A teacher-researcher examining pedagogy: the use of visual and digital methods in capturing pupils' perspectives

Year: 2019

Author: Niemi, Reetta

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

I am a teacher researcher and my research interest has related to developing new methods in examining students’ experiences in classroom context. When developing these methods I have for example used photographs and diamond ranking (e.g. Woolner et al., 2010, 2012, 2014; Clark, 2012; Clark et al., 2013) as a method in collecting my students’ experiences.

My latest interest has been, how to use digital devises in collecting data from children. In this study I developed a new digital and visual method in capturing students’ perspectives. The data of this presentation is based on pictures that I took in my own classroom (4th grade) during lessons from August 2018 to October 2018. After taking the pictures I uploaded them (n=136) to school’s intranet and the students (n=23) had an access to the pictures. Then, I, together with the students talked about how to make a visual artefact from pictures by using iPads with an application they wanted to use. The only limit was to keep on expressing the most positive experiences, the medium experiences and the experiences of the practices that needed improvement. The students were also supposed to give me advises to improve these practices they considered something they wanted to improve (Author).

The students ended up using three different applications in expressing their experiences Book Creator (n= 20), iMovie (n=3) and PowerPoint (n=2). It took altogether 90 minutes to finish artefacts. The applications used made it also possible for the students to record a self-interview in which they were able to reason for their choices. All data was collected as part of normal school day and all activities were something that fulfill the goals of the Finnish national core curriculum (Author).

The methods that I used let me gain knowledge from my students’ experiences of pedagogical relations and helped me to understand how they perceive pedagogical practices used in the classroom and join them in the process of developing these practices.

In this presentation I will discuss how classroom context provides the students with a natural platform to learn participatory skills. By giving them possibilities to express their experiences and by supporting them to make suggestions we can educate constructively critical citizens. I will also discuss how this method developed in this study can be transferred also to other contexts and how it can be used as a tool that supports socially just education.