Does visual participatory research have resilience-promoting value? Teacher experiences of generating and interpreting drawings
Theron, Linda C.
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I report on a phenomenological investigation into teacher experiences of generating and interpreting drawings during their participation in the Resilient Educators (REds) intervention. All 18 teacher participants came from rural communities challenged by HIV&AIDS. I reflect critically on the ambivalence in teacher experiences of drawings to highlight the complexity of employing drawings as visual method. Then, I interpret the teachers’ methodological experiences through the lens of social-ecological understandings of resilience in order to address the question of how drawings, as form of visual participatory methodology, may make a positive difference and nurture participant resilience. What the teachers’ experiences suggest is that drawings offer methodological opportunities for participants to make constructive meaning of adversity, to take action, to experience mastery, and to regulate emotion associated with adversity. All of the aforementioned are well documented pathways to resilience. I theorise, therefore, that researchers with a social conscience would be well advised to use drawings, albeit in competent and participatory ways, as this methodology potentiates participant resilience and positive change
- Faculty of Humanities