Speaking in Pictures and Play: The Unique Approach to Using Art and Play as Data in Hermeneutic Research

  • Katherine Wong University of Calgary


Art and play are the language of children. The act of creating art and playing help children to make sense of their world. Pediatric clinicians have used art and play as therapy to elicit conversation, to allow children to express themselves, and to overcome communication barriers when children may not have the vocabulary to articulate what they would like to say. Art and play therapy have demonstrated their utility in practice, and this way of communicating should be equally effective as part of data collection and analysis in hermeneutic research. By approaching hermeneutic interviews with children in a novel way, using art and play to augment what is said in an interview, new opportunities for understanding the worlds of children may arise.

            Keywords: art, play, children, hermeneutic research, data collection, data analysis