Drawings as Representations of Children's Conceptions
Drawings are often used to obtain an idea of children's conceptions. Doing so takes for granted an unambiguous relation between conceptions and their representations in drawings. This study was undertaken to gain knowledge of the relation between children's conceptions and their representation of these conceptions in drawings. A theory of contextualization was the basis for finding out how children related their contextualization of conceptions in conceptual frameworks to their contextualization of drawings in pictorial convention. Eighteen children were interviewed in a semi‐structured method while they were drawing the Earth. Audio‐recorded interviews, drawings, and notes were analysed to find the cognitive and cultural intentions behind the drawings. Also, even children who demonstrated alternative conceptions of the Earth in the interviews still followed cultural conventions in their drawings. Thus, these alternative conceptions could not be deduced from the drawings. The results indicate that children's drawings can be used to grasp children's conceptions only by considering the meaning the children themselves give to their own drawings.