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Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

On-line version ISSN 2520-9868
Print version ISSN 0259-479X


VAN DER WALT, Tanya. "Show, don't tell": Using visual mapping to chart emergent thinking in self-reflexive research. Journal of Education [online]. 2020, n.78, pp.76-96. ISSN 2520-9868.

This paper explores the articulation and representation of ways in which visual mapping can be an important tool for the designing, conducting, interpreting, and writing phases of a research project. It uses examples from my own work to show the ways in which visual mapping can be used to develop and clarify the thinking, and to provide a form of visual validation of the insights gained, in self-reflexive research. Visual mapping can operate as a meaning-making process-helping the researcher to make sense of their thinking through visual means while also helping the reader to understand the researcher's thinking processes better-through a series of diagrams that trace the development of thoughts and ideas. Visual mapping is one method self-reflexive researchers can use to demonstrate what Mishler called "the visibility of the work" (1990, p. 429), and to make plain the ways in which our thinking developed, and the connections we make between theory, data, and analysis. By making our thinking process visible, we allow our reader to "see the study and the links and leaps made" (Pinnegar & Hamilton, 2010, p. 150).

Keywords : visual mapping; self-reflexive; thinking; meta-cognition.

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