Gerrit Breeuwsma, born in Sneek, the Netherlands, in 1958. Ph.D. from the University of Groningen. Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Groningen.
Fellow (1 September 1997 – 30 June 1998)
As a participant of the theme group “Historical Developmental Psychology” I devoted my time to three, more or less interrelated, research projects.
Together with Willem Koops I worked on a book on the history and foundations of development and education. In this book we try to specify changes in the concept of development and education and its consequences for developmental research and childrearing practices. We hope to finish this book by the end of 1998.
I have written and finished a book on psychology and art. entitled “Psychology for the Left Hand:”. It contains a series of essays on topics such as the aesthetic experience of children: children’s drawings, the effects of a literary culture versus a visual culture on the development of children, and lying, but also essays on the psychology of art collecting: twentieth-century art vandalism, and the role of movement in our experience and appreciation of music. Some of these essays already existed, but were revised, the main part of the manuscript was written during my stay at NIAS. The book will be published fall 1998.
The last project has been called “A Portrait of the Young Child as an Artist” and will result in a book. It is concerned with the relationship between developmental psychology and art and artistic behaviour. Developmentalists and artists focussed on the importance of children’s drawing but the resemblance they saw with ‘real’ art led them to the wrong questions. I propose a reorientation on the relationship between children’s drawing and art, in which the search for universality will make place for a historical approach. Although I have worked extensively on this project, a lot still remains to be done. Publication of this book is planned for the year 2000.
Furthermore, as a member of the theme group I participated in the discussions of the group and wrote a chapter for our interdisciplinary book on historical developmental psychology.