Visuacy, imagination, and engagement

Bland, Derek C. (2009) Visuacy, imagination, and engagement. In Proceedings of the 1st International Visual Methods Conference, Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, University of Leeds.

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Australia’s National Review of Visual Education (DEEWR, 2009) asserts the primacy of visual language ability, or ‘visuacy” in problem-solving. This paper reports on a recent university/schools research project with ‘at risk’ middle school students in which visuacy was promoted as a primary medium for obtaining data relating to issues of immediate concern to the students. Using a students-as-researchers approach, the project investigated middle school students’ perspectives on school engagement and disengagement. In this project, novice researchers used a variety of data gathering methods including photography, video interviews and drawn images as well as more traditional verbal methods, such as interviews, and quantitative methods, such as questionnaires. Engaging student imagination was a key focus of the approach taken by the project, acknowledging that student participants may be reluctant to enter dialogue with teachers and researchers on matters to which they have previously had little input. Students who have previously been marginalized and prevented from contributing their voices to educational forums often have difficulty in adjusting to the novelty of collaborative research with adults (Rudduck, 2003) and may be uncertain of their own place in the relationship that defines teacher/student interactions. It is argued that the project’s promotion of visuacy, alongside more traditional literacies and numeracy in education research, helped to overcome these concerns, engaged the imaginations of the student researchers, and provided a medium for the expression of the voices of marginalised young people.

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ID Code: 28646
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: visuacy, imagination, student voice
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Secondary Education (130106)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Please consult the author.
Deposited On: 17 Nov 2009 05:06
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:20

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