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Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
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Using Photovoice to Determine Preservice Teachers'
Preparedness to Teach



Jody L. Langdon , Ashley Walker , Gavin Colquitt & Tony Pritchard



Department of Health and Kinesiology , Georgia Southern University , Statesboro , GA
Published online: 26 Dec 2013.

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To cite this article: Jody L. Langdon , Ashley Walker , Gavin Colquitt & Tony Pritchard (2014) Using Photovoice to
Determine Preservice Teachers' Preparedness to Teach, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 85:1, 22-27, DOI:
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The initial Teacher Standards (National Association for Sport and Physical Education. skills. Program assessment is an ongoing process. and student learning. Although competence in teaching is often measured by preservice teacher performance during student teaching. Physical Education. Many PETE programs share similarities. & Metzler. 1990). 2011). and shifts in educational policy have all led to changes in schools. and shown to be effective (Metzler & Tjeerdsma. and Tony Pritchard is an associate professor. Lund. in press). LANGDON ASHLEY WALKER GAVIN COLQUITT TONY PRITCHARD T he goal of physical education teacher education (PETE) faculty is to prepare preservice teachers to teach their physical education students the knowledge. GA.Downloaded by [University of Bucharest ] at 12:12 23 June 2015 Using Photovoice TO DETERMINE PRESERVICE TEACHERS’ PREPAREDNESS TO TEACH JODY L. this is a major programmatic outcome rather than a process. teaching. and content knowledge of preservice teachers (Metzler & Tjeerdsma. also known as pedagogical content knowledge (PCK. Program assessment has four related and interdependent purposes: (1) accountability. 1998). Pritchard. Physical education teacher education faculty must engage in assessment and reflection that examines the effectiveness of their programs and the processes that contribute toward preservice teacher performance. Langdon (jlangdon@georgiasouthern. in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. made necessary by continuous changes in society 22 VOLUME 85 NUMBER 1 JANUARY 2014 (Gurvitch. . & Langdon. Initial efforts of comprehensive program assessment in PETE programs have focused on the dispositions. and (4) knowledge (Galluzzo & Craig. evolving health behaviors. as typical data sources include course grades and certification exams Jody L. Measurement of physical education-related content knowledge is a commonality in all PETE programs. and competence to engage in physical activity for a lifetime (American Alliance for Health. 2000). 1986). The increased reliance on technology. Ashley Walker. 2008). (2) improvement. 2000). McCollum. (3) Recreation and Dance. implemented. 2009) presented new competencies for physical education teachers that dictated changes in PETE programs. as faculty members strive to develop knowledge of content. Models of comprehensive program assessment for PETE programs have been presented (Metzler & Tjeerdsma. The profession is aware of these changes and of the evolving skill set needed by new physical education teachers. pedagogical knowledge. and Gavin Colquitt are assistant professors. Shulman. These changes have caused some to modify previous program-assessment models in order to help PETE programs to meet these new competencies (Colquitt.

preparedness to teach in the real world). & Clarke. and consistency (Appleton. and children with autism (Booth & Booth. 2004). The students are then required to present and discuss their photographs with the class using the SHOWeD method. the decision makers are local policy makers or community leaders. disposable cameras can be used as well. Sharing resources. Within the scope of PETE programs. & Xiang.Downloaded by [University of Bucharest ] at 12:12 23 June 2015 (Tjeerdsma. Downey & Anyaegbunam.e. This type of project is best suited for a seminar class during the student-teaching semester. 451). giving special attention to issues that are of greatest concern. 2010). Carnahan. Teachers should instruct students to record everyday realities through pictures. p. distributing cameras (if needed). Brainstorming is recommended to help facilitate discussion and to guide participants’ picture taking before they begin the project. most cell phones include digital camera capabilities. Photovoice methodology recommends that participants attend a training session (lasting 2–4 hours) to learn about Photovoice. 2000). reviewing methodology protocol. Students will take pictures throughout the day to document their everyday realities. Latino adolescents. photovoice. 1995. While information on dispositions and pedagogical knowledge can inform PETE faculty about what preservice teachers know and do. but print photos can be scanned as well. Cameras are an integral part of the methodology. The advantage of using Photovoice as a tool for program assessment comes from its unique benefits for qualitative research. and uses of Photovoice. Wilkin & Liamputtong. Rhodes. Digital photographs are easiest to upload to presentation programs such as PowerPoint. Walker. Metzler. For the purpose of the project. If a program does not have a seminar class associated with student teaching. It has been used in several settings and among diverse populations to explore a variety of health and social and previous examples of Photovoice projects during the training session. goals. 2001. While digital cameras are recommended. The session is also devoted to answering participant questions. 2003. Burris. “Dispositions in PETE programs have previously focused on students attitudes and beliefs about teaching. and member checking increases the method’s transferability. Unlike other fieldbased techniques. and discuss a plan of action to make positive changes (Wang & Burris. 1996). provides insight to the purpose. The SHOWeD method is the recommended five-question outline to help participants discuss and describe their photographs. 2000. Photovoice achieves authenticity and JOPERD 23 . In qualitative-based research (like Photovoice). it does not address pedagogical content knowledge (i. a methodology commonly used in community-based participatory research (CBPR) could be applied to PETE settings. Photovoice allows for the elicitation of a more in-depth response to the preparedness question. and (3) connect the ideas and concerns shared in the discussions with decision makers (Wang & Pies. rural Appalachian youth. What Is Photovoice? Photovoice is a participatory action research technique introduced by Wang and Burris (1997). & Mozen. the decision makers are PETE faculty and program administrators. To complete the project. Tjeerdsma. Clark & Zimmer. preservice teachers would take pictures that illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the program in terms of how prepared they felt after their coursework was completed. 2006. Photovoice allows for collaborative feedback to both preservice teachers and PETE faculty. Hergenrather.. with the potential to more clearly show what preservice teachers feel are the strengths and weaknesses of a program. Additionally. In the case of gathering the perceptions of preservice teachers. and brainstorming. It is recommended that the steps to the Photovoice technique developed by Wang and Burris (1997) be utilized to guide this project. it is imperative that preservice teachers ensure that parental photo-release forms have been signed before taking photos of students. 2003). Streng et al. & Mozen. authenticity. 2006. so access to cameras can be a major limitation. 2010. Metzler. To address teacher preparedness. 2000). reliability and validity are achieved by increasing the methodology’s credibility. In most cases. focus groups. 1997). 2004. Regardless of the device used to take photographs. Instructors should adjust the time allowed to take photographs according to class schedules and the overall goals of the project. The basic premise of the Photovoice methodology can be summarized by three overall goals: (1) allow participants to photograph everyday phenomena that relate to a given question. & Walker. transferability. mothers with learning disabilities. present and discuss photographs with other classmates. Fade. The pedagogical knowledge of preservice teachers has previously been studied by examining and assessing teaching behaviors (Metzler. Triangulation of data-collection methods through the use of photographs. Photovoice is typically used to allow participants to visually document their experiences through the use of photography to promote social change. (2) allow for group discussions about the photographs. It is also recommended that preservice teachers be given at least seven days to take photographs. It has been used by groups such as Aboriginal health workers. and students’ perceptions or beliefs about their teaching skills or aspects of their education” (Tjeerdsma. such as www. The purpose of this article is to introduce Photovoice as a technique for understanding the perceptions of preservice teachers in PETE programs and to provide an example of how this methodology was implemented in a PETE program. One way to address this is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a program based on preservice teachers’ perceptions of preparedness. allowing for small-scale change in a relatively short amount of time. The five questions included in this process are (1) What do you See here? (2) What is really Happening? (3) How does this affect Our lives? (4) Why does this strength or weakness Exist? (5) What can we Do about it? (Wang. and learners. physical education. PETE faculty must make sure that each preservice teacher has access to a camera.. Recommended Procedures It will be important to provide preservice teachers with a background of Photovoice and its potential uses before beginning such a project. it can be completed through weekly meetings during the studentteaching semester.

N/A Entire presentation is less than 3 megabytes (MB). presentation design. barriers. and other effects are appealing and culminate with an effective presentation. and resources. 22–26 slides total. Fewer than 22 slides total. 28–30 slides total. As with any major assignment in a course.. and consistency is achieved by following a stable protocol. Spelling and Grammar More than 4 errors 2–4 errors Fewer than 2 errors Total Points (out of 27) 24  Volume 85  Number 1  January 2014 . In addition to stressing the confidentiality of the process (i. Provides a detailed. The slides are easy to read and appealing. Provides a brief summary of how the context and culture affect health behavior. The purpose of the evaluation should be to ensure that students adhere to the parameters of the project so that the students’ presentations foster critical thinking. no discussion about the project outside of class and information shared with stakeholders will not be identified by individual students). transitions. Table 1 provides a sample rubric for a college-level assessment. Evaluation should not emphasize the interpretation of the photographs since the purpose is to allow students to express their stories through their own experiences. Photos are not in JPEG or GIF file format and are inserted in PowerPoint. Overall design lacks creativity and is not appealing. Few/ineffective corresponding summary/explanatory slides and conclusion. All photos are resized (no larger than 1300 megapixels) in JPEG or GIF file format and inserted in PowerPoint. and a conclusion. presentation format. Sample Rubric for College-Level Assessment Rating Photographs Unacceptable Acceptable Target Fewer than 5 photos per category 7–8 photos per category 9–10 photos per category 1 2 3 Categorization of Photos Not all photos are identified as a barrier or resource. barriers. One photo per slide.. Design Slides are difficult to read. Most photos are resized (no larger than 1300 megapixels) in JPEG or GIF file format and inserted in PowerPoint. comprehensive summary of how the context and culture affect health behavior.e. see Wang and Burris (1997). 4 or more sentences following each photo explaining what the image represents and the rationale for labeling it a Barrier or a Resource. barriers. 2–3 sentences following each photo explaining what the image represents and the rationale for labeling it a Barrier or a Resource. the evaluation criteria can be modified by the instructor. Cultural-Context Reflection Does not provide a summary of how the context and culture affect health behavior. Therefore.e. Has a title slide. preservice teachers) whose photographs represent their lived experiences. the use of a moderator outside of the program to conduct the assessment would be helpful. For a more detailed description of Photovoice methodology. categories for photographs. Fewer than 10 photo slides. Format (Photos) Most photos are not resized (smaller than 1300 megapixels). Slides are easy to read and appealing. Format (Total File Size) Entire presentation is larger than 3 megabytes (MB). at least 10 photo slides with corresponding summary/explanatory slides (10). the Photovoice project should be evaluated on specific criteria related to the assignment’s goals and objectives. Areas of evaluation might include number of photographs. All slides. The project should be process-oriented and focused on the SHOWeD method. and resources. 14–15 photo slides with corresponding summary/ explanatory slides (14–15). and a conclusion. An outside moderator allows students to share information freely without fear that it will influence their evaluation. All photos are correctly identified as a barrier or resource. Effective. detailed title slide. Photovoice Project Example and Timeline In the Senior Seminar for Health and Physical Educators course at Georgia Southern University. Photovoice was used as a class Downloaded by [University of Bucharest ] at 12:12 23 June 2015 Table 1. Most photos are identified as a barrier or resource. One photo per slide. More than one photo per slide. written explanation of each photograph. and grammar/spelling. and resources. Written Explanation Fewer than 2 sentences following each photo explaining what the image represents and the rationale for labeling it a Barrier or a Resource.credibility because the methodology relies on the participation of the target population (i. Format (PowerPoint) Does not have a title slide.

The preservice teachers learned about the goals of Photovoice and how it has been applied in community health (one class session. Preservice teachers were given 14 days to take photographs. With the course meeting only once a week. Program Strengths and Weaknesses Program Strengths Program Weaknesses Best Practices Subcategories = administration of fitness testing.Downloaded by [University of Bucharest ] at 12:12 23 June 2015 Table 2. faculty-member availability Working with Vulnerable Populations Subcategories = students with disabilities. writing and adapting lesson plans. the instructor allowed the Photovoice moderator to conduct the two class sessions so the preservice teachers felt comfortable presenting their photographs. approximately 60 minutes #3: Introduce Photovoice to participants 1 class session. The overall purpose of the project was to actively engage preservice teachers in a discussion about program needs and their perceived preparedness to teach in real-life situations. During each photograph presentation. During the second class session. 60 minutes). The instructor used a second class session (60 minutes) to allow preservice teachers to ask questions about the Photovoice project and to provide final instructions before preservice teachers began to take photographs. using slide-presentation software to display photos. approximately 60 minutes Class Activity Person Responsible Introduction of Photovoice methodology and class assignment Instructor Part I (30 minutes): In-class discussion of Photovoice questions. Timeline for Photovoice Project Corresponding Photovoice Methodology Step Time Allotted #3: Introduce Photovoice to participants 1 class session. The moderator was asked to evaluate the rubric components specific to the photograph descriptions and student participation. At the beginning of the semester. The instructor asked the preservice teachers to submit their pictures to an online class-management system so the projects could be evaluated based on presentation design as presented in the sample rubric. as outlined in Table 2.. the instructor asked the Photovoice moderator to also facilitate a brainstorming session to help provide ideas for photographs that would meet the project requirements. four to represent program strengths and four to represent program weaknesses).e. the moderator took notes on the major concepts the students identified JOPERD  25 . The instructor left the room during this portion to allow students to speak freely about photograph ideas. the instructor introduced the Photovoice project with the assistance of a faculty member who had experience using Photovoice as a research method (Photovoice moderator). classroom management at elementary level Preparation for Real-World Scenarios Subcategories = behavior modification. students with poor health outcomes project to identify PETE program strengths and weaknesses. approximately 60 minutes each #5: Brainstorm with participants Table 3. To increase confidentiality. After the 14 days. What are the program strengths? What do students feel prepared for? What are the program weaknesses? What do students feel unprepared for? Part II (30 minutes): Brainstorming session Instructor Photograph portion of the Photovoice project Preservice teachers #7: Provide time for participants to take pictures 14 days Photovoice presentation and class discussion of photographs Preservice teachers #8: Meet to discuss the photographs 2 class sessions. the project as a whole took approximately six weeks. teaching with limited equipment Helping Relationships Subcategories = cohort-style education. two class sessions were dedicated to the presentation and discussion of their photographs. The preservice teachers were instructed to take at least eight photographs (i.

993–997. Example of a program weakness: Inadequate equipment outside of the program 26  Volume 85  Number 1  January 2014 American Alliance for Health. 44–50. For example. 22. National standards & grade-level outcomes for K–12 physical education (3rd ed. 303–328. T. 13. Booth. T. They felt that the program could do a better job of preparing preservice teachers to use limited amounts of equipment (see Figure 2). Physical Education. In the frame: Photovoice and mothers with learning difficulties. Photovoice: Engaging children with autism and their teachers. At the end of the school year. Field Methods. S. J. W. Teaching Exceptional Children. In this PETE program. The information gathered using this method can influence programmatic changes and satisfies preservice teachers’ need to voice their perceptions about their PETE program.). PETE program faculty used the student Photovoice project to identify potential solutions for the weaknesses found within the program. Students agreed that because each PETE class requires such detailed lesson planning. Clark.. L. & Langdon. “best practices” was identified as one of the program strengths during the in-class discussion among the preservice teachers. The use of Photovoice has the potential to provide a more in-depth look at the potential strengths and weaknesses of programs and to provide a starting point for conversations between preservice teachers and PETE faculty. Analyzing qualitative interview data: Addressing issues of validity and reliability. course materials. and assignments. References Figure 2. IL: Human Kinetics. (2003). Table 3 provides a summary of various strengths and weaknesses identified during the class discussions. J. & Zimmer. using unique methodologies such as Photovoice allows PETE faculty to see how effective their instruction has been. (2001). (2006). One such best practice discussed was lesson-plan preparation. & Booth. Disability and Society. (2011. (1995). Appleton. For example. Figure 1. 39(2). The strengths within the program identified through the Photovoice project helped the PETE program faculty learn what the preservice teachers felt was most valuable in the program curriculum. Colquitt.Downloaded by [University of Bucharest ] at 12:12 23 June 2015 as program strengths and weaknesses. What we learned from a photographic component in a study of Latino children’s health... C. The Photovoice moderator used the notes taken during the preservice teachers’ presentations and the photographs submitted by each preservice teacher to discuss the outcomes of the Photovoice project with the Senior Seminar instructor and other PETE program faculty. 431–442 Carnahan.” Figure 1 represents this ability because the student had to quickly revise a lesson based on student class attendance. Along with traditional assessments of PCK and dispositions. L. 18. Meeting the NASPE Initial Teacher Standards through comprehensive . McCollum. assessment is ongoing and has previously included surveys. One weakness that arose from the discussions was that preservice teachers felt they needed more real-world preparation. it is beneficial when they are in the classroom because they were better able to think “on their feet.. (in press). preservice teachers were given a good selection of equipment to use in PETE coursework but were forced to quickly change previous plans when faced with teaching in the real world with minimal equipment. Recreation and Dance. Journal of Advanced Nursing. April).. Champaign. Pritchard. Example of a program strength: Adapting a lesson plan Conclusion The information gathered using this unique project resulted in an action plan for program changes and improvements. G.

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