Student Perceptions of Learning, as seen through a camera lens


  • Ian Guest Sheffield High School


Learning, perception, grounded theory, photo-elicitation


Learning has been studied from both theoretical and practical standpoints over many years, though almost invariably from the adult perspective. This study explores learning as perceived by teenage secondary school students, who used cameras to capture images to tell the story of their learning. This was approached through a qualitative, constructivist grounded theory methodology and drew on data from different levels within the study. Using the images as a starting point, interviews provided responses which were analysed to draw out a substantive theory. The young people in this study described their learning by ‘Linking it’ with other concepts, ‘Locating it’ space and time (predominantly in school), ‘Associating it’ with other activities, ‘Ascribing worth’ to different aspects and just occasionally ‘Thinking about it’ in abstract terms. The findings from this study should be extended to explore more purposefully the disconnect between the examples of formal learning providing most of the data for this study and the more rounded experience students enjoy across their daily experience.

Author Biography

Ian Guest, Sheffield High School

Head of eLearning