n South African Journal of Education - Towards academic generativity : working collaboratively with visual artefacts for self-study and social change




There appears to be a mounting consciousness in academia that knowledge production and the scholarly dissemination of knowledge do not necessarily lead to general well-being or improvement in society. In this article we start with ourselves by initiating an exploration into generative possibilities for becoming agents of social change through our own educational research. We take a collaborative self-study approach to our inquiry, using artefact retrieval as a visual method to re-examine our own research interests. Our individual reflections on our chosen artefacts are brought together into a reflexive dialogue. We follow this with a collaborative reflection, in which we explain how we have noticed similarities in both the connotative and denotative histories of our artefacts and gained an alternative perspective on our interests and practices as educational researchers. The article demonstrates how, by working with visual artefacts from our professional spaces, we were afforded the opportunity to collaboratively re-think our research endeavours. As 'critical friends' we were able to recognise the importance of moving beyond advocating change, and to explore how 'starting with ourselves' research approaches can facilitate social action for the benefit of others.


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