If these walls could speak: reading displays of primary children's work

Patricia Thomson, Christine Hall, Lisa Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The first thing a visitor notices when entering Hollytree primary school is the art-work displayed on every wall. This paper, based on a three-year ethnographic study of the school, mobilizes field notes and interview and photographic data to probe the meanings of this visual ‘display’. We argue that the walls (re)produce and promote normative meanings of ‘good work’, the ‘good student’, the ‘good teacher’ and the ‘good school’, which serve both internal and external purposes. They are also a means of promoting an inclusive culture which, while true of arts activities, may not always be the case in mainstream classes. In addition, the school walls support aspects of the school timetable of collective work, and also constitute resources for children to construct narratives about their collective and individual histories in the school
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-400
Number of pages20
JournalEthnography and Education
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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