York and Ryerson University (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 4062-4073
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
The oral presentation I am proposing for the 2010 INTED Conference is based around the work I am doing for my Master’s thesis entitled, “The Pedagogy of Participatory Video”. There are two key educational practices that are central to my project: Popular Education (PE) and Participatory Video (PV). Using these concepts, the primary objective of my project is to provide youth (aged 14-19) in the “at-risk” Lawrence Heights community of Toronto, Ontario (colloquially known as “Jungle”) with both the critical and technical skills necessary to create documentaries about their community and the issues that exist therein. The long-term goal of my project is to help create leaders in the community who will begin to think of ways to help create positive social change.

The logic behind combining two such educational techniques is that it is not enough for a project to simply provide a group of marginalized people with the technological tools to help them express themselves; it must first provide the people in question with the necessary critical skills in order to allow them to more effectively utilize the technology in question.

What I aim to do with this oral presentation is to detail the work I did with a group of youth from Lawrence Heights this past summer. The six-week documentary program consisted of three, two-week sections. The first section was concerned primarily with PE and an attempt to put some of Paulo Freire’s theories to work in order to help the youth discuss a variety of issues that are affecting them and their community (a “problem-posing” education). Through a series of games and activities, the youth were able to identify a number of themes and issues that might come to form the basis of a short documentary.

In section two we began to look at the nature of the documentary and how issues and problems can be portrayed visually. Questions that would be posed to those living in the community included: What is an “at-risk” community? Why are different areas of Toronto more prosperous than others? How can we improve our community? and How does the media impact the view others have of our community? After a brief tutorial on camera use, the youth were sent out into their community to interview family members, other residents and community workers with the aim of creating a documentary on an issue of their choosing.

The final section of the project was used to teach the youth the editing skills necessary to put their final projects together. The youth were quick to pick up on these technical skills and were able to create two very nuanced pieces that showed the different ways residents and non-residents view the community and also what the future of the community might hold.

The final piece of my project included a community screening of the youth’s films. The goal here was to give the films a chance to do what they were meant to – create a dialogue with the greater community with the goal being to help create positive social change, together.

Time permitting, I would like to be able to show a few sections of the documentaries that the youth I worked with created. I feel this would clearly demonstrate both the ability of youth to be able to express critical thoughts visually and also how creative young people can be when give the proper educational framework.
Video, technology, pedagogy, activism.