// you're reading...

Research Design

Visual Methods

The old adage says that “a picture says a thousand words.” But it requires voice, thoughts and guidance to find the meaning of images. Visual research methods are a way of making meaning of images such as photographs, videos, maps and illustrations with attention to the accuracy and relevance of the data collected. Wendy Luttrell advocates using a ‘need-to-know-more’ stance towards research using children’s visual data, treating them as knowing subjects while appreciating “the limits of what we can see, know and understand” (2010). Luttrell analyzes children’s images, narrations and self-representations in relationship with one another in her use of visual research methods.

Luttrell’s research focused on students’ assignment taking photographs to document their lives, and how the children viewed the camera as a tool or as a valued possession. Gathering their photographs, the researchers asked children why they took them, what was important about the picture, and if there were any photos they wish they could’ve taken. Researchers audio and video recorded interviews with children over five different sessions. This allowed researchers to carefully note each child’s actions and how engaged they were, giving more information that might go unnoticed.

Skip to toolbar