Visual Narrative Productions and Students' Voices: An Exploration of the Importance of Participation in Education of Children and Young People in Chilean Public Schools

Mauricio López Cruz, Andrea Valdivia Barrios, Roberto Fernández Droguett


Full participation in schools refers to students being accepted and active members of the school community and whose contributions to school culture are valued. This is key for inclusive education. However, few studies address students' understanding of participation. In this article we explore the importance of participation of students in primary and secondary schools, with the aim of providing insights into students' experiences that may support any future critical revision of "inclusive" policies in education in Chile.

We present two studies developed with visual narrative methods, using photo elicitation and participative photography as methodological strategies to study students' voices. The results are represented by two categories: to learn and to collaborate with others, and areas of inclusion and exclusion. These categories represent the most relevant findings that emerged from three conceptual dimensions: to feel included, to be allowed to be heard, and to be able to make decisions. The physical structure of a school does not appear to be relevant to whether the student feels included, and coexistence appears to be balanced between companionship and abuse. These results highlight the significance of participation as dialogue, as collaboration, and mutual support.



inclusive education; participation; visual narrative methods; students' voices; photography; Chile


Copyright (c) 2015 Mauricio López, Andrea Valdivia, Roberto Fernández

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.