Utilizing Visual Representation in Educational Research

Edited by:
Harriet J. Bessette, Kennesaw State University
Camille Sutton-Brown, Kennesaw State University

Published 2023

This edited volume focuses on visual and image-based methodologies that can be used to expand how educators approach, design, and innovate research for the purpose of informing and improving teaching and learning. Exploring how data can be utilized, collected, and rendered useful in the education arena is of utmost importance to those oriented towards utilizing research with the aim of improving educational practice. Innovative methodologies are important for preparing future researchers/scholars and teachers in developing and sustaining professional knowledge. To date, while visual methodologies are explored in various volumes related to general areas of social science, few texts exist where visual methodologies are explained or well-understood in the field of education, specifically.

This work centers on the functions, cultures, and outcomes of teaching and learning using visual data (i.e., participant-generated drawings, photo-elicitation, film, etc.) and the methods that frame this approach. It is intended for teachers, researchers, and teacher-researchers - in higher education as well as at PK-12 levels – who are ready to engage with innovative, and often compelling, research methods that make data collection across data sources both accessible and equitable. This volume illustrates how various scholars have conceptualized, generated, and executed research utilizing visual data in their own schools, classrooms, and/or districts, and what they learned from these investigations.

This edited volume is organized according to four main strands: Conducting research as visual endeavor: Assessing the nature of visual methodology, Conducting research as visual endeavor: Pedagogical innovation, What can visual data in educational research reveal: Student engagement, motivation, selfdetermination, metacognition, and mindfulness, and Conducting research as visual endeavor: Critical perspectives-critical exploration of issues in education and visual data’s engagement with, and impact on, marginalized and/or disenfranchised participants.

The chapters within each section, authored by established scholars in their fields of study, focus on some of today's key educational practices and the ways in which visual methodologies can provide innovation in the design of educational research. Each chapter within the volume reflects the importance of using credible, confirmable, reliable, and triangulated interpretations as a foundation for any claims, findings, or assertions related to pedagogical innovation, student mindfulness, and critical pedagogy. In summary, this edited volume is critically engaged, innovative, and contributes to advances in qualitative inquiry, visual research methodologies, and alternative ways of ‘seeing’ and ‘knowing’.

Foreword, Harriet J. Bessette. Preface, Harriet J. Bessette and Camille Sutton-Brown. PART I: CONDUCTING RESEARCH AS VISUAL ENDEAVOR: ASSESSING THE NATURE OF VISUAL METHODOLOGY. Visual Research Methodology in Educational Contexts: Privileging an Epistemology That Values Diversity and Cultural Responsibility, Harriet J. Bessette and Camille Sutton-Brown. Visual Elicitation Methodologies for Studying Teachers’ Thinking, John P. Myers. Visual-Ecological Literacy in Teaching and Learning Through Nature-Based Art, Bernadette Musetti, Elizabeth Musetti, and Desiree Medina. PART II: CONDUCTING RESEARCH AS VISUAL ENDEAVOR: PEDAGOGICAL INNOVATION. Image as Literacy Curriculum and Research Data: Three Seventh-Graders Experience a Multimodal English Language Arts Unit, Stephanie F. Reid. Envisioning Photovoice as a Pedagogical Innovation During COVID-19 Within Higher Education Contexts, Kristin Murphy and Elizabeth MacDonald. Matryoshka (Nesting) Dolls: A New Canvas for Visualizing Educational Biographies, Cortney Robbins and Thalia Mulvihill. PART III: WHAT CAN VISUAL DATA IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH REVEAL: STUDENT ENGAGEMENT, MOTIVATION, SELF-DETERMINATION, METACOGNITION, AND MINDFULNESS. Developing New Early Childhood Advocates Through Photovoice: Reflections From a Semester-Long Project, Meredith Jones. Street Children’s Narrative Accounts: Availability, Access, and Transpositions, Ana Inés Heras and Amalia Miano. Using Visual Images to Explore Young Children’s Responses to the COVID-19 Lockdowns in New Zealand, Carol Mutch and Noah Romero. Understanding Elementary Students’ Mathematical Thinking Using Visual Methodologies, Heather West, Angela Wiseman, and Valerie Faulkner. PART IV: CONDUCTING RESEARCH AS VISUAL ENDEAVOR: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES—CRITICAL EXPLORATION OF ISSUES IN EDUCATION AND VISUAL DATA’S ENGAGEMENT WITH, AND IMPACT ON, MARGINALIZED AND/OR DISENFRANCHISED PARTICIPANTS. Nepantlando: Visual Teaching Through Curadora Methodologies, Christen Sperry García and Leslie C. Sotomayor II. Confronting Color-Blind Education: Photovoice as Experiential Pedagogical Tool, Lorien S. Jordan. Using Participant Photography to Empower Rural Voice in Educational Research, Matthew Clay. About the Editors. About the Contributors.