University of Cambridge > > Arts, Culture and Education > Every picture tells a story: Using children’s drawings in educational research

Every picture tells a story: Using children’s drawings in educational research

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Drawings may be one of the most important ways that children express themselves. A child’s drawing may be interpreted as a deeply personal statement, communicating information about conscious experience as well as depicting inner worlds. In this session we will consider how drawings may be used in educational research, functioning as a medium through which the learner’s perspective may be privileged. Participants will look at how children’s drawings were integrated into a mixed methods project concerned with children’s experiences of teaching and learning in the context of music. Details of the methodological approach will be set out, with a focus on how the analysis of the children’s drawings:
  • provided deeply insightful perspectives, through the children’s eyes
  • added depth to quantitative data
  • could be used as a prompt during interviews We will debate whether the pictures could be accepted as a credible source of data. Some historical perspectives on the use of children’s drawings in research will be considered and alternative approaches to the analysis of children’s drawings will be discussed.

Biography Dr Andrea Creech is Senior Lecturer in Education at the Institute of Education, London, where she leads a programme of professional training for Conservatoire teachers. Following an international orchestral career Andrea was director of a Community Music School, developing programmes for learners of all ages. Since completing her PhD in Psychology in Music Education, Andrea has led several funded research projects relating to musical engagement across the lifespan. Andrea has presented at international conferences and published widely on issues relating to musical development and music education across the lifespan. She is a Board member of the International Society for Music Education and is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Music Education (Practice). In addition Andrea is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Secretary for the Education Section of the British Psychological Society and is a member of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research, the Incorporated Society of Musicians and the European String Teachers Association.

This talk is part of the Arts, Culture and Education series.

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