One of the most fascinating aspects of project e-ma* has been the use of not only a genuine grass-roots pedagogy based upon Freire's 'Critical Pedagogy' but also, and in conjunction with Participatory Action Research (PAR). I am not entirely sure that PAR is considered to be classed as 'Grounded Theory' (Glaser & Strauss) but there are undoubtedly elements of similarity between the two models which warrant further exploration. For me the similarities would rest primarily in a reverse-facing bottom-up research paradigm, further similarities would also include allowing that grass-roots data to feed back into refining the research model and the allowance for a certain cyclicality within the research.
For me the richness and joy of this research has largely been located in the moment of engagement between myself and the community where they (unwittingly or otherwise) have led me to some incredibly rich discoveries and pedagogical insights, one of which has been the 'coding' of the visual data. When I initially embarked on collecting the oral histories from residents in the Pass I used a crude set of codes which were in part predetermined by myself, and in part derived from engagement with members of the community; themes that arose from discourse. The initial themes I started with were:
Recently, however, I have found that there are a number of themes which have emerged directly from the e-ma themselves, and these themes are, for the most part, quite clear i.e. the participant has painted the word on their e-ma, either accompanied by a picture, or simply on its own. The themes emerging directly from the painted e-ma are:
v) Resources & Money,
xii) Connectivity, Togetherness.
Having gone through the e-ma and examined the themes, it is now apparent that the themes of: community, connectivity, and togetherness were the dominant themes that emerged from the e-ma.
*Project e-ma is copyright ARWoollock 2013, all rights reserved. Legal and intellectual property rights have been asserted.