Drawing as Language: Celebrating the Work of Bob Steele is a Festschrift in honour of Bob Steele, Professor Emeritus, artist, educator and tireless advocate for bringing authentic aesthetic lived experiences to young children. Bob Steele’s prolific contribution to the field of visual arts education recognizes the importance of drawing for everyone, but especially with young children. As an artist-teacher-researcher Bob has devoted decades to developing understandings of drawing as language. He is a progressive thinker with commitment and passion, and through a lifetime of work has provoked serious engagement with children’s drawing processes: how children learn through drawing, through authentic experiences with their sensory world, and through their intense engagement with stories.
In this unique collection we have invited educators and scholars whose work represents the ongoing influence of the ideas and teachings of Bob Steele: what he has brought to the field of art education, early childhood studies, and curriculum studies in general. It traces the history and development of his ideas. The reader is taken through his journey as a young educator in rural Saskatchewan, Canada to significant moments in his teaching and his work. The voices of the contributors offer an insightful alternative into how drawing need not be limited to a particular discipline but can be language of communication; a language that significantly matters in the daily lives and learning not just only for children, but for those who also work with them. We hope this Festschrift inspires you to think about the drawings of children differently and take your understanding to a new level.