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Durham University

Department of Anthropology

Honorary Titles

Publication details for Dr Megan Wainwright

Wainwright, M., Bingham, S. & Sicwebu, N. (2017). Photovoice and photodocumentary for enhancing community partner engagement and student learning in a public health field school in Cape Town. Journal of Experiential Education 40(4): 409-424.

Author(s) from Durham


Background: Field school research, which begins by considering community partners as pedagogues and thus exploring their perspectives on student learning, is uncommon. Photovoice is a method for self-expression of such marginalized voices. Purpose: Describe the photovoice to photodocumentary process and present results of its evaluation. Methodology/Approach: We employed photovoice with the local guides who accompany community health research field school students in Cape Town. Guides were prompted to take photographs of what students may not see or understand about their community. These were discussed at three workshops and developed into a photodocumentary for inclusion in the curriculum. Twenty-one students completed an open-ended questionnaire. These, and student/staff discussions, were thematically analyzed. Findings/Conclusion: Students reported learning about cultural practices which otherwise would not be visible to them. They felt greater connection to their guides who they saw in a new light, and became aware of how topic-specificity drew attention away from overarching characteristics of community life. Questions raised might be better explored through facilitated discussion rather than question-and-answer sessions alone. Implications: Field schools depend on academic–community partnerships. Photovoice can create space for community partner reflection on student learning and the co-creation of effective pedagogical tools valued by students.