Classroom Photography

Visualizing Inclusion in the Classroom

My photographic work focuses on visual representations of inclusiveness in educational spaces. Inclusion is often displayed as students of different demographic backgrounds in the same frame. However, my work emphasizes what the diverse study body is doing and how communities are created. Photographs can highlight how learning by sharing perspectives is the goal of an inclusive classroom of any size.

For over 800 years, lecture halls have a been a mainstay of universities. Although many classrooms still bear strong resemblances to early lecture halls, the manner in which they are used have evolved as faculty have begun employing collaborative techniques and technological tools to serve the diverse populations of higher education today. Despite changes in instructional methods, the ways in which instructors and students are represented photographically have changed little, continuing to showcase the instructor transmitting knowledge to students rather than facilitating active and student-centered pedagogies. We are lacking photographic perspectives that highlight how students are forming inclusive learning communities, which is attained even in classes with hundreds of students and one instructor in a lecture hall. -Viji Sathy