Using PhotoVoice to Understand Transformative Social Emotional Learning in a Danville Community

1/19/2022 5:01:00 AM

Hope Center logoAcademic mentor: Kevin Tan

Community partner: Hope Center (Danville)

Project description:
This project will understand the use of PhotoVoice to promote transformative social-emotional learning (TSEL) principles in a community in Danville. TSEL is the process by which adults and young people engage in developing solutions towards social problems that is rooted in principles of youth empowerment, identity development, agency, and belonging. PhotoVoice, a community-based participatory action research method, can be an appropriate approach to bring adults and young people together to understand issues faced by the Danville community. Despite literature on the use of PhotoVoice with children, PhotoVoice has yet to be applied to study TSEL with young populations.

The scholar will be working with children (and their parents) served by Hope Center, Danville. Hope Center will conduct social and emotional programs during Meade Park Elementary Summer School (June 13 - 30) and a Day Camp at their Fair Oaks location (July 6 - 29). We will embed PhotoVoice work in the social and emotional groupwork activities, providing children with digital cameras to photograph images or objects that represent their self, family, and community. We will engage in conversations with the children around the images that they captured with the digital cameras. We plan to exhibit these images at Hope Center and invite parents and community members to view these photographs. We will engage adults in discussions to understand their thoughts on the issues and challenges facing their community through the lens of their children.

We will explore three research questions: (1) How do children in this Danville Community understand their identity, agency, and belonging? (2) What are their parents' perspectives on promoting the principles of TSEL? (3) What are the issues, challenges, and solutions guiding the use of PhotoVoice to understand TSEL with young populations?

Role of the Community-Academic Scholar:
During the 10-week program, the Community-Academic Scholar will be primarily responsible to plan and implement the social and emotional learning groupwork activities embedded with PhotoVoice at Hope Center (or Meade Park Elementary) based on the SEL Strong Kids curriculum.

The scholar will report to Hope Center (or Meade Park Elementary) in Danville to conduct the sessions at least twice a week. Dr. Tan is willing to provide additional financial support to subsidize the cost for traveling to Danville. One day of the week will be reserved for the scholar to participate in the Community-Academic Scholars activities. The other two days will be spent working with Dr. Tan on documenting the PhotoVoice activities and analyzing the images and transcripts. If more time is needed at Hope Center for the social and emotional groups and PhotoVoice work, Dr. Tan is willing to channel more resources for the scholar to travel to Danville.

The scholar will coordinate all social and emotional group and PhotoVoice related activities:

  • Activities with Children: Conduct social and emotional groups at both Meade Park Elementary Summer School and Hope Center's Day Camp; Seek parents' consent for PhotoVoice project; Manage the digital cameras; Interview children on the images captured in the digital images
  • Activities with Adults: Organize the exhibition at Hope Center; Organize and co-facilitate the parents focus groups