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Teaching Teachers How to Utilize Photography in Their Curriculum

Daniel Philip Shepardson
Utah State University, Logan, Utah

Subject: Teacher Education/Photography
Grade: Higher Education

"The originality of [this] teaching module lies at the identification and application of photography in instruction, and the relationships between the instructional modes of photography and cognition."

Purpose and Description of Project

Daniel Shepardson designed and implemented a teaching module to show teachers how to use the instructional modes of photography within their instruction and curriculum. His goals were: Shepardson used his module with 15 experienced teachers who explored the five instructional modes of photography:


The module activities were divided into four phases. During the two-hour implementation session, the first three phases were carried out. As the first phase, the teachers participated in lecture, group discussion, and question-and-answer activities on the relationship of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives to the instructional modes of photography. The group also brainstormed a list of example activities utilizing these instructional modes. The emulation phase involved a slide demonstration of how photography's instructional modes are used in instruction. Prior to the third phase, teachers were asked to use the criteria established by Bloom to prepare individual written evaluations of the instructional modes of photography; this was followed by a lecture and discussion of the relationship between cognition and the instructional modes of photography. Shepardson introduced the final phase-curriculum development-and then the teachers were given two weeks to use the camera to take and develop instructional concept photographs. The photos, exemplifying the various instructional modes, were to be used in developing a lesson plan designed to meet the specific needs of each teacher.

Materials, Resources, and Expenses

In developing his teaching module, Shepardson made use of a number of written resources on educational objectives. He provided each teacher with all the necessary lesson plans, handouts, and photographic examples that explained and illustrated the instructional modes of photography and how to use them.

Outcomes and Adaptability

An analysis of pre- and post-tests indicated that teacher understanding of the instructional modes of photography and how they could be integrated into the curriculum had improved significantly-from a mean score of 18% to a mean of 43%. That the module stimulated interest in utilizing photography in the curriculum is shown by the same questionnaire; a mean rating of 4.3 resulted when the teachers were asked whether they would now use photography as an instructional tool. Shepardson found the teachers' enthusiasm to be unexpectedly high. His subjective evaluation of the curriculum plans and materials developed by the teachers led him to the conclusion that teacher creativity had increased.

Shepardson suggests that the module is ideal for both pre-service and in-service teacher education programs. He finds the "hands-on," emulation, curriculum development, and practicum activities particularly valuable.

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