04 SES 11 A, A Snapshot For Change. Using Photovoice to Capture Inclusion: Research Workshop
Inclusion in education is receiving more and more attention at an international level. Certainly following a number of treaties that oblige to take action at every educational level to make education more inclusive (e.g. Convention on Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities) (Michael W. Harvey, Nina Yssel, Adam D. Bauserman, & John B. Merbler, 2010). A lot of policy initiatives are being prepared concerning this theme and at the same time there are also many initiatives in educational practice to meet the diversity of pupils and schools try to do inclusive school development.
Nevertheless, in practice there are still a lot of problems when it comes to including children with specific needs in mainstream education. Factors that affect inclusion in terms of success factors or potential barriers must be identified. The literature identifies some child and environmental factors that may present challenges to the success of inclusion. One of the theoretical frameworks used to explore extensive and holistically the inclusion of children is the International Classification of Function framework (World Health Organization, 2001). Next to different child factors (e.g. disability, age, …) the ICF acknowledges many environmental factors that both affect and potentially facilitate children's participation in their everyday lives (ICF, 2001; Simeonsson et al., 2003). Child factors are related to the child’s special needs, which may be physical, cognitive, emotional, and more (Smith, Austin, Kennedy, Lee, & Hutchison, 2005). Environmental characteristics that may facilitate or hinder children's participation in the classroom can be categorized in to four categories: attitudinal, architectural, administrative, and programmatic (Heyne, 2003). According to the ICF, in order to facilitate pupils’ participation, teachers are obliged to create a suitable learning environment (e.g., less, more, or different stimuli), suitable didactic strategies, and accommodations of assessments and tasks (Dumas, Bedell, & Hamill, 2003).
The factors that are responsible for the success or failure of inclusion are discussed in different types of research, but there is very little research in which the voice of the person with a disability in education is heard (Hong, 2015). Students and children often feel powerless to access or influence those who make decisions affecting their lives. Photovoice provides a process for assessment, analysis, and action as students record strengths and problems through photography, discuss their photos and findings and engage teachers to bring about change (Wang & Redwood-Jones, 2001).
This research workshop will be about designing and doing research on the basis of photovoice and this workshop will unfold around a research project of our own. The reason for our project was similar to the explanation above. Despite different initiatives students with disabilities are less likely to enroll in higher education, are more likely to experience study delays, and are at a higher risk of dropping out of higher education (Adreon & Durocher, 2007). There is some research on inclusive higher education but these are often quantitative studies or a single qualitative survey with a few students (Hong, 2015; Emmers et al. 2016). The depth of a personal experience is lost. If we want to understand inclusion in full, we have to be able to dive into the rich experiences of the students to identify the success factors and to find out what the real barriers are. As such, this study and workshop will focus on the following research questions:
- Workshop question: why would you use Photovoice as a research method?
- Project question: What are the success factors for being included in higher education?
- Project question: Which are the barriers that students run into so that they are not included in higher education?
Photovoice is an approach to participatory action research (Wang & Burris, 1997). A photovoice project is a method to reveal real life experiences and empower marginalized individuals (C. Wang & Burris, 1997). When using photovoice, you systematically follow these 6 phases: (1) The preparation phase: in this phase, an extensive literature study is done to understand the underlying concepts and to include any theoretical frameworks in the further structure of the study and to conceptualize the problem. This way different themes are explored for taking pictures. (2) Openings phase: in this phase we recruit and meet with the participants, discuss and define the broader goals and objectives of this study. We inform the participant on their role as expert and lay out the timeline for the project. Simultaneously, we provide a photo voice training on how to use the camera, where to store the pictures and talk about the consideration concerning human subjects. (3) Active photo phase: in this phase, the visual data collection takes place where the participants take pictures. The timeline allows enough time so that all participants feel satisfied that they have taken enough photographs to represent their experiences. (4) Decoding phase: in this phase, the participants select photographs for discussion. There can be an interview or a groups session. The narrative data collection takes place when participants clarify the meanings they attach to the photographs and their perceptions of the issue in a thorough way analyzing the visual and narrative data following the themes an theories of the preparation phase by contextualizing and storytelling. These discussions are audio-tape recorded and transcribed. (6) Reporting phase: in this phase the group of participants and researchers, work together to determine research results and find ways to share the photo voice results with a chosen audience. After that you recruit the audience to learn about the photo voice findings. In our project, the group of participants consisted of 20 students in higher education. Our photovoice-project equipped students with disabilities in higher education with cameras so they can create photographic symbolic representations to help others (students, teachers, staff) see the world of education through their eyes. They were asked to capture pictures concerning their own inclusion or exclusion in higher education. They all made 10 individual pictures that were contextualized and coded, using the ICF framework, as co-researchers. After a group discussion, they co-developed an audiobook narrating their photography.
The photovoice showed to be a very good methodology to give a voice to students in the process of inclusion. The photovoice results identified both student and environmental factors that present challenges and facilitated the inclusion of students in higher education. The results were analyzed using the ICF framework and showed that the most barriers were found in administrative and programmatic issues were they showed elaborated procedures and paperwork, stigmatizing forms that they had to use during the exams and isolation in group works. This workshop is meant to inform and spark interest in (educational) community-based photovoice projects and will invite you on our unique photovoice journey, it is our hope that the sharing of this information with a broad spectrum of practitioners will result in diverse projects that give voice to students with special or diverse needs that need to be heard.
Adreon, D., & Durocher, J. S. (2007). Evaluating the college transition needs of individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Intervention in School and Clinic, 42(5), 271–279. Agaliotis, A., & Agaliotis, I. (2011). A survey of Greek general and special education teachers’ perceptions regarding the role of the special needs coordinator: Implications for educational policy on inclusion and teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(3), 543–551. Avramidis, E., Bayliss, P., & Burden, R. (2000). Student teachers’ attitudes towards the inclusion of children with special educational needs in the ordinary school. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16(3), 277–293. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(99)00062-1 Emmers, E., Jansen, D., Petry, K., Oord, S. van der, & Baeyens, D. (2016). Functioning and participation of students with ADHD in higher education according to the ICF-framework. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 0(0), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2015.1117600 Hastings, H., & Hastings, R. P. (20030101). Student Teachers’ Attitudes Towards the Inclusion of Children with Special Needs. Educational Psychology, 23(1), 87–94. Hong, B. S. (2015). Qualitative analysis of the barriers college students with disabilities experience in higher education. Journal of College Student Development, 56(3), 209–226. Michael W. Harvey, Nina Yssel, Adam D. Bauserman, & John B. Merbler. (2010). Preservice Teacher Preparation for Inclusion: An Exploration of Higher Education Teacher-Training Institutions. Remedial and Special Education, 31(1), 24–33. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741932508324397 Organization, W. H. (2001). International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health: ICF. World Health Organization. Vroey, A. D., Struyf, E., & Petry, K. (2016). Secondary schools included: a literature review. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(2), 109–135. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2015.1075609 Wang, C., & Burris, M. A. (1997). Photovoice: Concept, Methodology, and Use for Participatory Needs Assessment. Health Education & Behavior, 24(3), 369–387. https://doi.org/10.1177/109019819702400309 Wang, C. C., & Redwood-Jones, Y. A. (2001). Photovoice Ethics: Perspectives from Flint Photovoice. Health Education & Behavior, 28(5), 560–572. https://doi.org/10.1177/109019810102800504 White, S. W., Ollendick, T. H., & Bray, B. C. (2011). College students on the autism spectrum: Prevalence and associated problems. Autism, 1362361310393363.
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