Research Proposal sample

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Title of research:

Young Children’s Drawing Behaviours: Supporting Young Children Drawing

Objectives:

This is a continuation of an existing project. The overall objective is:

to explore the impact upon the young child’s drawing behaviours of the views and beliefs of significant others across home, pre-school and school settings.

 

Research Questions

  • What is the adult’s role when supporting young children drawing?
  • What forms of child/ adult interaction supports rather than constrains young children’s episodes of drawing?
  • How does the adult ‘tune in’ to young children’s needs in relation to drawing?
  • How does the adult recognise when it is appropriate to intervene?
  • Does the form of interaction appear to change with the age or perceived drawing ability of the child?
  • Is the form of interaction between child and adult influenced by gendered behaviours?
  • How does the environment best support child/ adult interaction? (Time, space, organisation of materials.)
  • Does adult support for young children drawing differ from support given in relation to other activities?
  • How important is the adult’s awareness/ knowledge of the child’s holistic needs when supporting young children’s drawing behaviours?
  • How important is the adult’s awareness/ knowledge of the child’s particular patterns of meaning making when supporting young children’s drawing behaviours?
  • What is the impact upon young children drawing of an adult’s own experience/ knowledge and understanding of drawing behaviour?

Description

Title of research:

Young Children’s Drawing Behaviours: Supporting Young Children Drawing

Objectives:

This is a continuation of an existing project. The overall objective is:

to explore the impact upon the young child’s drawing behaviours of the views and beliefs of significant others across home, pre-school and school settings.

 

Research Questions

  • What is the adult’s role when supporting young children drawing?
  • What forms of child/ adult interaction supports rather than constrains young children’s episodes of drawing?
  • How does the adult ‘tune in’ to young children’s needs in relation to drawing?
  • How does the adult recognise when it is appropriate to intervene?
  • Does the form of interaction appear to change with the age or perceived drawing ability of the child?
  • Is the form of interaction between child and adult influenced by gendered behaviours?
  • How does the environment best support child/ adult interaction? (Time, space, organisation of materials.)
  • Does adult support for young children drawing differ from support given in relation to other activities?
  • How important is the adult’s awareness/ knowledge of the child’s holistic needs when supporting young children’s drawing behaviours?
  • How important is the adult’s awareness/ knowledge of the child’s particular patterns of meaning making when supporting young children’s drawing behaviours?
  • What is the impact upon young children drawing of an adult’s own experience/ knowledge and understanding of drawing behaviour?

Please give a brief justification of your proposed research project:

This research builds upon previous research completed by the project leader.

Within the field of early years education, development and care there is currently a focus upon the role of the adult when interacting with very young children. The outcomes of three influential research projects, The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education Project (EPPE, 2003), Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early years (REPEY, 2002) and Study of Pedagogical Effectiveness in Early Learning (SPEEL, 2002) all draw attention to the need for ‘sustained shared thinking’ between the child and the adult and careful consideration of what this looks like in practice. In addition, the Primary National Strategy’s current promotion of ‘creativity’ across the curriculum gives practitioners permission to consider different approaches to children’s learning.

Given a cultural pre-occupation with young children achieving conventional literacy early, in this country their use of drawing is generally seen by parents and practitioners as merely a stage along the way to writing, to be discarded once this has been achieved. The documented outcomes of previous stages of this project forms part of a small amount of material which looks at drawing and its role for children in re-presenting their ongoing thinking (Ring, 2003, Anning and Ring, 2004). With a focus upon writing and the lack of attention paid to the arts over a long period of time, including both initial teacher education and continuing professional development, it is unsurprising that practitioners feel that they lack a clear understanding of how to support a child who is drawing and either over direct or are afraid to involve themselves in what they consider is a ‘creative’ activity.

This project gathers data from a group of twenty ‘expert’ practitioners as they:

  • support young children drawing within their own settings
  • document the process and their ongoing thinking in relation to their role
  • come together with peers to share, discuss and analyse the data they have collected and ways of moving forward

Please outline the proposed sample group, including any specific criteria:

The sample group is a group of up to twenty ‘expert’ early years practitioners, acknowledged for their expertise by their appointment as Advanced Skills Teachers, Head Teachers, Deputy Head Teachers etc.

Describe how the proposed sample group will be formulated:

The group will be drawn from a group of such practitioners who are attending a three-day course given by the project leader. Participation by the practitioners will be through self-selection.

Indicate clearly what the involvement of the sample group will be in the research process:

Stage 1

The group will be involved in documenting their work with young children – both the process and the product. A multi-method approach will include the use of questionnaire; observation;

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