed-drawings-in.html.

Toussay, Jade. "Ce Prof Ghanéen N’aura Plus à Dessiner Microsoft Word Au Tableau Pour L’enseigner à Ses élèves." The Huffington Post. Last updated March 16, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2018/03/16/ce-professeur-ghaneen-naura-plus-besoin-de-dessiner-microsoft-word-pour-lenseigner-a-ses-eleves_a_23387714/.


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