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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Using Photovoice as a Critical Pedagogical Tool in Online Discussions

  • Author(s): Reyes-Foster, Beatriz
  • DeNoyelles, Aimee
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

Anthropology classrooms challenge instructors to critically engage students in theories of the field and how these are visible in everyday life. At the same time, the rise of online education has made new technologies and tools available that allow for the design of innovative pedagogical strategies. This article considers the use of photovoice, a feminist ethnographic research method, as a classroom strategy in an online discussion in an introductory linguistic anthropology course that was taught in a variety of modalities. We explore the students’ products, photographs representing the course concept of performativity, as well as accompanying discussion posts, in order to gauge the effectiveness of the activity. Specifically, we analyze students’ photos and related discussion posts to answer the following question: In what ways did photovoice as a pedagogical strategy illuminate students’ knowledge about the concept of performativity? We discuss how photovoice provides a window into student learning and consider the teaching strategy’s potential for facilitating concept mastery and relating course concepts to lived experience. Finally, we present some recommendations to fellow anthropology educators interested in implementing this activity. Content warning: This article contains an image of a combat zone and blood that some may find disturbing or distressing.


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