Our School

– A collaborative visual ethnography with the children of Tūrama School –

The children of Tūrama School, where I conducted by doctoral research, produced a lot of drawings during my time with them. Meanwhile, I also produced a number of drawings with them. For this picture book, I coloured and combined our images with text to create a collaborative visual ethnography of life at Tūrama School and beyond.

While visual research with children is common, few researchers draw with children. I created many of these drawings, and indeed completed much of the design work for this book, alongside children who drew next to me on the playground or in the school library. Through this process of “drawing together” we produced a visual ethnography that is neither mine nor theirs, representing both emic and etic perspectives. Though I had the power of editorial control, I also solicited children’s feedback and approval before finalising the book’s content. This is a book for them, to be their record of their lives. Printed copies were given to all children who contributed illustrations or interviews to the project, as well as copies for classrooms and the school library.

For more description of this collaborative visual ethnography production, see my book, The Children in Child Health (2020).

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