Using drawings to explore preschool children’s ideas about shadow formation



Τhis paper aims at exploring children’s ideas concerning shadow formation as they are expressed through their drawings. A qualitative research approach was adopted using two sets of data (89 drawings in total) collected over a period of 6 months in two kindergartens, one in France and a second in Greece. The drawings in each group were realised using similar instructions defined jointly by the team of researchers. The indicators that were used to analyze the drawings can be aggregated in four categories: presence of the three entities needed to represent the phenomenon of shadow formation, shadow characteristics, alignment, and nature of light. Results are presented not with the intention of comparison of the two groups, but with the disposition of highlighting the diversity of categories that emerged. Findings and educational implications for science at kindergartens are thoroughly discussed.


Physics learning, preschool, formation of the shadows, early science education, drawings

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