A comparison of the styles of projective drawings of black and white school children

Davidow, Maureen
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All too often people tend to label children on the basis of tests, without knowing if the test is indeed a valid test instrument for those particular children. In our South African multilingual, multicultural, society we cannot necessarily transpose a set of test norms derived from testing a white Anglo Saxon population in the United States. Intellectual and projective tests need to be examined to ascertain whether they are culture-fair and can be used for any specific cultural group without disadvantage.In this qualitative exploratory case study, black and white, latency age, learners attending a Model C Government Primary School in the North of Johannesburg were tested. Buck’s House-Tree Person (H-T-P) Projective Test was used. The drawings were examined for differences in style which if present could indicate differences in self-concept.The findings were that there were more variations seen in the drawings within each group, rather than between the two groups. Furthermore it was noted that the self-concept findings were not necessarily dependent on the emotional factors apparent in the graphomotor aspects of the three drawings. The results,although preliminary and not conclusive, support the universal-developmental perspective of drawing styles. This viewpoint supports the notion that drawing styles are not culture-bound.