Picturing global educational inclusion? Looking and thinking across students’ photographs from the UK, Zambia and Indonesia


Address for correspondence Ian Kaplan, ESI, School of Education, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. Email: ian.kaplan@manchester.ac.uk.


Over the last few years we have engaged children and young people in participatory photography projects in a diverse range of international contexts. The projects, diverse as they are, have been school-based and primarily focused on students’ experiences of educational inclusion/exclusion. Photographs taken by students can stimulate conversations in which different perspectives are shared and considered. Whilst this process is meaningful within a local context, it is also compelling to reflect more widely on what children and young people's photographs and commentary (and through these their interpretations of their educational experiences) have to tell and, indeed, show us about educational inclusion globally. In this paper, we begin by explaining what we mean by the term ‘educational inclusion’, and consider what methodological relevance the participatory photography has for engaging in research with children and young people about their educational experiences. We then briefly describe the contexts of the projects this paper draws on, which took place in the UK, Zambia and Indonesia. In the main body of the paper, we will look across these international projects and consider a selection of students’ photographs and interpretations in relation to several broad themes about educational inclusion which they suggest.