Background/Context: Photos are a powerful tool for eliciting stories that may otherwise go untold in traditional interview formats. Photo-elicitation type methods vary widely in their ontological, epistemological, and teleological orientations, providing different tools for understanding participants' experiences and interpretations of those experiences. Photo-cued interviewing (PCI) is an emerging approach that adds to the photo-elicitation method milieu, with a specific strength for understanding varied facets of learning. In this paper, I explore how PCI diverges from existing photo-elicitation type methods and how it can be a useful tool for educational researchers interested in understanding more about student learning, particularly in spaces like study abroad. Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: Using a case study approach, this manuscript illuminates how PCI can help elicit and (co)develop stories of learning- specifically, narratives that illustrate the learning that resulted from students' experiences in study abroad programs. Research Design: This study draws from interviews and focus groups with 62 secondary and postsecondary students who participated in a variety of study abroad programs. I perform an inductive qualitative analysis to understand how the PCI method helped to (co)develop stories that illustrated what and how students learned during their study abroad programs. Findings/Results: PCI helped to (co)develop stories of learning in a number of ways, including: 1) facilitating students' initial reflections, 2) revealing impact beyond the experience, 3) merging stories of learning to create new narratives and understandings, 4) adding nuance to preliminary stories, and 5) allowing for more focused storytelling. Conclusions/Recommendations: I offer PCI as a photo-elicitation method useful for prompting student reflection and learning, understanding how meaning is made from experiences, and reflexively participating in the interview process as a researcher. I also call for greater use of the PCI method in educational research in order to explicate its uses and boundaries.
|Teachers College Record
|Published - 2020
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