What's in a line? Exploration of a research and reflection tool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This exploratory study investigated the potential of non-verbal modes of expression-in particular, line drawing-as a research tool for eliciting the personal perspectives of teachers' professional development and as a tool for reflection in teacher education. Participants were asked to draw freely a line or lines of any length and shape that they know to constitute significant 'felt experiences'. Each participant also wrote a brief paragraph explaining the significance of the graphic representation. Using grounded theory procedures, recurring themes, passages and particular events that emerged from the teachers' graphic and verbal representations were analyzed and interpreted. The study sheds light on the potential of visual representation techniques for elucidating tacit aspects of a person's personal and professional development, and as a unique source of data that can be used at the collection, analysis, and representation stages of conducting qualitative research. In particular, its application seems especially relevant for research agendas that focus on participants' perceptions of complex, dynamic and personally 'charged' experiences, such as the recall and interpretation of their professional development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-213
Number of pages17
JournalTeachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'What's in a line? Exploration of a research and reflection tool'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this