Images and the ethics of inclusion and exclusion: Learning through participatory photography in education

Ian Kaplan, Susie Miles, Andy Howes

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    Participatory research methods directly engage with the topics that they set out to address. It is therefore no surprise that participatory research practice on the topic of educational inclusion and exclusion raises ethical issues for the participatory researcher that are themselves about inclusion and exclusion. This paper describes and analyses a pilot postgraduate course on the use of participatory photography in this area, and uses this analysis to illustrate the value of sensitive and reflexive participative research as a powerful educational practice. A multi-ethnic and multinational group of students attended the course and explored the use of images as a qualitative research tool as a means to further developing their own sociocultural perspectives on inclusion. As a method, participatory photography was able to support students to represent their own perspectives on issues such as inclusion and diversity. Just as importantly, it facilitated inclusive teaching and learning, making it easy for students to take an active role in ongoing evaluation of the course and in devising their own assessment criteria. More significantly still, a deep exploration of practices of inclusion and exclusion was facilitated by the ethical issues that were raised and addressed during the research process. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs © 2010 NASEN.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-202
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Research in Special Educational Needs
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


    • Diversity
    • Ethics
    • Exclusion
    • Inclusion
    • Participatory photography


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