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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

European Political Science advance online publication 29 March, 2013doi:10.1057/eps.2013.12


Recognising that the world into which students emerge upon graduation is characterised by constant change, we embrace a critical pedagogy that can be implemented in the classroom through the use of freehand drawing. Freehand drawing is a technique that can stimulate a critical stance, as visual representations allow us to comprehend the world differently, while permitting us see how others understand the world. First year students, in their first lecture, were asked to draw their interpretations of Irish politics and to explain in writing what they had drawn. The students were then placed in groups and asked to note what they saw in each other’s drawings, allowing for the identification of general patterns and themes. In this context, freehand drawing facilitates our ability to: ‘see’ how we understand a topic and that there are multiple ways of understanding; test theories, orthodoxies and accepted truths; scrutinise tacit assumptions; and ponder other possibilities. In employing freehand drawing in this manner, our aim is to create a learning environment where students develop their capacity for critical self-reflection.