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Lenses for learning: Visual techniques in natural resource management

Petheram, L., High, C., Campbell, B.M., Stacey, N.
Journal of environmental management 2011 v.92 no.10 pp. 2734-2745
conservation areas, interviews, landscapes, learning, models, people, photography, Australia, Vietnam
In this study, we explored the use of selected visual techniques (e.g. video, photography, diagramming) in facilitating learning among Indigenous communities living in remote protected areas at sites in Vietnam and Australia. The techniques were employed during interviews and workshops aimed at accessing and enhancing local peoples’ perspectives on their landscape and on specific natural resource management issues. The effectiveness of the different techniques for enabling learning varied markedly with the context, highlighting the need for facilitator skill and flexibility in application of techniques. Visual techniques helped to engage participants; encourage unrestrained and lateral thinking; provide opportunities for self-expression and reflection; and to expose participants to perspectives of other community members. Valuable insights emerged on broad aspects of learning and these were incorporated into a simple model that highlights three types of conceptualisation found to be important in these processes.