‘My two words? “Creative Energy”.’ Engaging students in a participatory story-making research project with disadvantaged young people
A UK Research Council-funded research project involving story-making by, with and for disadvantaged young people in the community became an opportunity to engage students. At each stage of the project, from getting to know the young people through to turning their stories into fictionalised animations and narrated videos, students participated, adding their own individual interests, passions and expertise. In the process, the project touched on a range of initiatives and values espoused by the wider university. Reflections from students, tutors and the community members with whom they worked, present an evaluation of the experience from their perspectives. The article provides testament from those directly involved to examine in detail the value of the process and the product of their engagement, thereby shedding light on its purpose. From there I will suggest how such work can be moved forward in ways that are meaningful for the participants themselves, while also fulfilling some of the requirements of universities today.
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