Teaching and Speaking to Social Change: A Digital Storytelling Approach Addressing Access to Higher Education

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By Aline Gubrium and Timothy Scott

Abstract

In this article, we briefly review neoliberal economic rationales used to inform educational reforms, juxtaposed with the function of public education as a public good. We then introduce a new participatory visual method grounded in a human rights education approach, digital storytelling. Digital storytelling can serve triple purposes: as a data collection technique used by social researchers to critically assess participants’ experiences as they are affected by education reforms, as a collaborative method for political organizing, and as a tactic for building awareness to address these reforms. We review a digital storytelling workshop as it was carried out with graduate employees at a public university located in the Northeastern U.S. and conclude by offering implications for social research and human rights and social justice activism.