Volume 5, 2019
From Research to Learning
Juli K. Thorson
Drawing for Understanding, Insight, and Discovery
The literature on drawing provides a justification for using drawing in the teaching of philosophy. The aim of the essay is to show how drawing as a pedagogy, though unusual in philosophy, fulfills high-quality teaching desiderata: make it personal, go beyond the text, allow students to show and explain their work, and unify the work of the course. I explain these four desiderata and how students complete drawing exercises to develop understanding, generate insights, and make philosophic discoveries. I begin by explaining and justifying the pedagogical desiderata. I discuss the literature on drawing-to-learn and concept mapping and apply its insights to teaching philosophy. Finally, I describe my exercises on color theory, two-point perspective exercises, my modifications to concept mapping, and the use of summative drawings.