Drawing out critical thinking: testing the methodological value of drawing collaboratively

Linda Knight, Lyn Zollo, Felicity McArdle, Tamara Cumming, Jane Bone, Avis Ridgway, Corinna Peterken, Liang Li
2016 European Early Childhood Education Research Journal  
Early childhood research has long established that drawing is a central, and important activity for young children. Less common are investigations into the drawing activity of adults involved in early childhood. A team of adult early childhood researchers, with differing exposures and familiarities with drawing, experimented with intergenerational collaborative drawing with colleagues, students, family members and others, to explore the effectiveness of drawing as a research process and as an
more » ... ts-based methodology. This testing prompted critical thinking into how drawing might facilitate research that involves young children, to operate in more communicable ways, and how research-focused drawings might occur in reference to a research project. Keywords Arts-based methodology; collaborative drawings; early childhood research; researcher development; children's drawings; visual methodologies; visual communication. Over the past sixty years the act of drawing, the meanings embedded in drawings, and the value of drawings that young children produce have been a focus of much early childhood research (see Hawkins 2002; Hope 2008; Kindler and Darras 1998; Lambert 2005). Irrespective of theoretical or paradigmatic difference, collectively this body of research advocates that drawing is a central, and important activity for young children. Less common are investigations into the drawing activity of adults involved in early childhood teaching and/or research. The dearth of research into the drawings of early childhood professionals seems to work at odds with the high regard given for drawing in early childhood, and presents an interesting space for examination. A starting point for such examination is to explore the function of making drawings, the familiarity with drawing techniques, and how each of these might serve adult early childhood researchers. Specifically, how might drawing serve as a research process, and how might research-focused drawings occur? Can drawing perform effectively as a methodology, for early childhood researchers with differing exposures and familiarities with making drawings? As with other forms of participatory drawing (Literat 2013) intergenerational collaborative drawing is shown to be an effective research method in early childhood Drawing Out Critical Thinking Senior Lecturer, PhD student and Associate Professor. Our respective research interests are diverse and include play and pedagogy, early learning and development, early childhood workforce, arts education, teacher education, curriculum, social justice and equity, embedding Indigenous perspectives; we investigate these through a number of conceptual lenses and theorists including cultural-historical theory, poststructural theories, discourse and discursive construction, power/knowledge theories, feminist theories, and the thinking of Rorty, Vygotsky, Foucault, Deleuze, Drawing Out Critical Thinking
doi:10.1080/1350293x.2016.1143270 fatcat:usywy3fjivcfzgdterjebzbl7e