Learning illustrated: An exploratory cross-sectional drawing analysis of students' conceptions of learning

Wen Min Hsieh, Chin Chung Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Using the draw-a-picture technique, the authors explored the learning conceptions held by students across grade levels. A total of 1,067 Taiwanese students in Grades 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 participated in this study. Participants were asked to use drawing to illustrate how they conceptualize learning. A coding checklist was developed to analyze the features in the students' drawings. Consistent with previous study, the majority of the students' drawings portrayed learning happening in a traditional classroom that is teacher centered, with students depicted as passive listeners. Additionally, three main findings were obtained: (a) younger students held episodic images of learning as opposed to more mature students, (b) the human agents involved in learning shifted from others to self, and (c) negative emotions and attitudes reached a plateau in Grades 6, 8, and 10. The results of the study suggested possible cognitive and emotional developmental trends that warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016 Sep 27



  • Conceptions of learning
  • cross-sectional study
  • drawing analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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