Power Drawing

Power Drawing, the Campaign's education programme, was launched in 2001. Working with schools and other organisations, it has shown how drawing can support learning in a range of educational and cultural settings. Based on action research, the programme has developed, tested out and disseminated ways of using drawing as an effective medium for learning. Participants devise activities relevant to their setting, and document evidence of this through drawings, interpretative commentaries and images of people engaged in the activities. Power Drawing focuses on drawing as a medium for learning and links all aspects of the Campaign, whose mission is, at its core, educational.

The use of qualitative research techniques has thrown light on individuals' experiences and perceptions. Evaluation has taken the form of peer review, supported by critical friends. Such an approach seeks insights rather than verification, requiring validation by educated witnesses who are able to compare the work with similar elsewhere. Communication has been through correspondence, publications and face-to-face contacts.

The Power Drawing network has involved 500 schools, 64 local authorities, 85 professional organisations, representing some 3,200 primary and 500 secondary teachers, and around 80,000 children. 10 institutions of higher education, 62 museums and galleries and 19 heritage sites have also contributed to the research. However, it is long-term working relationships with key educators that have provided qualitative evidence and helped shape the thinking that underpins the Campaign.

Power Drawing has generated substantial evidence of the use of drawing as a learning tool. It has shaped thinking and attitudes about drawing and disseminated good practice. 50,000 copies of books and 56,000 resource packs for primary schools, based on valuable collaboration with participants in the network, have helped to create a critical mass of support for the Campaign's message. Through Power Drawing, the Campaign has taken a lead in using drawing as an effective tool for engagement and interpretation. It has created a focused and serious regard for drawing as a medium for learning and thinking in schools and informal education. It presents new knowledge about drawing's role in perception, communication, invention and action. It has shaped a model of research and development with the potential to lever changes in attitudes and practices, both in school-based learning and in other community and cultural settings.