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Drawing as Thinking: The Theorists

This Drawing as Thinking series has been developed in response to an online conversation with Debi Keyte-Hartland. Each module in this five-part series invites educators to re-visit their assumptions and beliefs about children’s drawing, and to apply their insights uniquely to their work with young children.

In Drawing as Thinking Module 3, we overview the remarkable contributions of developmental theorists as well as possible blind spots created by their theories. In light of current research into children’s drawing, do developmental theories lead us to dismiss the significance of mark making by toddlers? Do drawing stage theories cause us to focus on what’s missing or what’s next, instead of listening to what children are saying though the language of drawing?

This module invites us to critique the important work of past and present researchers to guide our teaching practice.

In Module 3 of this series, we critically consider:

  • Drawing stage theories by Luquet, Piaget, Lowenfeld and Kellogg.
  • Recent research about drawing by infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children by Claudio Longobardi, Rocco Quaglia, Nathalie O. lotti.
  • Implications of past and present research to our teaching practice.

Debi Keyte-Hartland is an early years expert and TedX speaker with over 25 years of experience working across the United Kingdom in schools and with educational organizations. She has worked internationally with schools in China, Singapore, Brazil, Switzerland, Norway, Senegal, and Sweden.

All reflective activities and supplementary materials in this module are downloadable.

How much time does this module take?

This module offers 60-75 minutes of professional learning.

Modules may be shared with educators in a single time block or broken into smaller time chunks to guide professional learning over time. Modules may also be offered using a hybrid approach (e.g., videos and initial reflections accessed online individually at times convenient to each participant; then discussed in synchronous time as a group in-person or online.)

The amount of professional learning time will depend on variables set by individuals and/or facilitator:

  • Whether all or only some of the components of this module are accessed and discussed in synchronous time with others.
  • The amount of reflection time the facilitator allows in large or small group discussions.
  • Whether none, some, or all the additional resources in the supplementary materials are accessed.
  • The number of participants who engage in this professional learning together in synchronous time.

Terms of use: 

  • Packages are copyrighted by Inspired to Learn.
  • The purchase of each Community of Learning Module entitles the purchaser to use the material for in-person educational gatherings within their organization and reproduce worksheets for distribution
  • eCourse material may not be redistributed electronically.
  • For online learning cohorts, each participant must create an account and purchase individual access to the eCourse material.
  • Discount coupon codes and bulk purchase plans are available for groups of 5 or greater by submitting an inquiry to
  • Business-for-profit use is prohibited.

Other modules in this series:

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