Prosthetic Imaginings and Pedagogies of Early Childhood Art

Christine Marmé Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


What is the process that is invoked when early childhood educators reassure themselves that it is “process not product” that counts in the art experience of young children? Is this ultimately a way of dismissing intentions we do not understand or reducing the ways that art functions for young children to a singular focus on manipulative activities? How do we define drawing events, and how do we recognize those that constitute lines of flight for the child and his or her companions? Should we understand children’s art making as a display of the child’s interiority, or is it more accurately understood as an assemblage of influences coming together in particular moments? This article offers a perspective on child art that recognizes and values the complexity of children’s lives as they come together in prosthetic spaces where art making is understood as fluid performative event, influenced more profoundly by the personal, social, and material circumstances of its making than by developmental constraints or preordained assignments or intentions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-561
Number of pages8
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 15 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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