Drawings as spaces for intellectual play.
International Journal of Early Years Education
Taylor and Francis
The aims of this article are to explore the links between drawing and playing and to conceptualise drawings as spaces for intellectual play. The empirical research that supports this position is based on an interpretivist study involving 14 children aged four–six in a primary school in England. Over a one-year period, 882 drawings were collected from home and school contexts, with commentaries and interpretations given by the children, their parents and class teacher. Expanding on the main findings, three themes were identified that link play and drawing: playing at drawing, playing in drawings and playing with drawings. The study builds on contemporary interpretations of sociocultural theories in which drawings are theorised as intellectual play and as authoring spaces for children's identities. By playing at, in and with their drawings children reveal the complex imaginative and meditational processes that underpin their playful transformations of their social and cultural worlds, in which concepts of power, agency and identity are embedded. The findings propose that play and drawing should be seen as mutually constitutive sociocultural practices of young children, and as private and public spaces for imaginative and intellectual play. This theoretical position also contests narrow policy versions of play and drawing as servants to socially valued developmental and educational goals.
Vol. 19, Issue 3/4, pp. 267 - 281