Children’s voices needed to inspire conference delegates and encourage reflection
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Children’s voices needed to inspire conference delegates and encourage reflection

Children’s voices needed to inspire conference delegates and encourage reflection

by Freya Lucas

October 27, 2022

Children from early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings have been given the opportunity to have their voices heard at the Charles Sturt University Early Childhood Voices Conference 2022 (ECV2022) through the medium of drawing.


Children have been asked to speak to the world through their drawings, creating work which will be displayed in a global online gallery. Submissions for the gallery close Monday 7 November for display from Monday 5 December when the online conference starts. 


Professor of Speech and Language Acquisition Sharynne McLeod is conference co-chair with Lecturer in Early Childhood Education Dr Shukla Sikder, both in the Charles Sturt School of Education in Bathurst, and Professor McLeod is chairing the Children’s Voices Committee for the Early Childhood Voices 2022 (ECV2022) conference.


Professor McLeod said the conference follows the success of the University’s 2020 online conference during the COVID-19 pandemic and the wholly online ECV2022 will be held from Monday 5 to Friday 9 December with participation and registration free.


“We invite children from across the world to ‘draw a picture of you talking to someone’, then answer a few quick questions to describe their drawing,” Professor McLeod said.


“We are seeking children to ‘speak’ to the world, and ECV2022 participants, through their drawings. The drawings are not supposed to be a work of art – whatever a child draws is perfect!”


The drawings will be displayed in the ‘Children Draw Talking Global Online Gallery’ featured at ECV2022 and opening on Monday 5 December.


There are currently more than 1,400 registrations from more than 60 countries for ECV2022 and organisers have accepted 100 abstracts from presenters from 25 countries for the conference itself.


Professor Linda Harrison from Macquarie University will be a keynote speaker at ECV2022 with a presentation discussing how children can speak through their drawings. The provocation of “drawing talking” is one which members of the ECV2022 Children’s Voices Committee have previously explored with children. 


“Some of the ways our Early Childhood Interdisciplinary Research team have listened to children through their past drawings includes analysis and translation that has resulted in three book chapters, seven journal articles, and five conference presentations,” she said.


“A number of years ago, our Children Draw Talking Art Exhibition was created as part of an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant which was displayed in Norway, Hawaii, USA, UK and Australia.”


Professor McLeod said the call for drawings is not part of a current research project but may be used for research in the future.


Submit a drawing by Monday 7 November or see the ECV2022 website for more information.

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