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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

CHERRINGTON, Avivit M.. Research as hope-intervention: Mobilising hope in a South African higher education context. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2018, vol.38, n.4, pp.1-9. ISSN 2076-3433.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v38n4a1706.

It is written that hope is contagious: once ignited it gains momentum, and is self-sustaining. My research project sought to stimulate dialogue and critical thinking with second year education students about what hope and hopeful schools mean to them as future teachers. The aim of this critical transformative study was to explore how the research process itself, i.e. engaging the students through multiple participatory visual methods (via collages, drawings, Mmogo-method, photovoice) on the topic of hope, might mobilise a 'practice of hope,' thereby mobilising student-led hope initiatives in the Faculty of Education. The key findings of this on-going study show that bringing hope explicitly into the research dialogue mobilised the participants' hope on a personal, relational and collective level. Further, discussions took an agentic turn as the participants formed the Hopeful Vision Gang, designed a logo and slogan, and initiated a hope activity to inspire fellow students and staff before having to face the challenge of exams. This study shows that threading hope with participatory dialogic engagement holds positive transformative value in teacher education programmes, and thus has implications for the possibilities of student-led agency through 'research as hope-intervention.'

Keywords : agency; dialogic engagement; higher education; hope; humanising pedagogy; participatory visual methodology; positive psychology; research-as-change; transformative student citizenship.

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