Ref: Cook,T. and Hess,E. (2007) ‘What the camera sees and from whose perspective. Fun methodologies for engaging children in enlightening adults’.

AIM: To find out what made children happy in their school and early years setting, what motivated them, how they perceived their opportunities for education, and how they took part.

OBJECTIVE: The production of a book ‘Life in Reception Class’ featuring photographs children took of things that interested them.

PARTICIPANTS: Two girls and three boys.


Photography was used with recorded interviews and drawings.

The children took photographs during half or full day sessions over 7 days in response to topics given by the researcher e.g. ‘your favourite toy in the classroom’.

[In retrospect the researcher reflected that the setting of topics demonstrated the difficulties that adults sometimes have allowing the children to direct the focus of research]. The children and researcher used the photographs along with children’s drawings to guide discussions about what it was like in reception class. 


Researchers reported that children: