Representational Conceptions in Two-and Three-Dimensional Media: A Developmental Perspective

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Abstract

Some of the empirical implications of Rudolf Arnheim's concept of representation as a mental activity that goes beyond the perception and imitation of objects and events and transforms them with the means available in a chosen medium are explored in the study of two- and three-dimensional media. Systematic comparisons of children's drawings and their models in clay, and comparisons of diverse objects within the three-dimensional medium reveal significant differences in the form their representations take. The findings highlight the role of the medium in the art form children invent and do not support the notion that a single template underlies their diverse attempts at representation.

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