An examination of year one and year two students' understanding of the spatial, gestural and visual design elements of their 2D artwork

Fox, Sonya J. (2006) An examination of year one and year two students' understanding of the spatial, gestural and visual design elements of their 2D artwork. In Voices, Vibes, Visions AATE/ALEA National Conference 2006, 8-11 July 2006, Darwin.


This paper examines young children's understandings of multimodal design elements made noticeable through the analyses of their 2D artwork, focusing on gestural, spatial and visual design, as described by Cope and Kalantzis (2000) as a meaning making system. It is argued that children already utilise accumulated multiple literacies gained from their intensely involved multimodal textual practices outside school experiences and socio-cultural practices. This paper also explores how meaning making is becoming increasingly multimodal, with modes such as visual, spatial, audio, linguistic and gestural, due to the continual reshaping of language by new forms of communication media. These design elements are not separate entities, but are themselves interconnected with one another through semiosis and symbols. The paper also describes how "drawings of a developing child are symbolic in nature and form a part of the maturing ability to think symbolically" (Thwaites, 1999, p.6), or more specifically, that children use their artwork as a meaning making mechanism. It is recommended that further, more extensive research be considered in regard to the exploration of young children's understandings of multimodal design elements within their 2D artwork, as additional investigation has the potential to provide a greater perspective on the evolutionary character of literacy development for children.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,902 since deposited on 28 Nov 2006
143 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 5617
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: multiliteracies, multimodality, children's artwork, Cope and Kalantzis, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 28 Nov 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 04:55

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page