Citation: Rissanen, M. J. (2017). “It’s as if…” Preschoolers encountering contemporary photography. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 18(28). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v18n28/.
This article reports a study on an encounter between preschoolers and contemporary photography. The article has two aims: first, it elucidates preschoolers’ meaning- making when viewing photographs, and second, it investigates the possible benefits of using contemporary photography as a forum for prompting children’s aesthetic agency in early childhood education. This article is based on a qualitative case study that draws on childhood studies, research in art education and visual cultural studies. The data was produced in a photography workshop in a Finnish daycare center in autumn 2014 during which children both viewed contemporary photographic art and took photographs themselves. The article reports on preschoolers’ accounts of contemporary photography studied by applying discourse analytic thinking. In contrast to earlier research findings, the article elucidates diversity and flexibility in the preschoolers’ accounts and their aesthetic agency expressed in both individual and collective meaning-making.