Inclusive Practice: researching the relationship between mathmatical ability and drawing ability in art students

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Abstract

This paper is a component of ongoing research by a team comprising an art school lecturer, a coordinator of dyslexic students' support, and psychologists interested in exploring correlations between drawing ability and factors such as mathematical ability, personality traits and dyslexia. It extends research by gathering and analysing data collected from art students at Swansea Metropolitan University and the Royal College of Art. The paper introduces a research strategy to explore the hypothesis that drawing ability correlates with mathematical ability, with the ultimate objective of developing inclusive strategies for the teaching of drawing. Previously we have explored how difficulties with drawing relate to dyslexia (1). Although no direct relationship with dyslexia was found, other interesting results were: poor drawing related to poor visual memory and a reduced ability at copying angles and proportions, suggesting problems in spatial perception and memory. Other researchers (2) have reported that dyslexic children who are poor at maths tend to be less good at remembering the Rey-Osterrieth figure. We also noted that students with lower GCSE maths grades tended to be less good at drawing the Rey-Osterrieth figure. In the present, exploratory study we therefore looked at how ability at maths related to drawing ability.

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