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

Alice Delserieys, Maria-Antoniette Impedovo, Glykeria Fragkiadaki, Maria Kampeza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This 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 analyse 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-69
Number of pages15
JournalReview of Science, Mathematics and ICT Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • physics learning
  • preschool
  • formation of the shadows
  • early science education
  • drawings

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