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Photovoice. Dr. Kevin J. Graziano Prepared for the Marino Institute of Education, Dublin Ireland, May 2012. Acknowledgement. Marino Institute of Education Development and InterCultural Education. Wiki. Biography.

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Dr. Kevin J. Graziano

Prepared for the Marino Institute of Education,

Dublin Ireland, May 2012

  • Marino Institute of Education
  • Development and InterCultural Education
  • Associate Professor in the School of Education at Nevada State College located in metropolitan Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Teaching institution
  • Teacher/educator first and foremost
  • Secondary pedagogy, TESOL, educational technology
  • Constructivist, Active Learning
  • Received Nevada State College's Teaching Excellence Award
  • Received the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents' Teaching Award
  • ESL, Charles University, Czech Republic
  • Researcher-South Africa
  • Author
  • Facilitated more than 100 national and international conference presentations, trainings on teacher education, photovoice, and TESOL.
  • Fellowship in Australia
  • Fulbright Grant, Israel
  • Teach, Apply, Reflect model of instruction
  • Phase I will be an overview/introduction. (TEACH)
  • Phase II will involve application (APPLY) where participants themselves develop a question, gather data, analyze data, identify findings and conclusions, and then share their results.
  • Phase III will involve reflection (REFLECT). This is where participants make connections to their practice and identify ways to infuse photovoice into the curriculum/research/lives.
  • Participants will: (1) gain new knowledge on photovoice as a highly valuable tool in strengthening educational policy; (2) enhance the curriculum that engages learners in authentic problem-based situations; (3) understand the constructs of photovoice in relation to traditional methods of teaching, research, and needs assessments; and (4) meet individuals with a shared interest to identify resources for further projects.
  • What did we do and discuss today?
  •  What is its relevance to you, both for now and for your future?
  •  How are you going to use these skills before our next class?
  •  What will result if you do not use these skills?
  •  What will result if you do use these skills?
  •  Affirmation
malcolm x
Malcolm X
  • “We cannot teach what we do not know and we cannot guide where we will not go.”
  • Entertain the idea of learning something new.
on the spot
On the Spot
  • Cannot ask the same question asked by someone else in the group
  • Cannot pause or stutter
  • Cannot answer the question
  • Can only ask questions!
on the spot1
On the Spot
  • Active listening
  • Ask questions
  • Is it all right to have more questions than answers
  • Acknowledge when you do not know the answer
  • Member of learning community
photovoice kwl kwhl

Know Want to Know Learn

what is photovoice
What is Photovoice?
what is photovoice1
What is Photovoice?
  • Photovoice is a form of _______ that utilizes documentary photography and ________. By entrusting cameras into the hands of oppressed individuals to act as recorders of their own community, photovoice enables people to define for themselves and others, including policy makers, what is worth remembering and what needs to be changed, what should remain as is.
what is photovoice2
What is Photovoice?
  • Photovoice and PAR set the stage for women, men, children, elderly, and disenfranchised minorities and communities to become protagonists in the their own life stories.
what is photovoice3
What is Photovoice?
  • Photovoice sets out to capture and convey the point of view of the person holding the camera. It invites us to look at the world through the same lens as the photographer and to share the story the picture evokes for the person who clicked the shutter.
what is photovoice4
What is Photovoice?
  • Photovoice challenges the established politics of representations by shifting control over the means for documenting lives from thepowerful to the powerless, the expert to the lay-person, the professional to the client, the bureaucrat to the citizen, the observer to the observed.
what is the origin of photovoice
What is the origin of Photovoice?
  • Photovoice was first developed and applied in the early _____ by _______. Although documentary photography is nothing new and has been around for decades, what is new about documentary photography is using the images to influence public policy and change.
photovoice studies
Photovoice studies
  • Women’s health issues (Wang, Burris, Ping, 1996),
  • Homeless and marginally housed young and older women (Killion, 1998),
  • People with mental illness (Bowers, 1999),
  • Inner-city first year teachers (Graziano & Litton, 2007)
  • High School economic class (Graziano & Heeren, 2009).
  • Urban health advisors (Parker, Shulz, Israel, & Hollis, 2001),
photovoice studies1
Photovoice studies
  • Immigration experiences of newly-arrived Latino adolescents (Streng et al. 2004),
  • The everyday realities of Black South Africans living in township communities (Graziano 2004),
  • K-12 English language learners (Graziano, 2005)
  • The perspectives of low-income, predominantly African American families regarding children's school-readiness (McAllister, Wilson, Green, Baldwin, 2005),
  • At risk middle school students (Kroeger, et al., 2004).
photovoice studies2
Photovoice studies
  • Middle school science students (Cook & Buck, 2010)
  • Alcohol and drug education (Goodhart, Hsu, Baek, Coleman, Maresca, & Miller, 2006; Wilson, Minkler, Dasho, Wallerstein, & Martin, 2008)
  • Adolescents with behavioral, social, and academic issues (Kroeger, Burton, Comarata, Combs, Hamm, Hopkins, & Kouche, 2004);
photovoice studies3
Photovoice studies
  • Low-income prairie women (Willson, Green, Haworth-Brockman, & Rapaport Beck, 2006);
  • Online instruction (Perry, Dalton, Edwards, 2009; Perry, 2006);
  • Central Appalachian coalfield communities (Bell, 2008);
  • Mothers of children with autism (Harte, 2009);
  • Refugee youth from Bosnia (Berman, Ford-Bilboe, Moutrey, & Cekic, 2001).
what is the theoretical framework behind photovoice
What is the theoretical framework behind Photovoice?
  • Photovoice stems from Freire’s education for critical consciousness, _________, and a participatory approach to documentary photography—all support representation and ownership of one’s personal voice.
participatory action research
Participatory Action Research
  • Participatory action research is a form of action research in which professional social researchers operate as full collaborators with members of organizations and communities in studying and transforming those organizations or communities. It is an ongoing organizational learning process, a research approach that emphasizes co-learning, participation and transformation. (Greenwood et al, 1993).
  • INVESTIGATION (dialogue, inquiry, reflection), RESEARCH, ACTION
  • Not a discourse; it is a dialogue.
participatory action research1
Participatory Action Research
  • The word “action” in PAR signals that the research is to encompass and generate activity and change.
  • Some writers would prefer the term “participatory research” over and above “participatory action research” because, they argue, action research is not as orientated towards social change (e.g. Stoeker, 1999) and does not necessary engage participants directly in the research process (Kindon et al, 2007).
participatory action research2
Participatory Action Research
  • Ada and Beutel (1993) argue that the moments of any experience can only be understood through the voice that has lived them. Traditional methods of inquiry, in which hypotheses are posed and statistical data is collected and analyzed, are often used to validate conclusions about a given problem and rarely, if ever, offer a partnership between the researcher and the participants.
  • All those involved in PAR projects are known as participants, not subjects or informants.
participatory action research3
Participatory Action Research
  • Brown (1983) argues unplanned interactions with subjects are discouraged in traditional research. The findings of the research are frequently not shared with the subjects, perhaps because of a conscious or subconscious belief that the subjects are incapable of analyzing the results or because of the judgment that the findings are of such a sensitive political or economic nature that it would be unwise or dangerous to divulge them to participants.
  • While the researcher may learn “about” the subjects, she or he does not learn “with” them.
participatory action research4
Participatory Action Research
  • Research in academia is often associated with the development and refinement of theories. In PAR projects the research is not primarily theory development per se and refers more to the practice of collecting and presenting information to inform and mobilize collective action. New theories may emerge from this process but the emphasis is on generating local knowledge that improves conditions.
  • Some view it is as a political, activism approach rather than a theory.
basic principles of par
Basic Principles of PAR
  • We are experts in our own experiences, and have many different ways of knowing and getting information about our conditions.
  • We control the gathering and use of information about our communities. We decide what information we need to make the changes, we want, and how to get it.
  • We lead and are integrally involved in all aspects of the design & implementation of the research, and of the analysis and distribution of the information gathered.
  • We gather information to inform our actions for change.
  • We reflect on the information we’ve gathered and the way in which we are gathering it throughout the process.
  • We also reflect on the action we've taken and decide if we need more information before taking further action.
basic principles of par1
Basic Principles of PAR
  • We gather information to inform our actions for change.
  • We reflect on the information we’ve gathered and the way in which we are gathering it throughout the process. New issues, questions may surface from process.
  • We also reflect on the action we've taken and decide if we need more information before taking further action.
basic principles of par2
Basic Principles of PAR
  • The people we gather information with and from are active and not passive participants in the process. Involved in every stage of the process.
  • We use information gathering to build community and movement, to develop leadership, and to empower ourselves to make change.
  • We are not trying to “prove” an assumption or hypothesis, we want to learn more about ourselves and our communities as a way to make change.
basic principles of par3
Basic Principles of PAR
  • First, we collectively figure out what we want to know about (group of individuals)….
  • What information already exists, and what is missing. Who has knowledge, experience, information?
  • How do we create spaces for people to talk and organize around the issue? What action do we want to take? What results are we looking for?
basic principles of par4
Basic Principles of PAR
  • Then we collectively decide what specific questions we need to ask and of whom. How do we reach out to various members of our community with knowledge?
  • Identify constituents early on—Contribute to change.

A Guiding Framework for Participatory Research for Social Change, Community Development Project, Urban Justice Center, prepared for Spin Project Workshop on Making News with Reports, June 16, 2005; Some Important

par methods
PAR Methods

PAR uses a variety of methods. Some of the common methods include: (quantitative and qualitative techniques)

  • surveys
  • observations
  • interviewing
  • mapping
  • diagramming
  • group work and discussions
basic principles of par5
Basic Principles of PAR
  • In sum, participants are not objects nor secondary players on the stage of research, subject to laws and determinations made by others. Rather, they are individuals who can and do contribute to the human experience of transforming experiences and the world.
entry into the community
Entry into the community

Inner preparation: You need to prepare yourself inwardly, trying to think as the people think, to live as the people live, to eat as they.

  • Reading about the community including literature written by community members
  • Listening to the community’s music
  • Appreciate and understand the community’s art
  • Observer of the community

Our inner reflective processes will help us in achieving authenticity in our research and in the reflective dialogues that we intend to engage in with our participants.

entry into the community1
Entry into the community

Outer participation: initial identification of people, leaders, and activists with whom you can begin dialogue.

Who would you include in the dialogue on…

School drop out rates,

Wages and inequity in pay,

The nature and variety and of books available to families and children in local libraries,

School bullying?

the questions
The Questions

In traditional research, researchers often say, I already know what I think about this topic. Now let me see if I can find a way to validate what I think.

You do not begin with a hypothesis. Instead you enter the research with a set of fundamental concerns, issues, or problems. You are looking for solutions or insights that you do not already have. You are looking for a deeper understanding of the issues or problems.

the questions1
The Questions

The major research questions will arise from narrowing the topic and from your initial observations and conversations held with people in the community.

The entire scope of your inquiry and research will inspire your questions: the literature, your own observations, what is known about the community, and your dialogues with the people that facilitate your entry into the community.

the participants
The Participants

PAR is not driven by having a set number of participants to validate the integrity of the research.

By reflecting in depth with a few people who are members of the community we can illuminate many of the issues that concern that community.

portraits of the participants portrait of the researcher
Portraits of the ParticipantsPortrait of the Researcher
  • The people with whom we are conducting research are the very life force of the invention or re-invention of knowledge within participatory research. Who they are, what their histories have been, their dreams for their communities, their hopes for their families and loved ones, their accomplishments and skills are all essential aspects of knowing and learning about the characters of the people themselves and the textures of their lives…they are not faceless, anonymous people intended to represent everyone or a given community. (Ada & Beutel, 1993, p.85)
research notebook
Research Notebook
  • It is important that after each dialogue you jot down when it took place, the day, the time, duration, who was present, any interruptions, emotions, body language, gestures such as nodding, and circumstances that influenced the research, e.g. how you were feeling and any news of the day that might have some influence on the dialogue.
  • May help you make your subsequent dialogues more real and grounded.
research journal
Research Journal
  • The journal is a beautiful book of your personal journey.
  • Different from the notebook.
  • Dealing with the pain and suffering and everyday realities of your participants.
  • Did I listen sufficiently well? Was I present for the other person? Was I willing to experience and feel what the other person was sharing with me? Were there times when I should have stopped and listened more?
research journal1
Research Journal
  • Did I ask enough reflection or did I just simply take what the person was giving and not help the person move to another level?
  • What has happened to me as an individual from the moment I first heard about PAR?
  • What do I feel towards this community that I did not feel before?
  • What do I know about the community beyond what gets put in the study?
  • What do I know about my own capacities as a listener, a speaker, and a thinker?
m m activity
M & M Activity
  • Identify your favorite color M&M
  • Find someone in the room who also likes the same color
m m activity1
M & M Activity
  • Red is the leader of the crew – or so he thinks. He's scheming in a fun, mischievous way, sarcastic and tends to be theatrical.
  • Green is the attractive and intelligent one and she knows it. She's flirty and quick-witted with the rest of the gang – all of whom she finds a bit childish.
  • Yellow is more naive and clumsy than the other characters. He's also easily impressed – all in an innocent and charming way.
  • Orange is irresistible and delicious, leaving him feeling as though he's doomed to be eaten.
  • Blue is cool and maybe too sure of himself. He's always up on current events and loves to people watch.
muddiest point check in
Muddiest PointCheck-in

Talking Chips

What was the "muddiest point" so far with today's lecture? What is most confusing or unclear?

five stages of photovoice
Five Stages of Photovoice

I. Conceptualizing the Problem

a. Selecting the site

b. Selecting the methodology

c. Sampling and recruiting

five stages of photovoice1
Five Stages of Photovoice

II. Implementing Method

a. Conducting photovoice training

b. Devising the initial theme for taking pictures

c. Taking pictures

five stages of photovoice2
Five Stages of Photovoice

III. Participatory Analysis, Critical Reflection, and Dialogue

a. Selecting photographs for discussion

b. Contextualizing and storytelling

c. Codifying issues, themes, and theories

d. Documenting the stories

five stages of photovoice3
Five Stages of Photovoice

IV. Disseminating Findings

a. Selecting slides and stories for presentation

b. Writing journal articles

five stages of photovoice4
Five Stages of Photovoice

V. Advocating Policy

a. Sharing information with policy makers and the broader community

b. Implementing policy

how does photovoice work
How does Photovoice work?
  • Rather than engage participants of a study in an informal survey or traditional interview, photovoice allows individuals to photograph leisurely their responses to the research questions, then select the best photographs they believe represent their responses to the research questions. Then together, participants and researcher, engage in a dialogue on the participants’ selected photographs.
how does photovoice work1
How does Photovoice work?

The participatory analysis of photovoice involves three stages:

(1) selecting (choosing photographs that most accurately reflect participants’ concerns and needs as depicted by the research questions);

(2) contextualizing (telling stories about what the photographs mean);

(3) _________(identifying themes, issues and theories that emerge) Transcripts

selecting photographs
Selecting photographs
  • Participants of my studies decided to select and contextualize no more than four photographs per research question and decided to discard or keep the remaining photographs.
  • Limitation to four photographs-stop at 4
  • Black and white vs. color film
  • Budget to buy supplies, equipment
    • Alternatives (flip cameras, disposal cameras, other forms of art)
contextualizing photographs
Contextualizing photographs

The questioning acronym PHOTO was used in my study to contextualize the meaning of participants’ photographs.

  • Describe your Picture.
  • What is Happening in your picture?
  • Why did you take a picture Of this?
  • What does this picture Tell us about your life?
  • How can this picture provide Opportunities for us to improve life in regard to …?
  • What is missing from the photo?
contextualizing photographs1
Contextualizing photographs

The Creative Dialogue

By Alma Flor Ada

Guiding the Dialogue…..

the creative dialogue phase i
The Creative DialoguePhase I
  • Phase I: Descriptive Phase (Naming)
  • Describe the What, Where, When, Who, Why?
  • What is the problem? What are the conflicts? What is the story?
the creative dialogue phase ii
The Creative DialoguePhase II
  • Phase II: Personal Interpretive Phase (Relating)
  • What does this have to do with me?
  • When have I experienced or seen this before?
  • How does it make me feel? How does it make others feel?
the creative dialogue phase iii
The Creative DialoguePhase III
  • Phase III: Critical/Multicultural/Antibias Phase (Thinking)
  •  Is this a valid concern, problem? Why?
  • Does this happen often? To whom?
  • Are there possibilities for change? What ideas do I have in creating change for myself or others?
the creative dialogue phase iii1
The Creative DialoguePhase III
  • How does it affect others in a greater context?
  • What other factors are involved that may be “bigger” than me?
  • How would people from a different culture, age, time, place, genre, social class react to this? Are all points of view, all voices recognized? Are some silenced and ignored?
the creative dialogue phase iv
The Creative DialoguePhase IV
  • Phase IV: Creative /Transformative Phase (Doing)
  • What can I/we do to solve the problem?
  • What will I/we do to make a difference?
  • How do I/we start?
  • What have we learned about this process that has an impact on me and what will I do with it? When?
  • Who will participate with me? How?
creative dialogue in action
Creative DialogueIn action
  • Friends (in Spanish Amigos, in Haitian Creole Zanmi)by Alma Flor Ada describes the life of squares and rectangles, circles and triangles who live in the same town but keep very separate lives from each other. One day, two little circles went for a roll into town and met a small rectangle. Together they formed a wagon. Later with young squares they made a train and when little triangles joined them they could make a plane and fly. They learned that together in friendship they could do what they could not do separate.
creative dialogue in action1
Creative DialogueIn action
  • Descriptive Phase

Questions to ascertain the comprehension of the story and its concepts.

  • How many sides does a square have? Are all sides the same size?
  • How many sides does a rectangle have? A triangle? Do circles have sides?
  • What did the large figures say to the little ones?
creative dialogue in action2
Creative DialogueIn action
  • Personal Interpretive Phase

Questions to invite sharing personal experiences, feelings and emotions.

  • How does it feel when other children want to play with you? When they don’t?
  • How does it feel when other people treat you badly? When you treat others badly?
creative dialogue in action3
Creative DialogueIn action
  • Critical Multicultural Anti-Bias Phase

Questions to promote critical reflection and anti-bias awareness.

  • Was the big squares’ reason to forbid the little ones to play with others valid? Why??
  • Do all people who have long hair (or live in the same street) think alike? Have the same taste? Can we tell the feelings of a person just by the way the person looks? By the person’s language? The person’s origin? What do you think of this?
  • Why do you think the shapes had such a wonderful time playing together?
  • What difficult things that can happen when people who are different play together?
  • What good things can happen? How can we promote the good things?
creative dialogue in action4
Creative DialogueIn action
  • Transformative Creative Phase

Questions to promote transformative attitudes.

  • What can we do when there are children who do not want to play with us?
  • What can you do if you see someone treating someone badly?
  • Is there someone you have not been friends with that you can invite to play with you? Someone you can learn to know better?
codifying or group dialogue
Codifying or Group dialogue

Questions asked in one of my studies to guide the group dialogue (codifying) :

  • Discuss, identify, list themes
  • Are there any changes you would like to make? For example, is there anything you would like to add, take out, or clarify in relation to the transcripts?
  • How did you feel about the first dialogue?
  • What have you been thinking about since the dialogue with regard to things you said or new things you would like to talk about?
  • As you read the transcript, what insights occurred?
consent forms
Consent forms
  • Participants signed consent to participate in the study.
  • Participants signed consent to use their photographs and stories at conferences, courses lectures, professional development workshops, etc.
  • Signed consent of individuals photographed.

disadvantages of this consent.

photo galleries public exhibits
Photo Galleries Public Exhibits
  • Rotating traveling exhibit
  • Framed, mounted, captions
  • Invitations
  • T-shirts
  • Transportation to college campus
  • $500 Promise Certificates
  • Exhibit Program

Lessons learned

find the fib swot
Find the Fib; SWOT
  • Paint Swatches
research questions
Research Questions
  • What kind of relationship exists between participants and the white gay and lesbian community?
  • What differences and similarities exist between participants and white gay and lesbian individuals?
  • As a result of participants’ sexual identity, what forms of oppression have participants experienced?
  • How do participants cope in an oppressive environment?
  • What recommendations do participants have to promote social equality in the South African gay and lesbian community?
voices from the field 2006 preservice teachers
Voices from the Field (2006)Preservice teachers
  • Participants were enrolled in two separate social foundation courses taught by the same professor, Dr. Graziano, at NSC and CCSU.
  • Undergraduate, pre-service teachers and graduate in-service teachers.
  • Participants were asked to document, through photography, areas that they felt needed to be changed to make learning and teaching more effective.
  • More than half of the research questions posed and researched by participants in both classes involved issues of safety and school conditions that affect teaching and learning. For example, one participant investigated how being a mobile teacher without a designated classroom affects classroom instruction and learning.

One participant photographed a classroom window with frosted tint on the window and bars that prevent the window from opening. She argued, in the warmer months when the air conditioning is not working and there is no ventilation in the building, students are too hot to work and there is no window to open. In the colder months when the heater is not working, she argued, the frosted window pane prevents sunlight from entering the classroom and it is often too cold to work. A lot of instructional time is lost due to the dilapidated conditions at my school, she concluded.

  • Several participants photographed open, unsecured playgrounds at their schools and argued that strangers sometimes walk through the playground and offer students food and drinks. One participant argued, “As a result of having an unsecured playground, I have to first check for needles, knives, broken glass, and used condoms before I let my students out to play.” Another participant photographed a broken gate around her playground and argued, “It [the gate] does not latch; it does not close properly. In fact, it hardly closes at all and this is the only barrier between our students and the street.”
  • Another participant photographed the street in front of her school and believes the lack of street signs and school signals could someday be fatal. “There is no flashing school signal on the street and there is only one speed limit sign posted blocks away from the school,” she wrote. “Cars race up and down the street during school hours and it is dangerous to walk along street without supervision.”
  • Participants also photographed conditions inside their schools. One participant spoke about the playroom in the basement of her school and photographed the emergency exit doors. She argued, “These doors are designed to escape the dangers of fire and harm, except they don’t even open. There is a steel bar bolted to the wall across both doors preventing anyone from leaving in the event of an emergency….As a teacher, it is my job to make sure my students are safe and these doors are keeping me from doing my job.”
  • Speaking to the issue of safety, another participant wrote, “Every year I have to explain to my students why there is bullet hole in our classroom window…After I tell the story about the window I can see a sense of fear in their eyes. I have to assure them that this is a safe place to come everyday. The sad thing is that I don’t even feel safe in my own classroom, but I cannot let that show.”

Voices from the Field (2007) Preservice Teachers

  • Participants were enrolled in a social foundation course at CCSU.
  • Graduate in-service teachers.
  • Participants were asked to document, through photography, areas that they felt needed to be changed to make learning and teaching more effective.

This is my classroom carpet. About four years ago, the school’s roof leaked, leaving about 3 inches of water in many classrooms. During the flood, our class was relocated to the library until the roof was fixed. After the roof was fixed and the carpet dried enough to walk on it, we returned to the classroom. The carpet was never replaced. Since then it has been rippled and quite often grows mold. The entire room has a damp and musty smell. With mold spores being present both teacher and students are at risk for nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, and skin irritation. If one has asthma, as I do, it can cause severe asthma episodes.


This is the air circulation vent in my classroom. It blows forced hot air in the winter and circulating air during the remaining seasons. As you can, there is an array of problems in this area. The gum that is stuck in the vent has been long before I started teaching in this classroom. I have asked for it to be removed, but it still remains. You can also see chunks of dust that periodically shoot out with the air. In addition to dust, we find an assortment of dead bugs along the air vents on a daily basis. Each night the counters around the vent are wiped and by the afternoon of the next day, they look this way again, filthy. With the dirty vent supplying our classroom with circulating air, it is clear that there are problems with the air quality in the classroom.


Lack of functioning windows is a problem in neglected buildings. The better maintained building feature new windows. The paint has hardly dried. In contrast, my classroom features a textbook propping the window open. During the warm months circulating air is needed. The afternoons are very uncomfortable and staying focused on learning becomes difficult. A cross breeze would help us have a better learning environment. After submitting maintenance request for three years, my husband has promised to buy hinges and replace them for me this September. To improve the educational environment, sometimes teachers needs to take matters into their own hands.


July 2007. The neglected school is adverting a meeting from last October. The comparative school is telling the public about its current summer schedule. The public and teachers, including myself, in the first community feel that the school and its events are unimportant. Has anything really happened at this school in nine months or does nobody notice this neglect? The comparison allows us to see what is being done at a school five miles down the road. If I mention this to my principal, will he regard me as “ squeaky wheel?”

voices from the field 2006
Voices from the Field (2006)
  • NSC Second Language Acquisition course:

elementary and secondary pre-service teachers

  • Clark County READS: a volunteer program that promotes the importance of literacy to children and families in Las Vegas
  • Observation hours: PDS

Robert Taylor Elementary School

Brown Jr. Middle School

  • NSC students read one-on-one for 10 hours with ELL.
  • Language Assessment Scale (LAS) presentation
  • Case Study: Final Project of the Course

Part A. Documenting Prior Experience

Part B. Assessing Student’s Learning

Part C. Photovoice: What are your everyday realities as an English Language Learner at (have student fill in his or her school)?

Part D. NSC students’ Findings: conclusions, interpretations, challenge system

Case studies are shared in class and with principals and teachers at PDS.

whitney elementary school
Whitney Elementary School
  • Original Research Question: What are the educational realities of English Language Learners at an urban, elementary school in the Southwest?
  • Modified Research Questions: What is your life like at school as an ELL? What makes you happy at school as an ELL? What do you dislike at school as an ELL and feel should be changed?

“I took this picture because it shows how I am left out at times because I can’t talk to other people in class…I always feel kinda sad because I don’t hang around with other kids and play.”


This is a basket of lunchboxes in the lunchroom. The lunch basket is brought to the lunchroom after morning announcements. I took this picture because it reminded me of Kindergarten. Those picture tells about my life as an English student because the lunch basket helped me find my lunch by looking at the number or picture of the teacher. This picture of a lunch basket shows how English student’s lives can be improved because it gives students a job to do and you need to make sure the number is clear.


This is the Nurse’s office. The beds are here. In the summer, it isn’t cool in my house; it’s very hot. I took a picture of this because I like the cool air in the office.


There is a CD that we hear in the car. I took the picture because this is what helps me listen and practice English in the car with my dad. We then have to listen and watch the movie to learn how to speak in English and understand when you talk to someone else.


This is a picture of the turtle home in the courtyard of school. The turtle is trying to go into the water. I remember learning about turtles. It helped me learn how to spell turtle. Students can learn by watching and seeing how it (the turtle) moves.


In the library, there’s a lot of books that help me and it helped me learn with the picture books and stuff. When I see the pictures they help me think of words in English. The High School Musical book helped me learn English. Last year I only got Spanish books, but this year I am choosing English because I want to learn English better. The Spanish books made my English worse. I am happy to have a library because there are books that help me to read and learn English. I have never visited a library before Whitney. It was hard for me to find books to read in the library because I have to read the spine of the books but didn’t know what it says, but then a friend helped me learn how.


I love to read now. I didn’t in Cuba because we didn’t have any books. The books I read were the ones my mama bought me, perothey weren’t a lot. There wasn’t a public library where I lived. The schools in Cuba do not have libraries. If you want to read, you need to buy your own books. They cost a lot so no one has a lot of books. I took a picture of the library because now I have the opportunity to read all the books. I want to read without worrying about money. I wanted to learn English so that I could read the letters in the books so that I could understand the books now that I had books available. Many people do not have books and by giving them books, they will want to learn English just like me.


Maria: “I took this picture of the playground with the tetherball and monkey bars because it represents recess. Recess is my favorite time at school because I do not have to talk when I am on the monkey bars and playing tetherball. I am good at those things without having to speak English to anyone.”

gang culture
Gang culture
  • Osbaldo: “A gang has left a warning sign, a message, recruiting kids, and territory. To warn people walking through the alley to stay out. Too many kids are tricked to join gangs. Tagging makes gangs look cool, so kids will join. I am around gangs all the time, but I don’t want to get involved with bad things. I am around people who don’t care about school and want me to not to care either.”
results gangs
Results: Gangs
  • “They say nobody cares about Mexicans anyway, so why go to school. They say gang members look out for each other because no one else cares about them. It is hard for a kid like me to stay away from gangs because they make it sound so cool to join. Too many kinds join because they believe the lies.”
results gangs1
Results: Gangs
  • “At school, there should be a lot of effort made to keep kids from joining gangs. Keep telling them how bad gangs are and that people really do care about them. Help them to do good in school, so they don’t quit and join gangs. If kids believe they can do good in school and be successful, they will stay in school and away from gangs.”

Fernando’s story…



“I dunno…”

  • Change occurs within first before you can become an agent of change in your community
  • Need to claim or reclaim voice
  • Attention to issues highlighted via photo exhibits
  • Short-term study
  • Continuation of photography-enrollment in classes
  • Improvement of practices training at Whitney
check in
  • I think…
  • I feel…
  • I wonder…
advantages of photovoice
Advantages of Photovoice
  • List advantages of using photovoice

(Participants compile list and share with group)

advantages of photovoice1
Advantages of Photovoice
  • Today’s definition of literacy moves the focus of literacy beyond facility with the printed word and toward acquiring a knowledge base. The definition of a literate person is evolving to include the ability to gather and impart information in a visual format (Clark et al., 2000). A camera provides a tool to develop this form of literacy in the same way that word processing does for the printed word.
advantages of photovoice2
Advantages of Photovoice
  • The use of photography in education reveals the value of photography as a teaching strategy to: (1) connect students’ prior experiences to content instruction and current events, (2) help students organize and comprehend materials, and (3) celebrate, share, and incorporate into the learning process the cultural capital students possess (Allen et al. 2002).
advantages of photovoice3
Advantages of Photovoice
  • Research concludes that when digital content is integrated into curriculum, a change in the learning process occurs that is characterized as being problem or project oriented, student centered, relevant, productive, and lifelong (Tapscott, 1999) and allows for greater levels of collaboration, inquiry, analysis, and creativity (CEO Forum , 2001).
advantages of photovoice4
Advantages of Photovoice
  • Photovoice links the needs of the community with active community participation.
  • Photovoice is accessible to anyone who can learn to handle a camera and does not presume the ability to read or write.
  • Photovoice also contributes to _______ through the visual image by placing a human face on data.
  • The media is often attracted to the “human interest” strength of photovoice.
  • A final advantage of photovoice is that the images produced and the issues discussed and framed by the people may stimulate social action.
  • List disadvantages of using photovoice

(Participants compile list and share with group)

  • The outcome of participants’ photographs on their family, friends, and communities is uncertain and unpredictable. Participants may be mindful of this, become fearful of those individuals with power, and censor what they photograph.
  • Second, personal judgment may intervene at many different levels of representation.
  • Photographs are easy to gather but difficult to analyze and summarize.
  • Concerns and issues could surface in regard to finances, communication, and transportation. Having limited funds to cover the cost of the cameras, interpreters, if needed, and transportation allowances could affect the outcome of a successful project.
  • A person leaving an audiotaped record of his or her opinions might fear self-incrimination.
using photovoice in schools
Using Photovoice in Schools
  • List other populations or individuals for future research

(Participants compile list and share with group)

using photovoice in schools1
Using Photovoice in Schools
  • Second language learners
  • Students with learning or physical disabilities
  • Female students
  • Students of color
  • Immigrant and migrant students and their families
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
  • Faculty can include photovoice in class syllabi and discuss its methodology in teaching, learning, and technology courses, courses on research methods, and courses on the digital divide and social justice (Graziano & Litton, 2007).
in closing
In closing…
  • The idea is to raise the credibility of photovoice by encouraging researchers and educators to implement such an approach in addressing educational and social inclusiveness (Grazino & Litton, 2007). In doing so, participants may see themselves as protagonists, the ones who speak and are listened to, the ones confronting the problems and issues and finding solutions to them. As such, participants become heroes, authors, generators of text, and see themselves as researchers and teachers, people who have knowledge that can be shared with others (Ada, Beutel & Petersen, 1990).
in closing1
In closing…
  • Rasinski and Padak (1990) argue that when individuals become empowered, they share responsibility for their own learning. Without voice, dialogue, and agency, there is no empowerment (Ruiz, 1997) and individuals are not able to “name their world to change it” (Freire, 1970).
  • Rhythm, Rhyme, and Movement
  • Graphic Organizer (paint swatches)
  • Letter to Carolyn Wang
  • What did we do and discuss today?
  •  What is its relevance to you, both for now and for your future?
  •  How are you going to use these skills before our next class?
  •  What will result if you do not use these skills?
  •  What will result if you do use these skills?
  • Affirmation
Final Questions, Comments, or ConcernsContact information:Dr. Kevin Graziano kevin.graziano@nsc.nevada.edu702-992-2058