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JENNIFER HUNT - 11368232



Date Due: 28TH MARCH 2008

Lecturer: KATHRYN

Word Count: Part A: 1600

Part B: 320 excluding appendices

Pages: Part A - 7 including this information page

Part B – 6 Pages including:
3 Appendix – a Permission Letter Newspaper Snippet
b Permission Letter from NKOOSH
c Example Quiz for children
Assessment Criteria:

PART A: Reflection on a Research Report

• Argue for the contribution this particular research makes to

your own practice and possible to the practice of others
• Discuss clearly the question posed by the research
• Discuss the methods used by the researcher
• Identify an inadequacies in the research
• Suggest how you would modify/extend this research in order
to learn more
• Write a clear, concise, and grammatically correct paper
• Reference

PART B: Research Proposal

PART A: Reflection on a Research Report

Research paper selected:

“I need to do Sophie…!” When Scribbling is Representation by Paul Duncum.


In this paper I will be looking at the research given, discussing the overall beliefs of the
paper. I will refer to the questions Duncum is posing throughout his research. I will also
refer to the teaching strategies of early childhood professionals and how they can better
their practice in working with young children in their workplaces. I will also refer to
methods Duncum used throughout the project including, inadequacies, how we can extend
the research and provide a conclusion in the overall project. I will also add personal
reflection on the research topic to conclude the paper.

Statement of Position
Summary of the paper/ methods used by the researcher:

The research paper consists of about two case studies studying two girls aged between
sixteen and thirty six months. The girls individual scribbles were observed and recorded,
their mothers having provided both girls with similar encouragement for drawing. The
research carried out included examining the girl’s drawings and their comments about their
drawings. The paper contradicts recent research that children name their scribbles no
earlier than 36 months (Lowenfeld & Brittain, 1970; Golomb, 1974, as cited in Lambert,
2003, p. 238).
The research paper “I need to do Sophie…! When Scribbling is Representation by Paul
Duncum provide details that the girls are naming their scribbles much earlier than the past
research suggests. Duncum discusses how the girls spontaneously named their scribbles as
well as the representation of their scribbles.

Both girls involved in the study were provided with crayons at nine months of age and
shown how to make marks on paper. They were then provided with a range of assorted
drawing tools, pens, and pencils. Both mothers involved in the study drew with the
children sharing their pages and also used their own paper individually. During the study

both children drew with other adults including nannas and carers. During Duncum’s
findings each drawing from the children were spontaneous drawings and on only one
occasion were the girls asked to explain what they had drawn. He recorded comments in
different ways; one of the girl’s mothers (Ana’s) often wrote on the drawings after Ana had
identified a squiggle. She recorded Ana’s comments in a daily diary. The other child’s
mother (Sophie) wrote their daughter’s comments on the back of her drawings; both
mothers carefully dated each drawing. Duncum started his research at sixteen months
because this is when the children indicated representational intent in the drawings and
finished his research when the girls were aged at thirty-six months because this is the age
that past research had first identified representational intent.

I believe that the methods Duncum used in collecting evidence were appropriate and
positively addressed when collecting his documentation, as at no stage were the children
told to draw anything, he left it up to the children to use their imaginations in deciding what
to draw, how they wanted to draw, also giving Anna and Sophie the opportunity to
comment on the representation of their scribbles.

The overall style of the paper, including grammar and sentence structure was set out
making it easily understood by the reader, Duncum also showed example illustrations from
Anna and Sophie, where the mothers had written what the children had represented in their
scribbles, this allowed the reader to understand the research results, making the paper
appropriate to the overall nature of the research project Duncum was researching.

At the children’s services I have worked in the children have loved to scribble on paper
from early ages, and they enjoy talking about their scribbles. I think it is quite interesting
how a child can describe their drawings/scribbles so realistically, I agree with Sheridan,
1990, that children’s drawings enhance their development in communication, “Scribbling is
an artefact of the evolutionary connections between speech and literacy” (Sheridan, 1990).
My cousin Reece has just turned two years old and he has loved to draw for a long time,
this research paper has made me think when he started naming his scribbles. He would ask
me to draw mum, dad, and myself and then he would start to scribble and start naming his
scribbles, looking back I think he would have been about 18 months this also contradicts
recent research that children name their scribbles no earlier than 36 months (Lowenfeld &
Brittain, 1970; Golomb, 1974, as cited in Lambert, 2003, p. 238).
Question being posed by the researcher:

Reading the research paper I believe the question Duncum is asking relates to at what age
do children spontaneously name their drawings/scribbles, and at what age do children name
their scribbles and add representation to their drawings? He has observed two girls aged
younger than previous studies and found that they are naming and representing their
scribbles at a much younger age that previous research reports.

The girls’ individual scribbles that were observed and recorded showed evidence that the
children were much younger than thirty-six months, “Named scribbles were thought to
have commenced no earlier than thirty six months, and the act of naming was thought only
to follow the act of drawing” (Lowenfeld & Brittain, 1970; Golomb, 1974, as cited in
Lambert, 2003, p. 238). This past research states that children were believed to scribble
purely for kinaesthetic enjoyment and that only at about three years old will children name
their scribbles by indicating real or imagined reference to the real world (Duncum, as cited
in Lambert, 2003. p. 238). The difference in the findings between the past studies and the
recent study by Duncum show that this research topic is worthy of research because there is
inconsistencies between the two research papers. Duncum’s research shows us that
children are developing much earlier and we can use this research to investigate further into
what factors are influencing the change in age development in young children.

This new information assists early childhood teachers in enhancing young children
development. By giving children opportunities to draw every day and varying the
equipment given can help infants achieve this developmental stage of their lives. Early
childhood teachers can encourage children through these drawing opportunities to start
naming their scribbles from an early age and therefore enhancing their learning
opportunities daily in the centre in their future teaching experiences. I believe that now in
my teaching this research has influenced my practice by believing it is important to take
time to sit with the children, making the time special for the children. I now find myself
observing the children while they are drawing more closely, scanning their scribbles and
connecting this information with their development accomplishments throughout their time
at the centre.

I believe Sheriden has described children’s scribbles in a paragraph when she discusses that
children’s scribbles serve four critical purposes:
1. Train the brain to pay attention and to sustain attention
2. To stimulate individual cells and clusters of cells for line and shape in the visual
3. To organise and practice the shapes and patterns in their thoughts, and
4. To prepare the human mind for its determining literacy and behaviour.
This information enhances our learning by understanding that literacy as described by
Sheriden is multiple which includes verbal, artistic, visual, scientific, musical and
mathematical actions inside the brain, that we cannot see. Now I look at the children and in
my head I see their brains bouncing through each of these motions while they are drawing.

Modified extended research/ Inadequacies:

I believe that early childhood teachers could enhance their learning by looking back into
the original research (Golomb, 1974, cited in Lambert, 2003) and using various
modifications extend the activities of the children to further research the differences that
have evolved in this new research paper by Duncum. They could then evaluate and look
further into how we can extend the activities, for example look at different ages, genders,
and diversity in young children to see if there is any evidence to document for further
An inadequacy in the research paper could also be that Duncum’s participants were of
same gender. The results of this research could have differed if he had used children from
different genders or cultures. I would be interested in the result of the research using two
children from different sexes, or two children from completely two different cultures.
I believe that the research could also have differed if the children did not have as much
adult interaction as in this paper suggests. Duncum’s research states that the two girls were
encouraged to draw by their mothers (Duncum, cited in Lambert, 2003. p.238). Would the
result of the research paper differ if the children did not have as much adult interaction? I
believe the results would have differed quite significantly.

This research paper has made me look closer into the children’s early scribbles on paper. I
am now taking notice of the age the children are when they are putting representation to
their scribbles. My experience in children’s settings is that children enjoy communicating
with carers from an early age. They enjoy when adults and other children show interest in
their drawings and scribbles, especially if early childhood teachers display their drawings
for the parents to see when they collect their children in the afternoons.
I believe that when children start putting representation to their drawings that this is a
milestone in their development. After reading this research I believe it has enhanced my
early childhood teaching opportunities into this area of development. I can see that there is
potential in researching more into this area, and the results of such research can only
enhance our learning as early childhood teachers.


Lambert, EB 2003, Introducing research to early childhood students, Social Science Press,
Katoomba, NSW.

Sheridan, SR, Ed.D, 1990, Scribbles: The missing link in a theory of human language in
which mothers and children play major roles, Retrieved March 24, 2008, from

Sheridan, SR, Ed.D, 2001, Very Young Children’s Drawings and Human Consciousness,
The Scribble Hypothesis,A plea for brain-compatible teaching and learning, Retrieved
March 24, 2008, from http://www.drawingwriting.com/scribReQ.html.