Volume 21 Number 28 September 30, 2020

My Rocket: Young Children’s Identity Construction Through Drawing

Emese Hall
University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Citation: Hall, E. H. (2020). My rocket: Young children’s identity construction through drawing. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 21(28). http://doi.org/10.26209/ijea21n28


The communicative potential of young children’s drawings was explored through case studies of 14 children aged four - six (eight girls, six boys) at a rural English school. Informed by socio-cultural theories, the research queried what and how the children communicated through drawing, as well as influences on their choices. Nearly 800 spontaneous drawings were collected, along with interview and observation data. Identity was the main theme communicated, with evident gender differences. However, the discussion of data goes beyond the reductivism of a sole focus on stereotypical gender differences. This paper compares nine rocket drawings, produced by seven children (five boys, two girls) and contextualises some crucial findings from the wider study. The drawings reflect the children’s unique, powerful and playful identities and their desire to communicate these with others in creative ways. Importantly, individual discussions with the children about their drawings were essential to gain valuable insights into their worlds.

Visual Abstract

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