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Photo-Elicitation Interviews—A Possibility for Collaborative Provocation of Preconceptions

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posted on 2022-05-20, 14:33 authored by Åsta Birkeland, Liv Torunn Grindheim

This article investigates researchers’ methodological preconceptions when aiming at insight by involving visual methods in focus group interviews. The authors examine the photos used in photo-elicited focus group interviews in a project investigating Chinese and Norwegian early childhood education master students and teacher educators’ values and beliefs about proper artifacts for local and national belonging. They aim to adopt a “defamiliarizing mode” for their interpretations while emphasizing conflicting perspectives among the interviewees using provocative photos to prompt the discussion. To critically investigate the photos and problematize the authors’ choices of photos that reflect their preconceptions, this article is structured around the research question: how can photo-elicited interviews (PEI) provoke researchers’ methodological preconceptions? The conflicting perspectives were analyzed building on Bakhtin’s concepts on outsideness, chronotope and polyphony. The authors’ analysis surfaces new insight into the limitations and strengths of photo-elicited focus group interviews contextualized in educational research.