Young children’s responses to artworks: The eye, the mind, and the body

Jacqueline Lye Wai Yu, Rhoda Myra Garces-Bacsal, Susan Kay Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates young children’s responses to viewing artworks in a preschool setting. Based on the responses of 15 children aged five to six years during five art viewing sessions in a preschool in Singapore, the study examines features of what young children see, think and feel when they view artworks. These sessions were facilitated by their class teacher using techniques from Visual Thinking Strategies. The data obtained from the children’s responses were analysed qualitatively using Grounded Theory. The findings revealed that children respond to artworks visually, cognitively and somatically, in that they talk about what they see, think and feel. The children’s comments featured content, formal art elements, personal connections, creativity and imagination, affect and vocalisms, with personal connections making up two-thirds of their responses. This study highlights the rich experiences that young children gain from viewing artworks and the importance of including art viewing into the early childhood art curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Education and the Arts
Publication statusPublished - Aug 25 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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