Re-imagining school through young people’s drawings

Bland, Derek C. (2009) Re-imagining school through young people’s drawings. In 1st International Visual Methods Conference, 15-17 September 2009, Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, University of Leeds. (Unpublished)

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Children’s drawings provide rich qualitative data (Walker, 2008) and “valuable information for the assessment of children's environmental perceptions” (Barraza, 1999, p. 49). They are the primary data source being used to re-imagine school from a student perspective (Schratz & Steiner-Löffler, 1998) in a research project being carried out with primary school students in Queensland, Australia.

This paper will report on the progress of this project which addresses a mostly unmet need for students’ perspectives to be included in school design (Rudduck & Flutter, 2004). Grade 5/6 students in a number of primary schools have been invited to submit annotated drawings with up to 200 words of text illustrating their ideal educational spaces. Using purpose-designed analytical tools, the submissions will be compared across student backgrounds and school types to obtain a better understanding of the needs and educational desires of young people in relation to changing learning environments. The findings will inform consideration of the design and use of educational spaces with all work exhibited through a dedicated website.

The term ‘educational spaces’ avoids restrictive notions of what the concept of ‘school’ means, referring to any real or virtual space in which teaching and learning may occur or, as Ferguson and Seddon (2007) have referred to it, “the shifting imagery of education” that includes red brick schools and dispersed learning networks.

The theoretical framework for this study is grounded in the work of Greene (1995) and Wright-Mills (2001) who cited the deployment of critical and empathic imagination in addressing education reform.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 28110
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Keywords: School design, children's drawing, imagination in education
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900) > Education not elsewhere classified (139999)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Derek Bland
Deposited On: 22 Oct 2009 00:40
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:20

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