The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
40. Therapeutic Art, Poetry, and Personal Essay: Old and New Prescriptions
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Therapeutic Art, Poetry, and Personal Essay
Old and New Prescriptions
Mary Hollowell & Donna Moye
Within the field of educational psychology, issues of how to motivate children to learn often discuss and deconstruct traditional dimensions such as cognitive, social, behavioral, and humanistic perspectives. Edith Kramer’s Art Therapy in a Children’s Community presents us with a fresh explication for motivating children to learn. Published over fifty years ago, her insights into troubled children, based on their artwork, are still applicable today. Post-modern technological inventions such as MP3 players, iPhones, videogames, and online social networking have not changed the universal themes found in the art of wounded children and youth, as they learn about themselves and others while they progress towards healing.
Kramer’s art therapy first began in Prague during WWII, as she began to see patterns while working with refugee children. She is described in a wealth of literature as a pioneer in the field of art therapy. In fact, art therapy was not formally recognized in the United States until it was introduced by Kramer in the 1940s, following her immigration. She has been identified as a major theoretician-practitioner by Jean Keller in Activities with Developmentally Disabled Elderly and Older Adults (1991). When Melvin Miller and Susanne Cook-Greuter interviewed her in 1997 at the age of 82, they wrote, “Kramer’s activities have bridged continents, integrated disciplines, and crossed domains of high expression” (p....
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