1st Edition

The Value of Drawing Instruction in the Visual Arts and Across Curricula Historical and Philosophical Arguments for Drawing in the Digital Age

By Seymour Simmons III Copyright 2021
    396 Pages 98 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    396 Pages 98 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    By applying philosophical and historical perspectives to drawing instruction, this volume demonstrates how diverse teaching methods contribute to cognitive and holistic development applicable within and beyond the visual arts.

    Offering a new perspective on the art and science of drawing, this text reveals the often-unrecognized benefits that drawing can have on the human mind, and thus argues for the importance of drawing instruction despite, and even due to contemporary digitalization. Given the predominance of visual information and digital media, visual thinking in and through drawing may be an essential skill for the future. As such, the book counters recent declines in drawing instruction to propose five Paradigms for teaching drawing – as design, as seeing, as experience and experiment, as expression, and as a visual language – with exemplary curricula for pre-K12 art and general education, pre-professional programs across the visual arts, and continuing education. With the aid of instructional examples, this volume dispels the misconception of drawing as a talent reserved for the artistically gifted and posits it as a teachable skill that can be learned by all.

    This text will be of primary interest to researchers, scholars, and doctoral students with interests in drawing theory and practice, cognition in the arts, positive psychology, creativity theory, as well as the philosophy and history of arts education. Aligning with contemporary trends such as Design Thinking, STEAM, and Graphicacy, the text will also have appeal to visual arts educators at all levels, and other educators involved in arts integration.

    List of Figures


    Preface: Toward a Renaissance in Drawing Education

    Chapter 1: Introduction: Making the Case for Learning to Draw in Changing Times

    Chapter 2: Beginnings: Drawing as an Innate Human Capacity and a Matter of the Mind

    Chapter 3: What’s in a Name? The Uses of Philosophy in Drawing Education

    Chapter 4: Drawing by Design: Connecting Drawing and Design through Mathematics

    Chapter 5: Drawing as Seeing: Observational Drawing in Art, Science, and Medicine

    Chapter 6: Drawing as Experience and Experiment: Creativity in Art and Experimental Science

    Chapter 7: Drawing as Expression: Self-Knowledge, Healing, and Societal Concerns

    Chapter 8: Languages of Drawing: Semiotics and the Search for Fundamentals

    Chapter 9: Toward a Comprehensive 21st Century Philosophy of Drawing Education





    Seymour Simmons III is a Professor of Fine Arts Emeritus at Winthrop University, USA.

    "The drawing activity (and its cousins: sketching, doodling, painting, design, calligraphy, sculpting) can be traced back in time at least to early cave paintings more than 30,000 years ago, or even to rock art hundreds of thousands of years ago. Drawing is at the birth of writing and the archiving of ideas, knowledge, giving us a more powerful means to extend our cognitive horizons than the mere oral traditions. Seymour Simmons brings back to the centre this fundamental activity necessary to each human's learning and development: each of us experiments and flexes our brain, in infancy, to learn about representing shapes, the world, and imagine and set theatrical scenarios, in large part through drawing. Simmons sets the stage for the next paradigm shift in education and beyond, in the current era dominated by computing and the scientific method: that of unleashing our creativity with the use of our body-mind through the various dimensions offered by drawing."

    -- Frederic Fol Leymarie, Professor of Arts Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

    "Seymour Simmons' book is a tour de force, covering the panorama of issues in drawing, the arts, education, philosophy-- indeed, what makes for a full life. The book may well be the best synthesis of Project Zero's contributions to artistic education and artistic knowledge."

    -- Howard Gardner, Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA; Senior Director, Harvard Project Zero, and Ellen Winner, Professor of Psychology Emerita, Boston College, USA; Senior Research Associate, Harvard Project Zero