Photovoice as Pedagogy for Authentic Learning: Empowering Undergraduate Students to Increase Community Awareness About Issues Related to the Impact of Low Income on Health

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Abstract

Students preparing for helping professions who understand the influences of income on health are better equipped to address health challenges in communities and in their future careers. Universities have a responsibility to bolster and provide a safe environment for students to build and practice their 21st-century skills. When implemented as a pedagogical tool, photovoice projects have the potential to provide authentic learning experiences for students to engage in advocacy and civil discourse. Undergraduate students (n = 37) learning about the influence of low income on health engaged in a photovoice assignment, demonstrating their own understanding of the course content while effectively advocating for issues related to the health of low-income community members. Community members attending the exhibit (n = 32) completed surveys designed to capture their reactions to the students’ work. As a result of attending the students’ photovoice exhibit, community members reported increased awareness about issues of concern in the community as well as an affective response to the community concerns documented.

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