Drawing stories: The power of children's drawings to communicate the lived experience of starting school

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41 Citations (Scopus)


All too frequently the process of starting school is viewed through the eyes of teachers and parents alone. What is often overlooked is that it is the children who live this experience, and their interpretation of events may be vastly different to that of their parents and teachers. The use of drawings in conjunction with oral retellings is an innovative strategy in terms of studies related to transition. In the study reported on in this article, experiences were shared not only through what the children themselves said, but also through what they have drawn. This article highlights the nature of children's experiences as they start school, and how both oral and visual narratives can be effectively combined to access the lived experiences of young children.The wider study reported in this article was qualitative in nature and focused on the transition to Kindergarten experience at Callan Public School, a small school in rural New South Wales, Australia. The study included three key stakeholders: the classroom teacher, the parents, and, importantly, the children themselves. The children's drawings and comments have been combined with observations and anecdotes from parents and the classroom teacher in order to offer a richer insight into the process of starting school in this small rural community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalAustralasian Journal of Early Childhood
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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