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Challenges when Photovoice is used as a research method in the school setting

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Author list: Gillander Gådin, Katja;Warne, Maria
Publication year: 2019

Abstract

There is growing body of research about visual methods in health promotion. Photovoice (PV), a community based participatory research method, is one of these methods that being used more and more frequently in health promotion (HP) interventions and research with young people. The aim of PV is to increase empowerment and participation among vulnerable groups. PV is often used together with so-called at-risk youth in after- school settings, more seldom in the school setting, as a part of the curriculum, with youth with varied background. The purpose of this study was to highlight dilemmas and discuss challenges when photovoice was used in the school setting as a part of the curriculum. The participants were girls and school staff at a vocational program in an upper secondary school in the Northern part of Sweden. A thematic content analysis was used to analyse data from observations, student workshops, focus groups and face-to face interviews with school staff, with focus on the PV method. The result is on progress but shows challenges that needs to be handled: hierarchies limiting the dialogue, the slow pace of the process creates frustration, and finally the method is likely to reinforce previous mistrust against adults when the participants proposals are not implemented. The conclusions is that scholars using photovoice as a research method at school need to be aware of challenges when they use PV.


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