Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Tony Monk


The narrative content of preschool children's drawing is the focus of this study. The purpose of this study was to raise educators, preschool teachers and parents awareness of the narrative content of preschool children’s drawings and to alert them to how children of this age communicate through their drawings. A school with an operational pre-primary class was selected from the Northern Metropolitan education district of Perth. Twelve pre-school children were selected on the basis of their participation in drawing activities. The researcher observed the children at work over a period of eight sessions. A qualitative descriptive research method was used to gather information for the study. Data collection included the children's drawings, taped discussions with the children and the researchers observations of the children at work. The researcher's observations and document analysis (e.g. teacher's programmes. timetables) were utilised to formulate a description of the classroom context. The presentation of data follows the five levels of representation suggested by Riessman ( c 1993) of (a) attending to the experience, (b) telling about the experience, (c) transcribing, (d) analysing and (e) reading the experience. The children's drawings were analysed using Duncum's (1992) Spontaneous Drawing Model in conjunction with the WA Ministry of Education's, (1990) elements of a narrative framework (K-7 English Language Syllabus). Labov's (1982) framework (cited in Riessman, 1993c) was employed to analyse the narrative structure of children's verbal accounts. The findings of this study have provided a fuller understanding of the ways in which preschool children use their drawings to construct verbal narratives to communicate their thoughts and feelings. Among the twelve children studied, a variety of individual differences were identified. In spite of these differences, some recurring patterns and relationships became clear. The findings of this study highlight four main ways in which drawing and verbal accounts are related. The four broad categories are (a) narrative drawings that are supported by verbal narratives, (b) narrative drawings that have no verbal narrative, (c) separate object drawings that have a verbal narrative and (d) transformational drawings.

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