Challenges of using visual data collection methods in early years settings to elicit young boys’ experiences of their learning

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The paper will examine visual data collection methods used with boys aged 3 to 6 years who are potentially ‘disengaged’ in their learning. The creative data collection methods used during my Doctoral study, supported engaging children in participatory research, with the aim to develop understanding of pedagogical practices that may engage and / or disengage boys during early learning experiences. In England 62% of 4 to 5 year-old boys are achieving their expected level of development in comparison to 77% of girls (DfE, 2017), a significant difference. Throughout the data collection period, the boys became active participants and we developed opportunities for ‘shared agency’, which supported making their views and opinions visible (Sargeant and Harcourt, 2012: 2). The methods sought to understand the child’s world and own unique perspective (Greig, Taylor & MacKay 2007); research involving young children is imperative for understanding their lives (Clark and Statham, 2005; Graham et al, 2013). Upon collecting and transcribing, the data became ‘chaotic’ and ‘messy’. I could not underestimate how using creative and visual methods gave me the opportunity to see and hear children’s unique experiences, but required careful observation and listening skills during data collection activity, transcription and analysis. The challenges of collecting and transcribing data from young children in practice can be problematic and researchers need a set of skills and practices in order use these methods. These will be further explored.
Period17 Jun 2019
Event titleOcular becomings in dangerous times: The politics of ‘seeing’: Association for Visual Pedagogies 2019 International AVP Conference
Event typeConference
LocationMelbourne, Australia, VictoriaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational