Student Participant-Researchers: Learner agency and creative engagement’

Carlile, Anna. 2016. Student Participant-Researchers: Learner agency and creative engagement’. In: Vicky Macleroy Obied and Jim Anderson, eds. Multilingual Digital Storytelling: Engaging creatively and critically with literacy. Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138795808 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

The chapter begins by describing, in a replicable way, the student participant-researchers (SPR) model used in the project. The SPRs were a small pool of multilingual digital story-makers who met with us, designed their own project-related research questions, and, following a research methods training programme, undertook their own qualitative research.
The middle section lays out the theoretical basis for the SPR model. It starts with Butler’s (1993; 1999) work on identity to introduce the idea of personal stories as an antidote to stereotyping. It proceeds with Freire’s (1996) ideas on learner-led research agendas and Foucault’s (1977) clinical dissection of the technologies of power. Work by Fielding (2003) on students-as-researchers and Hart’s (1992) challenge to tokenistic student voice is also addressed. The resultant SPR model worked to empower learner participation in the design and governance of the research project. In this way, the SPR model, as it was used here, has fed into the design of language teaching methodologies and the production of related policy recommendations.
The third section of the chapter lays out the ways in which the SPR approach effectively produces motivation and confidence; a more genuine student voice; active citizenship; and learner autonomy. It concludes with a summary of the broader themes emerging from the enhanced research findings derived from SPRs’ involvement- for example, the concept of language learning as a route to personal stability.

Item Type:

Book Section


youth voice, inclusion, language, participation

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies > Centre for Language, Culture and Learning


10 January 2016Published

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Date Deposited:

13 Jan 2017 12:35

Last Modified:

22 Jan 2018 11:41


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