Coloring books take away the opportunity for the children to show their interpretation of the world. To create a coloring book picture is to conform to the
adult version of the way the world is. Thus, coloring books are obstacles to artistic development. They prevent children from expressing themselves creatively, deny parents the opportunity to delve into the psyche
of their children, and stifle the creation of original art." (Jeff Passe "Throw Away Those Coloring Books" Mothering, Winter 1986)
"There is general agreement that coloring books
are detrimental to children's creative expression. These books usually have an outline of some form or other, such as a cow, or a dog, or a complete landscape. The youngster is supposed to color within the lines
and some youngsters seem to enjoy this activity. this enjoyment may be because these youngsters do not have to think for themselves. the dependency upon someone else's outline if an object makes the child much
less confidant in his own means of expression. We can decry the use of coloring books for children" (Creative and Mental Growth, Lowenfeld & Brittian, 1970, page 49)
"By the time
they have completed the first few pages of a coloring book, the only thing they will have learned is that adults draws better, by adults standards, than they do. At this point most children spurn their own
refreshing and expressive drawings." Striker & Kimmel, The Anti-Coloring Book, Henry Holt)
"The child coloring-in us regressing to an earlier stage of development. He is being forced into
a possible retardation or disability which may show up when he tries to learn manuscript lettering or cursive sorting. Teachers who
use coloring-in techniques seem almost to be working against themselves, and
their later attempts to teach writing skills." Robert J. Saunders, The Connecticut Art Education Association.
National Art Education Association Presidential Proclamation
I do hereby
proclaim, as president and elected representative of the National Art Education Association, the following statement in support of the preservation, development, and strengthening of art education
in the United States.
In light if the increasing usage of coloring books, color fill-in workbooks activities, and other predesigned materials that block originality, stifle imagination and
creativity, and become a substitute for valid and appropriate art education programs and procedures in elementary education, I therefore , call for immediate deliberate and permanent
curtailment of the use of
such methods, activities and procedures.
Furthermore, I appeal to and call upon the immediate and active support of the National Art Education Association Board of Directors, The States Assembly, all
affiliate groups, the student chapter, the State Art Education Associations and the membership at large, to seek, identify, and implement strategies, plans, and efforts to discourage the use of such activities in
the schools of each state in our nation.
Dr. Kent Anderson, President
National Art Education Association