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Photovoice in Science Teacher Education

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Presentation on theme: "Photovoice in Science Teacher Education"— Presentation transcript:

1 Photovoice in Science Teacher Education
Allan Feldman School of Education University of Massachusetts Amherst A presentation of the NE Regional Meeting of the Association of Science Teacher Educators, Amherst, MA, October 2005

2 What is Photovoice? “Photovoice is a process by which people can identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique. It entrusts cameras to the hands of people to enable them to act as recorders, and potential catalysts for social action and change, in their own communities. It uses the immediacy of the visual image and accompanying stories to furnish evidence and to promote an effective, participatory means of sharing expertise to create healthful public policy.” -- Carolyn Wang

3 Wang developed Photovoice based on:
the theoretical literature on education for critical consciousness, feminist theory, and documentary photography the efforts of community photographers and participatory educators to challenge assumptions about representation and documentary authorship; and her experience applying the process in the Ford Foundation-supported Yunnan Women's Reproductive Health and Development Program.

4 Teaching as a way of being:
Teachers are people who are being teachers and therefore have a stance towards the world that is different from people who are not teachers. There is a difference between being engaged in teaching activities and being immersed in the role of schoolteacher.

5 Teachers and Photovoice:
My contention: A teacher is in the role of community member who can come to understand his or her own practice in a new way through the creation of a Photovoice essay.

6 Photovoice assignment
“This assignment requires you to take a series of photographs of your work, put them in some order with captions, and write a reflective piece of 3-5 pages on what you learned about being a teacher from the assignment.”

7 Data: Students’ Photovoice essays Students’ reflective pieces
Students’ analysis of what they learned from Photovoice.

8 Research Questions What is the added benefit of the assignment?
Does the assignment help students to understand their practice in new ways? Will a new perspective on their practice lead to changes in their teaching?

9 Example 1: KG’s Photovoice essay

10 KG’s reflections: “The Photovoice Reflection assignment has helped me to learn some new things about teaching. When taking the photos, I was unconsciously determining what was important to me in my daily routine as a teacher. When the time came to compile the photos into the PowerPoint Presentation, I was able to clearly see the significance of each photo and consciously realized why I took the pictures I did.” – KG

11 KG’s reflections: “When taking the pictures for my Photovoice, I knew I wanted to include pictures of my grandparents’ house, pictures of my apartment, and pictures of my car. This is because I have realized that I am so devoted to teaching and being able to teach in a district with many benefits, I was willing to make sacrifices to my life outside of school. I have to drive a half hour to my job everyday, once a week I drive to the University to take graduate classes for my Masters degree, and on the weekends I also drive home to see my boyfriend, who is now my fiancé.” – KG

12 “My Photovoice reflection only includes pictures of my Chemistry classroom and students…”
“During the week that I teach math I always feel I am not prepared to teach my lessons and I am less motivated to do so. I have to teach in a different classroom … no one takes ownership of the room and it is dark and dirty because there are no decorations, samples of student work, or even bookshelves with books and materials I find it more difficult to teach the math students and have not been able to make a connection with them like I have with my Chemistry classes. I think this is mostly because I have not been able to empower them with knowledge in the way I have been able to with my Chemistry students.” -- KG

13 Example 2: TD’s Photovoice essay

14 TD’s reflections: “In creating the Photovoice assignment I really did not have any idea what it would be, what form it would take, what content would compose it. I had some inkling that it would involve pictures of my teaching environment but nothing beyond that. So I threw the camera in my bag for a few days and off I went. … -- TD

15 TD’s reflections: “So. Now I had a pile of pictures, or I suppose in the lingo of the 21st century, a file of pictures. What to do with them? Well I began by putting them in order and from that I found that I was able to tell the little story that comes with them…-- TD

16 TD’s reflections: “I found that it brought out a lot of the things that I cover or don’t in my school day, it brought out ways that I see the school and my role in it, even as a student teacher. It showed ways that I view my young charges and the ways that they perhaps view themselves. It showed me what I feel most strongly about in my daily routines there.” – TD

17 TD’s reflections: “Looking at these images as I placed them in PowerPoint and gave them captions I saw the students in their usual groups, and saw that that’s just how I see them, in their usual groups. I see them and at this point again, at the end of the term, I know what to expect from the groups, who’s work I won’t see for a week, who will not need help.” – TD

18 TD’s reflections: “I included a few shots of a meeting of the Outing Club which I’m peripherally involved with and it led me to think that much of the gains I’ve made in teaching, comfort and community in this year have come from things outside of the classroom.” – TD

19 Research Questions What is the added benefit of the assignment?
Does the assignment help students to understand their practice in new ways? Will a new perspective on their practice lead to changes in their teaching?

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