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The Scribble Hypothesis

The scribble hypothesis predicts that young children who are encouraged to scribble and draw, to talk and to write, and to compute and to compose about their scribbles and drawings will write more easily and will continue to write for pleasure as well as to disseminate information.

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The Neurological Significance Of Childrenís Drawing: The Scribble Hypothesis, Abstract with Research Questions

Very Young Childrenís Drawings and Human Consciousness:
The Scribble Hypothesis.
A plea for brain-compatible teaching and learning
by S.R. Sheridan
Poster Presentation
"Toward A Science of Consciousness" Conference
Skovde, Sweden, August 2001
copyright 2001 SRS

This paper is about the unfolding of human marks, starting with scribbles. Scribbles reveal a neural substrate destined for marks and influence that substrate significantly, cue-ing what is distinctly human in linguistic behavior and consciousness: marks of significance, or symbolic thought. As neurobiological impulse and as language instinct, scribbling activates the human brain for a unique kind of self-organization using symbols. This cognitive self-organization is transmediational. The bihemispheric brain has evolved to interpret and respond to information across multiple sign systems. This complex, integrated process is nonlinear, continuous with principles for dynamic systems in the natural world.

The author is an artist/writer/ mother/teacher who has spent twenty years researching the connections between drawing and writing. The results are an educational theory Neuroconstructivism (children construct not only knowledge but mind on neural levels depending upon how they learn to learn), a practice Drawing/Writing (if the brainís right and left hemispheres exchange information, brain-compatible learning strategies will exchange visual and verbal information, too), and the fourfold Scribble Hypothesis.


This research is one basis upon which the Image-Thinking Program for teachers rests.  A workshop was presented to teachers from Allegheny County by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) of Pennsylvania. The Workshop was entitled "Art, Wellness and Learning Abilitites".

The IVLA (International Visual Literacy Association) Conference in Chicago also hosted this Workshop in October 2009.  

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Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh....... Art History is the Literature of Vision

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Art History is the Literature of Vision