Visual methodologies as effective tools in reflecting on aspects of identity as an educator for inclusion and social justice

Keywords: visual methodologies; autobiographical research; educating for inclusion and social justice; identity;


As an educator for inclusion and social justice, it is essential to be self-reflective about all aspects of identity which relate to diversity and differential power relations. As part of this commitment, I am part of a group of critical academics and practitioners who comprise the SAERA Special Interest Group on Self-Reflexive Methodologies. This paper comprises reflections on two artworks created during self-reflexive exercises using visual methodologies. The first artwork led to interrogating aspects of meaning and identity as a white person in post-apartheid South Africa. What emerged was the need to confront my privileged racial identity, fashioned in a divided and exclusive past and reposition myself beyond my white socialisation, recognizing the possibility of new frames of understanding and new identities, new social spaces and new communities, beyond the historical differences which keep up separated and alienated. Critical reflection on the second artwork revealed embedded commentary on the need to challenge patriarchal articulations of the professional identity and dominant discourses of learning and teaching in academia. What emerged was the possibility of how lost feminine aspects of knowledge could inform teaching and learning strategies that contribute to a critical pedagogy which challenges the prevailing system of social relations and disrupts and unsettles the stereotypical assumptions of a dominant masculine discourse in academia. This paper highlights the effectiveness of using visual methodologies to explore various aspects of identity, especially relevant for educators as transformative agents, educating for inclusion and social justice.

Research Articles