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  6. Ibali: Storytelling New Discourses of Educational Inclusion/Exclusion in the UK, Nigeria and South Africa

Ibali: Storytelling New Discourses of Educational Inclusion/Exclusion in the UK, Nigeria and South Africa

Principal Investigator: Dr Alison Buckler (The Open University)

Co-Investigators: Joanna Wheeler (TransformativeStory), Faith Mkwananzi (University of the Free State)

Research Associate and Project Manager: Dr Jennifer Agbaire (The Open University)

Ethnographers: Yusra Price (South Africa), Jane Nebe (Nigeria), Katherine Collins (UK)

Focus Countries: Nigeria, South Africa and the UK  

Dates: 2022-ongoing

Inclusion is a widely used ‘buzzword’ in education research. However, it is under-conceptualised and there is often little consideration to how research processes that generate knowledge around inclusion are, in themselves, inclusive. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, this project uses storytelling to explore perspectives and experiences of educational inclusion and exclusion with young people and teachers in Nigeria, South Africa and the UK. It also undertakes a critical exploration of the storytelling approach itself which, whilst gaining popularity as a research tool is often under-theorised and used uncritically and problematically in research and practice.

In each country, the project team will jointly facilitate storytelling research workshops with young people and teachers. Alongside this, three ethnographers in the team who are trained in the UK, South Africa and Nigeria respectively will individually and collaboratively document and analyse the storytelling process, exploring how researchers and participants make sense of storytelling as a meaningful approach to researching and communicating people’s lived experiences.  

A key aim of the project is that researchers (including those on the project), participants and multi-layered audiences will unlearn views around inclusion (and how it is researched) built from their own socio-historical diversities. There are thus three key strands to the research:  

  • a digital storytelling approach to generate new discourses around inclusion and exclusion in the three contexts;
  • a critical, ethnographic evaluation of the storytelling research process to explore how storytelling could be better and more ethically used in research and;
  • a storytelling research knowledge exchange Hub.

The project captures more than 60 digital stories around what it means to be included or excluded in education as well as critically conceptualised guides for researchers and practitioners wanting to improve their storytelling practices. 

Read about the project and the Ibali website

Follow @Ibali_Network on Twitter to know more. 

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