Digital Storytelling and
Social Justice Education
Daniela Gachago (@dgachago17),
Janet Condy, Eunice Ivala, Agnes Chigona
...
Digital storytelling for social change
We listen to stories
in order to be changed(Krog, Mpolweni, Ratele 2009)
• Successfully / socially just
democracy should be judged on
the freedom she offers individuals
and the ability to ‘do val...
• Feminist philosopher
• Passionate defender of Humanities
• Focus on emotions
• Founder of Human Development and
Capabili...
• Every modern democracy is also a society in
which people differ greatly along many
parameters, including religion, ethni...
• …while it is important for education to teach
skills and capabilities that will promote
learners employability, it is eq...
1. students’ capacity to see the world from the viewpoint of other
people,
2. to teach attitudes toward human weakness and...
• The silence of individuals or members of a
community in any given society is one of the
greatest obstacles to achieving ...
• Culture of silence can also refer to the lack of
public awareness, acknowledgment and
dialogue on sensitive issues and a...
• The culture of silence is
– the marginalisation from
mainstream society and
with it the absence of a
social presence,
– ...
• ‘Creating and sharing digital
stories is one way that this can
be achieved as it not only
captures the experiences and
h...
Digital storytelling in the Education Faculty
• 2013 fourth year ISP Education students
• Diverse class: 74 students
– Gender: 31% male and 69% female
– Language: 28% i...
• Interpretative / critical research approach
• 4 focus group conversations, 27 students
(Daniela, Janet, Chantyclaire and...
• Start of the analytical
process
• What is a narrative?
What are boundaries of
narrative?
• Narratives as poems (Miles an...
I think teachers are part of socialization process.
So we have got to do what government wants,
educate people.
We gotta i...
Research question
Does digital
storytelling facilitate
Nussbaum’s
capabilities for social
justice?
I think that’s exactly
what we are experiencing
when we did our own digital stories
even as grown ups and adults
and peopl...
I could hear just in the tone of her voice –
it was just so emotional
and she was just so proud of her sister
and in the w...
One thing that it has done to me
is that I am more sensitive towards people.
I am not a very patient person
and I don’t ca...
I would do it at the beginning of the year,
because at the beginning of the year,
it’s a new year,
especially if they are ...
Now the story has been watched by the whole class,
So when they go back to the classroom,
they’ll feel like some of the ch...
It is very very hard for us as...
I mean its not impossible,
we can make a difference, we are agents of social change
but ...
I think in the beginning
when I came to the teaching
I had a totally different view point of what teaching is
And it was a...
Listening to the other people’s stories,
I felt like, if I want to make a change, it starts with me.
I need to be able to ...
Discussion
and
Conclusion
Benefits of model
• Evidence of capabilities listed by Nussbaum (2010)
• Strong focus on capability to connect
• Power of ...
Discussion – benefits of model
• DST as social pedagogy: Create awareness among
privileged students about voicelessness of...
Focus on the individual
• Strong sense of individual agency within
oppressive system/society - strong mistrust of
parents ...
I just want to say now that:
It gives me hope for the future in South Africa
because looking at the 51 teachers
that are m...
Limitations of model
• Need to understand how individual
capabilities work within systemic structures ->
need for collecti...
Conclusion
• While we readily agree, that social justice in education is a matter
that should be tackled on a global and m...
• Benmayor, R. (2008). Digital storytelling as a signature pedagogy for the new humanities. Arts and Humanities in Higher
...
Developing capabilities of the heart and the mind: digital storytelling and a tool for social justice education
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Developing capabilities of the heart and the mind: digital storytelling and a tool for social justice education

  1. 1. Digital Storytelling and Social Justice Education Daniela Gachago (@dgachago17), Janet Condy, Eunice Ivala, Agnes Chigona Cape Peninsula University of Technology Western Cape, South Africa
  2. 2. Digital storytelling for social change We listen to stories in order to be changed(Krog, Mpolweni, Ratele 2009)
  3. 3. • Successfully / socially just democracy should be judged on the freedom she offers individuals and the ability to ‘do valuable acts or reach valuable states of being.’ (Sen 2007, p. 270) • Capabilities are the real and actual freedoms (opportunities) people have to do and be what they value being and doing (Sen, 1992, 1999; Nussbaum, 2000) • Potential to achieve functionings (Walker 2012) Capabilities approach
  4. 4. • Feminist philosopher • Passionate defender of Humanities • Focus on emotions • Founder of Human Development and Capability Association • ‘I argue that capabilities can help us to construct a normative conception of social justice, with critical potential for gender issues, only if we specify a definite set of capabilities as the most important ones to protect’ Martha Nussbaum
  5. 5. • Every modern democracy is also a society in which people differ greatly along many parameters, including religion, ethnicity, wealth and class, physical impairment, gender, and sexuality, and in which all voters are making choices that have a major impact on the lives of people who differ from themselves. Nussbaum, M. C. 2010. Not for profit - why democracy needs the Humanities, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
  6. 6. • …while it is important for education to teach skills and capabilities that will promote learners employability, it is equally important that learners are taught the skills to live in societies that are increasingly diverse and complex (Nussbaum, 2010, p. 9) Learning to live with difference!
  7. 7. 1. students’ capacity to see the world from the viewpoint of other people, 2. to teach attitudes toward human weakness and helplessness that suggest that weakness is not shameful ; 3. teach children not to be ashamed of need and incompleteness but to see these as occasions for cooperation and reciprocity, to develop the capacity for genuine concern for others, 4. to undermine the tendency to shrink from minorities of various kinds in disgust, 5. to teach real and true things about other groups, so as to counter stereotypes and the disgust that often goes with them, 6. to promote accountability by treating each child as a responsible agent 7. and to promote critical thinking, the skill and courage it requires to raise a dissenting voice (Nussbaum, 2010, p. 45). New list of capabilities for a healthy democracy
  8. 8. • The silence of individuals or members of a community in any given society is one of the greatest obstacles to achieving equality (Tyler & Smith, 1995, Chong, 2001) • …absence of a public voice in a context that is experienced as culturally imperialistic, particularly in educational settings that form a reflection of society at large (Freire, 2000) • translates into a lack of social presence – an invisibility that plagues those who do not form part of the “mainstream” or the “norm” (Morrow & Torres, 2002) Culture of silence
  9. 9. • Culture of silence can also refer to the lack of public awareness, acknowledgment and dialogue on sensitive issues and abuses such as domestic or sexual violence, drug abuse, the contraction of HIV, disability, etc (Goldman, 2001) • Stemming from shame that is associated with these experiences and reinforcement of cultural norms into pubic which is considered inappropriate Culture of Silence
  10. 10. • The culture of silence is – the marginalisation from mainstream society and with it the absence of a social presence, – as well as the unspoken nature of social issues and abuses (Goldman, 2001) – > Clear obstacle towards toward social justice 2 dimensions of culture of silence
  11. 11. • ‘Creating and sharing digital stories is one way that this can be achieved as it not only captures the experiences and hopes, but also shares them with a wide and diverse audience, thereby establishing a social presence.’ (Thumbran, 2010: 18) Breaking the silence
  12. 12. Digital storytelling in the Education Faculty
  13. 13. • 2013 fourth year ISP Education students • Diverse class: 74 students – Gender: 31% male and 69% female – Language: 28% isiXhosa speaking, 61% English speaking and 11% Afrikaans speaking – Race: 28% African, 12% White and 60% Coloured • Development of digital story on one social issue in Education they feel passionate about • Link of bigger issue with personal story Context
  14. 14. • Interpretative / critical research approach • 4 focus group conversations, 27 students (Daniela, Janet, Chantyclaire and Eunice) • Self selected, diverse groups • Small groups: safe space for conversations • …to create a less intimidating, more gratifying and stimulating space for students than is possible, for example, in a one-to-one interview (Madriz 2003) • Thematic and narrative analysis Research methodology
  15. 15. • Start of the analytical process • What is a narrative? What are boundaries of narrative? • Narratives as poems (Miles and Huberman 1994: 110) Transcription and representation of narratives
  16. 16. I think teachers are part of socialization process. So we have got to do what government wants, educate people. We gotta inform society which is broken to a large extent. Many of the townships in South Africa, many of the areas in Cape Flatlands have been left like that to malfect, to get to malform. And you know: as teachers we do have to try and correct those errors but we are not the monument of society. Yet we can be a conscience of society. But society at its smallest level emanates from the family unit and that is broken. Working in a broken society
  17. 17. Research question Does digital storytelling facilitate Nussbaum’s capabilities for social justice?
  18. 18. I think that’s exactly what we are experiencing when we did our own digital stories even as grown ups and adults and people who are out of school, we were able to learn about other people and discover things that we might not have ever imagined that he thought or felt or viewed the world that way I think its very it’s a very eye opening experience. (Student 1, Chantyclaire’s Group)
  19. 19. I could hear just in the tone of her voice – it was just so emotional and she was just so proud of her sister and in the way she portrayed her sister in there and this relationship they have with each other. I could see that there is such an unbelievable human bond. Because I could just hear it in your voice you know. You are passionate a lot of times about things that you, you have this, you know, you are almost like me when you are passionate, there is almost a bit of anger that you manifest, but there it was unbelievably warm and I just felt that resonating when you spoke about that bond that you have. (Student 6, Danielas’s Group) C2: importance of vulnerability and emotions – 19 quotes
  20. 20. One thing that it has done to me is that I am more sensitive towards people. I am not a very patient person and I don’t can I say tolerant nonsense, yeah. But I am more sensitive towards people now, especially the stories that I have heard in my group. It has touched me so deeply that I have tried to practice tolerance towards people I try to be more patient and I try to act sensitively toward everybody, they know, anyway I tease them always. After this digital story I realized that we need to practice more sensitivity towards others because I might it find funny, I sometimes still do but she doesn’t. (Student 3, Daniela’s Group)
  21. 21. I would do it at the beginning of the year, because at the beginning of the year, it’s a new year, especially if they are going from one phase to the next, so there’s not always the same people in your class, especially if you are moving from primary school to high school. Then you don’t know anybody in your class, and it’s a nice way for them to actually show: This is who I am. Before you judge me and put this stigma on me, this is who I am, and if you can’t accept this, I would like you to and respect me for it. Even if you can’t accept I would like you to respect me for who I am. (Student 4, Janet’s Group)
  22. 22. Now the story has been watched by the whole class, So when they go back to the classroom, they’ll feel like some of the children are still thinking about what she told or what he told in the story. And I think they will have mutual respect in the classroom because they now know their situations and they now have seen their challenges, their common challenges and their different challenges. (Student 6, Janet’s Group)
  23. 23. It is very very hard for us as... I mean its not impossible, we can make a difference, we are agents of social change but there are so many social issues that our kids are plagued with; first , drugs, drug abuse … kids are coming to school who just don’t have the capacity to be trained academically and then obviously I mean in any society, there is you know there is a whole lot of prestige placed on that gangsterism mentality you know. There is value that is where people would rather view you know those who display such qualities as being fitting or something to aspire to. So there, its really hard to reason with kids. But we can never give up as educators. We absolutely have to try. There really is a lot against us because society has been left for so long just to degenerate. (Student 6, Daniela’s group)
  24. 24. I think in the beginning when I came to the teaching I had a totally different view point of what teaching is And it was a lot of negative aspects though, but I think the digital story has really helped me to look beyond the negative aspect of teaching and actually focus more on what you as an individual can do for the students. Not just looking at your classroom but also broadening your spectrum and looking at society within your country. I think it really about me more positively at teaching. (Student 3, Daniela’s group) Agency
  25. 25. Listening to the other people’s stories, I felt like, if I want to make a change, it starts with me. I need to be able to be that role model. I need to be able to be that person the learners look up to, to be able to make sure that my generation does not allow the next generation to go through what we’ve had to go through in terms of racism because of our parents. …. I can’t really control what happens inside of a home but I can control what happens inside of the classroom no matter what has happened at home. … If they work hard enough, if I give them the right support and if I let them know that, yes, you know, there are bad things that happen in life but look how much good has come out of it.
  26. 26. Discussion and Conclusion
  27. 27. Benefits of model • Evidence of capabilities listed by Nussbaum (2010) • Strong focus on capability to connect • Power of the humanities (Nussbaum 2010, Walker 2003) • Power of creativity / constructionism • Allowing students to envisage a better future • Strong focus on personal capabilities / agency • High confidence among students /recognition: subtle change in a long history of subjugated identities and a country that is still characterised by low self-esteem of the formerly oppressed (Soudien 2013)
  28. 28. Discussion – benefits of model • DST as social pedagogy: Create awareness among privileged students about voicelessness of marginalised individuals (Benmayor 2008) • Voicing of ‘counterstories’, breaking silence on some ‘tabus’, but not all (Solorzano & Yosso 2002) • Certain stories more easy to tell for certain students – emotions as site of social control(Boler 1999) • Capabilities beyond classroom, for real life: develop an education system that works with capabilities that are valuable in the full range of social spaces young people inhabit and not just the capabilities valued by markets looking for readily deployable skills (Soudien 2013: 55)
  29. 29. Focus on the individual • Strong sense of individual agency within oppressive system/society - strong mistrust of parents / school / government • Sense of meritocracy: as long as you work hard, you will achieve … (Solorzano & Yosso 2002) • But no real sense of being able to effect systemic change • Danger of high disappointment when entering school system?
  30. 30. I just want to say now that: It gives me hope for the future in South Africa because looking at the 51 teachers that are moving out of here next year. A lot of them identified social issues but not just identify … they have actually given proactive suggestions to what is happening, how to better those issues that our country is facing I think that itself is hope right there. That there people that are thinking of way, improvements, I think that is why they are people out there who want to make a difference in the community even if it is just one change there its like one change that can make changes (Eunice’s group) Start of a collective sense of capability?
  31. 31. Limitations of model • Need to understand how individual capabilities work within systemic structures -> need for collective capabilities which benefit the collective (Ibrahim 2006) • Lack of focus on power? (Walker 2003) • Critical engagement with world? (Soudien 2013) • Safe spaces for critical inquiry – follow up needed? Converting capabilities into functionings (Wilson-Strydom 2011)
  32. 32. Conclusion • While we readily agree, that social justice in education is a matter that should be tackled on a global and macroeconomic level for and foremost as individual educators we have a role to play. And projects such as these, even if only providing a small patch in the larger clothes that is social justice education in South African and in the world, it is a necessary patch and will work as part of this cloth towards making the world a slightly better place, ‘education both as and for democratic citizenship’ (Walker, 2003, p. 170). • Change might not necessarily be affected immediately or in even in the life of a storyteller who shares their experiences, but the mere fact that it is being highlighted can mobilise action from others with similar experiences and hopes for the future (Thumbran, 2010: 18)
  33. 33. • Benmayor, R. (2008). Digital storytelling as a signature pedagogy for the new humanities. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 7, 188–204. Boler, M. (1999). Feeling power: Emotions and Education. New York: Routledge. • Chong, D. (2001). Collective Action and the Civil Rights Movement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press • Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Continuum. Goldman, • Goldman, L. (2001). Breaking the Silence, 2nd ed. New York: Brunner-Routledge • Ibrahim, S. S. (2006). From Individual to Collective Capabilities: The Capability Approach as a Conceptual Framework for Self- help. Journal of Human Development, 7(3), 397–416. Morrow, R.A. & Torres, C.A. (2002). Reading Freire and Habermas – Critical Pedagogy and Transformative Social Change. New York: Teacher's College. • Krog, Mpolweni & Ratele (2009). There was this goat: Investigating the Truth Commission testimony of Notrose Nobomvu Khonile. Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. • Madriz, E. (2003). Focus groups in feminist research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications. • Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. • Nussbaum, M. C. (2010). Not for profit - why democracy needs the Humanities, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. • Nussbaum, M. C. (2000). Women and human development: the capabilities approach. Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singopore, Sao Paolo: Cambridge University Press. • Sen, A. (2007). Capability and Well-Being. In D. M. Hausman (Ed.), The Philosophy of Economics (pp. 270–294). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Soudien, C. (2013). Bearding the Capability Deprivation Machine: The Pedagogical Deal for Post- apartheid Young South Africa. Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning, 1(1), 53–79. Thumbran, J. K. (2010). Digital Storytelling and the Facilitation of Social Justice in Contexts of Social Injustice. Unpublished Thesis. • Solorzano, D. G., & Yosso, T. J. (2002). Critical Race Methodology: Counter storytelling as an Analytical Framework for Education Research. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(1), 23–44. • Tyler, T.R. & Smith, H.J. (1995). Working Paper: Social Justice and Social Movements. Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California, Berkeley. • Walker, M. (2003). Framing social justice in education: what does the “capabilities” approach offer? British Journal of Educational Studies, 51(2), 168–187. • Walker, M. (2009). “Making a world that is worth living in”: Humanities teaching and formation of practical reasoning. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 8(3), 227–242. • Wilson-Strydom, M. (2011). University access for social justice : a capabilities perspective, 31, 407–418.

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