This article argues that drawing facilitates an intelligence of seeing, a visualcy, that should be as important as literacy and numeracy at all levels of the educational curriculum. The author likens cave drawings c. 40,000 years ago to an “external hard drive,” alleviating biological constraints on brain capacity by preserving shareable information about predators and prey necessary for survival during a period of expanding social networks, ultimately leading to humans becoming the globally dominant species. The author reviews theories of visual perception, fundamental to any pedagogy of drawing; discusses modes of visual “attention,” defining the difference between “focused” and “distributed;” and relates both to intentional communication through drawing, the progenitor of writing.

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