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Educational Research for Social Change

On-line version ISSN 2221-4070


CAMPBELL, Bridget  and  MHLONGO, Bonakele. Using Photographs as Memory Prompt Objects: Influencing Pre-Service Language Teachers To Recognise Reading as a Driver of Social Change. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2019, vol.8, n.1, pp.41-53. ISSN 2221-4070.

The power of literacy is such that it has the ability to drive social change. This narrative inquiry study, which is informed by sociocultural theory, was inspired by the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study report. The report, which indicated that 80% of South African Grade 4 children cannot read for meaning, encouraged two teacher educators to investigate our literacy journeys. We selected objects that represent our literate life histories and wrote about our individual visual representations before discussing our objects. The objects selected were photographs of a father and his daughter and of a pile of books. Through our objects, this article identifies what shaped our reading proficiencies, and explores ways in which we can influence pre-service language teachers to recognise reading as a driver of social change. Our interactions with our chosen objects brought us to the realisation that, in spite of our multifarious backgrounds, our common literacy experiences enabled us to become proficient readers through which we gained access to higher education and academic success.

Keywords : photograph; reading; early literacy experiences; academic success; social change.

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