Framing and Exposing Community Issues through Video Participatory Research: An Emerging Approach for Adult Education

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Video participatory research (VPR) is an emergent methodology that bridges visual methods with the epistemology of participatory research. This approach is motivated by the “crisis of representation” or “reflective turn” (Gubrium & Harper, 2013) that promotes research conducted with or by participants, conceptualizing research as praxis (Lather, 1991). In this manuscript, the authors argue that VPR can be used to explore issues directly impacting individuals involved with adult education and vocational training. Primary investigators work with community co-researchers to document issues in the community, analyze this audio-visual material, and produce and distribute video projects, exposing policy makers and key stakeholders to a community's concerns. When implementing the VPR process research teams account for intentionality of form and content, apply a multi-perspective analysis to the complex layers of data produced by video, and plan for distribution of work on the personal and local level as well as in the public sphere (i.e., at the micro and macro level).

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This chapter begins by reviewing the socio-economic indicators and then the education system in Kenya starting from the 7-4-2-3 to 8-4-4 and at present is the 2-6-3-3-3. The chapter also articulated the historical development of TVET in Kenya with special reference to sessional paper 1 of 2005 that divided education into basic education, TVET education, and university education. The chapter has also provided justification for conducting research in the TVET sector of education in Kenya. Most important is a holistic approach towards addressing the challenge of poor learning outcomes by tackling the problem from its input to output in vocational colleges. In this regard, theories identified in the previous chapter are advocated in the present chapter to address this mess.
The way in which research is conducted may be conceived in terms of the methods and procedures adopted to collect the data and draw conclusions from the data. The chapter discusses the research hypothesis, research design, research philosophy, research methods, target population, sample size, research instruments, instrument validity, and reliability. It also covers data collection procedure, data analysis techniques, ethical considerations, and results. The chapter reviewed relevant literature from related journals and books so as to develop and implement appropriate research methodology while keeping in mind the purpose of the study: to determine whether college resources and student engagement are linked with student learning outcomes in Kenya's higher vocational colleges. Resources were all input to a college that make learning favorable while student engagement were all educational purposive activities that bring about desirable outcomes and students satisfaction with college experience.
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This ethnographic study of a participatory video workshop conducted with rural women in Fiji observed how communities engage with processes of production for empowerment, and the implications for dialogue, community building, and representation within Fiji's fragmented multicultural society. The study found that rural women in Fiji integrate local norms and practices in the production of programme content, and use social capital – their relationships and social networks – as a key element in video production to highlight community needs and linkages. The content produced by the women gave significance to women's work, their abilities, their skills, and their potential as income producers, as well as their empowering networks.
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Mediated participation aims to bring `distanced¿ or `overlooked¿ stakeholders in a mediated way to the doorstep of decision makers. It promotes inclusion of their stories, concerns and proposals in decision-making processes because it allows policy and decision makers to `learn¿ in mediated interaction with distant stakeholders. Visual Problem Appraisal (VPA) is a film-based methodology for analysis and social learning, which is produced and used in settings of complex problems and sustainable rural development. The core of a VPA consists of filmed narratives in which stakeholders express their concerns and issues and tell their stories. This form of `mediated participation¿ was explored by studying vulnerable and distanced stakeholders in the production and use of the VPA AIDS & Rural Development in Sub-Saharan Africa (A&RD) in workshops in Congo DRC, Ghana, Tanzania, the Netherlands and Zambia. The qualitative assessment indicates that mediated participation is not just a second-best option to live participation. The VPA-methodology offers an alternative to learning through face-to-face interactions. Quality and legitimacy of policymaking and decision-making might be enhanced in situations where live encounters between decision makers and overlooked primary stakeholders are not feasible or realistic
This article explains how some youth gain insights into educational processes of social reproduction by participating in a pedagogy of transformational resistance. These insights lead to resistances that have the potential to transform young people’s subjectivities while allowing them to envision ways of learning to counteract oppressive and reproductive schooling. The pedagogy of transformational resistance derives from a youth participatory action research (YPAR) program implemented in Tucson Unified School District (TUSD). The YPAR program was called the Social Justice Education Project (SJEP), and its primary function was to engage youth in critical inquiries that address negative social and economic conditions in their schools and communities. The article begins with a brief lineage of critical youth studies (CYS), and its attendant academic focus on social reproduction and resistance. The contemporary moment within CYS centers around YPAR, where formal pedagogical practices cultivate young people’s critical insights/consciousness and resistances. © 2017, Institute for Education Policy Studies. All rights reserved.
Digital Participatory Research (DPR) combines grass-roots participatory research and photojournalism, asks students to investigate assets and issues within their community, and facilitates civic participation by using problem-posing and praxis-orientated methods. Although there is a vast amount of research documenting the impact of DPR at the local level, there is limited research about the use of this methodology to facilitate global competence. This study presents the results from a multi-case study analysis of two groups simultaneously engaging in the DPR project; one in Miami, Florida and one in Kingston, Jamaica. This research study examines whether this methodology helps contribute to glocal citizenship. In this case the term glocal citizenship mergers civic and global competence and helps students understand how local and global influences interact in their everyday lives. Westheimer and Kahne’s (2004) three kinds of citizenship and Landarf and Doscher’s (2015) three global outcomes were applied to individual interview data, observational field notes, and transcripts of digital media. This study found that students’ projects often offered solutions at the personally-responsible and participatory level. When they addressed topics that would raise awareness about systemic global issues, they did not include information that would challenge systems of power and oppression. Also, while students did not learn substantive content to promote global awareness, they did participate in global engagement opportunities and recognized aspects that they shared with their international peers.
Delving into the “black box” of schooling can help us better understand the paradoxical reality that schooling for girls can be simultaneously empowering and disempowering. Despite recent interest in developing innovative research methodologies within the field of comparative education, there has been less attention to and reflexivity about the use of critical and participatory research methodologies as a way to gain insight into school processes that lead to dis/empowerment. This article details the use of photovoice methodology with rural, marginalized, adolescent-aged girls in Western India, with particular attention to collaboration, power sharing, and the production of “voice.” Through a case study of a group of girls in Gujarat, this article illustrates how photovoice methodology can act as an important analytical heuristic to illuminate the relationship between schooling and girls’ empowerment and how photovoice as a method might itself contribute to the empowerment process of girls.
Focusing on researchers, the predominant discourse on reflexivity has seldom considered the contribution that participants could make to research through their self-reflections. To bring to light the significance of participants' self-reflection in participatory inquiries, I develop the concept of participant reflexivity, referring to the process in which participants use insights gained through self-reflection for data analysis and group discussion. My discussion is based on a community-based participatory research project conducted with a group of adult learners on their educational experiences. I examined the accounts shared by one of the participants by using insights from the theories of reflexive interview, dialogical narrative analysis and video ethnography, and found that her accounts played a pivotal role in evoking group reflections and drawing the conclusion of the project. I argue that participant reflexivity is a useful construct that can do justice to what participants can uniquely offer in participatory inquiries. The concept can also contribute to advancing knowledge of reflexivity by complementing the researcher-focused predominant discourse on reflexivity. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This paper was first prepared for an audience of anthropo-logists in the United States of America, where I have taught and researched for the past twelve years.!" Some of the questions that it raises apply, although perhaps less acutely, to social and cultural anthropologists from the other industrial nations of Western Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. The international circumstances to which I refer no doubt also create problems for anthropologists born and resident in a num-ber of the Latin American, Asian, and African countries where much anthropological research is carried out. I should be espe-cially glad if this paper stimulates some among the latter anthro-pologists to comment on how these circumstances are viewed by them and how they affect their work. Recently a number of anthropologists, and of students, have complained that cultural and social anthropology is failing to tackle significant problems of the modern world. As I have thought so for some time, I should like to make a tentative statement about where I think we stand today, and to follow it with some proposals. This being a new departure, I must ask to be excused if I am both obvious and argumentative. Anthropology is a child of Western imperialism. It has roots in the humanist visions of the Enlightenment, but as a university discipline and a modem science it came into its own in the last decades of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries.
In this article I argue that participatory video must acknowledge its often technocratic, liberal presumptions, and take a more critical look at the political underpinnings of ‘empowerment’ and ‘voice’. I am interested in how we can use participatory video while resisting the romance of community, seeing beyond short-term individualist approaches towards a longer-term collective project of social justice. A reflexive approach to how power and agency work within participatory video is essential if the method is going to effect change and not merely manage social conflict. While the participatory video process can be discussed from many perspectives, I focus here on a critique of the often-hidden politics of participatory video, its relation to academic research and in turn, to project participants within a progressive social change agenda.
One of the most striking developments across the social sciences in the past decade has been the growth of research methods using visual materials. It is often suggested that this growth is somehow related to the increasing importance of visual images in contemporary social and cultural practice. However, the form of the relationship between ‘visual research methods’ and ‘contemporary visual culture’ has not yet been interrogated. This paper conducts such an interrogation, exploring the relation between ‘visual research methods’ – as they are constituted in quite particular ways by a growing number of handbooks, reviews, conference and journals – and contemporary visual culture – as characterized by discussions of ‘convergence culture’. The paper adopts a performative approach to ‘visual research methods’. It suggests that when they are used, ‘visual research methods’ create neither a ‘social’ articulated through culturally mediated images, nor a ‘research participant’ competency in using such images. Instead, the paper argues that the intersection of visual culture and ‘visual research methods’ should be located in their shared way of using images, since in both, images tend to be deployed much more as communicational tools than as representational texts. The paper concludes by placing this argument in the context of recent discussions about the production of sociological knowledge in the wider social field.
Part one of this paper highlights how students today think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors, as a result of being surrounded by new technology. The author compares these “digital natives” with the older generation who are learning and adopting new technology naming them “digital immigrants”.
This article focuses on work with a group of female community health care workers and parents (including one male) in a rural community, aimed at addressing issues around HIV/AIDS through community-based video. Drawing on feminist visual culture and using a participatory methodology, such as video documentary, creates a space for dynamic interaction on topics that have often been kept silent in rural Southern African communities ravaged by HIV/AIDS and where communication at various levels as well as between generations, has been difficult. In particular, this work is significant in contexts characterised by unequal gender relations, where women and girls are, on the one hand, bearing the brunt of the impact of the pandemic but, on the other, are often silenced in discussions around topics that are regarded as taboo. The focus of this participatory video work is on the process, engagement, dialogue and ultimately the possibility of making multiple voices heard and activating social agency.
If the development of basic human needs can be conceptualised as a critical pedagogy, then we need to look more carefully at the relationships between culture and the politics of development practices as they relate to cultures. These cultural and political practices include the language in which development and the alleviation of poverty has been discussed and conceived at the level of policy and management. They impinge on the cultural structures that surround the ways that development organisations operate and train, as well as their relationships with the cultures of poor people.This article examines the participatory use of video from the perspectives of representation by the under‐represented recipients of development initiatives and the implications for development practitioners and policy‐makers.
In our chapter in the first edition of this Handbook (see record 1994-98625-005), we presented two tables that summarized our positions, first, on the axiomatic nature of paradigms (the paradigms we considered at that time were positivism, postpositivism, critical theory, and constructivism, p. 109, Table 6.1); and second, on the issues we believed were most fundamental to differentiating the four paradigms (p. 112, Table 6.2). These tables are reproduced here as a way of reminding our readers of our previous statements. The axioms defined the ontological, epistemological, and methodological bases for both established and emergent paradigms. The issues most often in contention that we examined were inquiry aim, nature of knowledge, the way knowledge is accumulated, goodness (rigor and validity) or quality criteria, values, ethics, voice, training, accommodation, and hegemony. An examination of these two tables will reacquaint the reader with our original Handbook treatment. Since publication of that chapter, at least one set of authors, J. Heron and P. Reason, have elaborated on our tables to include the participatory/cooperative paradigm (Heron, 1996; Heron & Reason, 1997, pp. 289-290). Thus, in addition to the paradigms of positivism, postpositivism, critical theory, and constructivism, we add the participatory paradigm in the present chapter (this is an excellent example, we might add, of the hermeneutic elaboration so embedded in our own view, constructivism). Our aim here is to extend the analysis further by building on Heron and Reason's additions and by rearranging the issues to reflect current thought. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Often, African American community organizations are distanced from government institutional practices. In response, they may approach local academics to help bridge the divide. This think piece explores lessons that one academic scholar learned during the process of writing and distributing an applied report that ultimately helped a community organization to gain access to the governmental decision making process. In exploring the project, we first focus on the process and value of shifting from a charity orientation to a social justice orientation. Second, we use the report itself to provide examples of essential, concrete aspects of social justice-oriented products. In the end, we argue that academic scholars can contribute to community empowerment if (1) an asset rather than deficit orientation is employed and (2) scholars are viewed as community assets rather than institutional resources.
Photo novella does not entrust cameras to health specialists, policymakers, or professional photographers, but puts them in the hands of children, rural women, grassroots workers, and other constituents with little access to those who make decisions over their lives. Promoting what Brazilian educator Paulo Freire has termed "education for critical consciousness," photo novella allows people to document and discuss their life conditions as they see them. This process of empowerment education also enables community members with little money, power, or status to communicate to policymakers where change must occur. This paper describes photo novella's underpinnings: empowerment education, feminist theory, and documentary photography. It draws on our experience implementing the process among 62 rural Chinese women, and shows that two major implications of photo novella are its contributions to changes in consciousness and informing policy. PIP Contrary to the traditional approach of relying upon photographic images taken by health specialists, policymakers, and professional photographers to document what transpires in a particular community or subpopulation, photo novella encourages children, rural women, grassroots workers, and other constituents with little access to decision-makers to take their own photographs of life as they see it. This process of empowerment education enables community members with little money, power, or status to communicate to policymakers where change must occur. This paper describes photo novella's foundation in empowerment education, feminist theory, and documentary photography. It draws upon experience implementing the process among 62 rural Chinese women, highlighting the ability of photo novella to change consciousness and inform policy.
Flint Photovoice represents the work of 41 youths and adults recruited to use a participatory-action research approach to photographically document community assets and concerns, critically discuss the resulting images, and communicate with policymakers. At the suggestion of grassroots community leaders, we included policymakers among those asked to take photographs. In accordance with previously established photovoice methodology, we also recruited at the project's outset another group of policymakers and community leaders to provide political will and support for implementing photovoice participants' policy and program recommendations. Flint Photovoice enabled youths to express their concerns about neighborhood violence to policymakers and was instrumental in acquiring funding for local violence prevention. We note salutary outcomes produced by the inclusion of policymakers among adults who took photographs.
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