Methods of Child Study: Art as a Form of Communication and Role Play

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Art as a Form of Communication

Artistic forms of expression such as role play, and drawings can be used with children to elicit their responses. These can serve as tools to gather meaningful data on children’s behaviors and thought. Let us study more about these art forms:

Role Play

Role Play is a method in which different individuals assume a role, playing themselves or another person in a given situation or scenario, based on the objectives. It is a method for exploring the issues involved in complex social situations. Those involved in role-play are expected to “act out” the demands of the particular situation or role. The researcher may observe children playing roles of different characters or their responses to these characters in post-play discussion.

Role Play

Role Play

Advantages of Role Play

  • It helps to gather different points of view and perspectives of children as displayed through the role play.

  • It is useful to elicit responses including emotional responses in children.

  • It aids to assess children’s responses to problems and their solutions, skills of initiative, communication, self-awareness and cooperation.

  • It facilitates identification of complex human interactions.

Drawings as Sources of Conversation

Children from a young age like to scribble with crayons. They may use particular colors or strokes on paper. The drawings may have no concrete shape or resemblance to reality. When teachers or mothers have asked children about what they have created, there is often a meaningful narrative.

Reporting Children’S Progress

Anecdotal Records

Anecdotal records are detailed description of important episodes which are written and maintained on a daily basis to record children’s progress over a period of time. The anecdotal records provide important periodic information of children’s lives. Records may encompass many aspects of children’s development such as their behavior, interaction, interests, likes, dislikes etc.

Portfolio

  • A portfolio is a collection of children’s work which reflects their development and progress. It includes children’s writing, drawings, art and craft work, activity sheets, photographs, videos, etc. Any form of drawing, writing and any other activity of the children can be assembled in the portfolio.

  • It provides a comprehensive medium to assess growth and development of children in various domains. The collection also gives an opportunity to children to discuss their work, recall and remember special episodes or events and share it with others.

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