Photo Montage

The Tool

The photo montage protocol is a great activity for collecting evidence from multiple perspectives on an aspect of your school. It develops collaborative planning and learning.

How to use

  • as a way of collecting evidence (e.g. to support implementation of the IB Standards and Practices) as part of a self-study / review exercise
  • to develop collaborative planning and learning - it engages multiple stakeholders
  • to 'listen' to multiple perspectives on a specific issue
  • to investigate a theme - e.g. what does learning look like in our school?
  • to explore how a specific policy is being embedded in the school - what does it look like in daily activities?

Activity

In this activity you have the opportunity to reflect on the culture and ethos of your school through using photographs to capture stakeholder views.

Part A: This activity requires pre-workshop/meeting work. It helps you as a leadership team explore the culture and ethos of your school through the eyes of key stakeholders.

The purpose of this activity is for school leaders to seek and engage with a variety of perspectives of their school.  It allows a different method for the articulation of meaning, it can reach and include a wider range of stakeholders, is a form of visual narrative, which is evidenced and reveals the subjective interpretations of school experience. As key stakeholders you may choose governors, parents, students and staff.

The theme for this activity is: Through their eyes - Can other people with their differences also be right?

Activity:

  • Give a digital camera to individual members of your school community. It may be good to choose people whose voice is not normally heard in the school. Consider auxiliary staff, bus drivers, janitor etc.
  • Ask the individuals to take photographs of the school which sums up the culture of your school ‘as they see it and as they know it.’ Nothing is off limits. It can be as positive or negative as they wish. Inviting this group of people to take these photographs is a way for us to understand the school better ‘through their eyes’, so that we can find ways to improve.
  • From the range of photographs stakeholders choose 6 photographs. Allow the individual photographers to explain why they have chosen these particular photographs and what each image is intended to say in relation to the theme. You may wish to record these narratives, explanations and illustrations in note form. Questions you could ask are: What do you see here? What does it tell you about the school? What do you think lies behind the photos? How do the photographs reflect a response to the theme?

Part 2:  As a leadership team consider the photographs that have been selected. Discuss: What do the photos say about the school? What can you learn from the photos and from this ‘through your eyes’ activity? What are you going to change? What do the photographs tell you about the subject under investigation?

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