Using drawing as a playful research encounter with young children

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Having already presented the theoretical bases for this book and some examples of innovative approaches to informed consent with children in the previous chap- ters, this chapter now offers the first glimpse into what research methods through play may look like. In this case, the focus is on drawings. There are multiple ways to engage in research involving play. This chapter, and the ones that follow in this Part, are not meant to offer a rigid approach or framework to adopt, but rather the methods presented provide a starting point for you to imagine how you might adapt children’s natural ability to play to arrive at meaningful research data which offers an insight into the child’s world. The aims of this chapter are to:
• Illustrate some of the benefits of using drawing in research with young children.
• Explore how our conceptualisation of drawing can shape the ways in which we
illicit and interpret young children’s drawings.
• Consider how a multimodal social-semiotic framework can help us privilege
young children’s perspectives and natural practices of communication.
• Provide insights into some key methodological factors to consider which can influence the communicative potential of drawing, including the adult role and
social and contextual framing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch through Play
Subtitle of host publicationParticipatory Methods in Early Childhood
EditorsLorna Arnott, Kate Wall
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781529760552
ISBN (Print)9781526493545, 9781526493552
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • early childhood
  • research methods
  • play
  • children
  • pedagogy
  • drawing
  • visual methods
  • participation


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