Children's understanding of pictures and expression of emotion in their drawings : a comparative study of articulation of happiness and sadness by Iranian children living in Islamic Republic of Iran with Iranian children living in German Federal Republic
The following PhD thesis is an empirical study of Iranian children's understanding of expression of emotions in pictures their foreknowledge of the themes "happiness" and "sadness" in relation to their living environment as well as their expression of the emotions "happiness" and "sadness" in their drawings. The focus is on two groups of 6 and 7-years-old Iranian children, one group consists of children born and raised in Iran and the other group consists of Iranian children born and raised in Germany (the children of immigrant families). Various scientific research methods including: interviews with each child, collection of drawings and qualitative data analysis were used to collect data and analysis data. The study is based on data collected during three personal sessions with each child which included personal interviews about the themes sadness and happiness, drawings by children under these two themes as well as two interviews about two paintings by a German and Iranian contemporary artist. The aim was to observe how children of the same nationality but born and raised in two different regions and cultural and social settings develop their understanding of certain themes, (Happiness and Sadness). What social or cultural factors influence this meaning making. How children express emotions in their work and how they understand and analyse the same emotions in paintings by other artists. During the process of the study as well as the end phase of the work it also became clear how crucial it is to pay attention to the disadvantages and limitations on the learning ability of children with immigration back ground. It was important to be able later to apply the attained data for further development of multicultural and intercultural education. This research has been designed and conducted by my self, in two countries of Iran and Germany. I have personally worked with every single child, in various sessions, conducted personal dialogues with each child and sat though their drawing process. This research is the result of many years of study, personal dedication and hard work. The idea for this study was first inspired because of my personal experience having lived in England myself as the child of an immigrant family and also being a witness to the situation of immigrant's children in close family circle.
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