A Scarlet A-Line Skirt, Independent and Critical Visual Practice, and the Brit(ish)line: Representing Women's Leadership in Education Through Values-Based Cartooning

Penelope Mendonça
2021 Frontiers in Education  
Cartooning and graphic facilitation (the latter of which includes developing visuals in real time with groups) offer increasingly popular yet highly subjective approaches to public engagement, organizational development, communication, research, and research dissemination. Values-based cartooning can provide an ethical framework for those undertaking and commissioning these kinds of practices, and it has been employed by the author as a method for accessing and representing diverse perspectives
more » ... iverse perspectives and experiences for more than two decades. This article is situated within the author's experience as a practitioner undertaking a range of commissions and partnerships relating to education in the United Kingdom. What follows is a critical examination of three contexts where values-based cartooning has been used to represent women's leadership within education: within research into women's experiences of working and studying in a higher education institution, within grassroots movements led by teachers and school leaders, and within broader campaigns that have educational value. This involves negotiation of complex social issues while developing visuals, including how to treat gender, race, and intersectional identities within word/image combinations. Questions are raised about the purposes of visual practice, the roles and responsibilities of practitioners, and the conditions of production, audience, and social media. What are the benefits, limitations, and risks of values-based cartooning in relation to the visual representation of women's leadership in education? What is the value of portraying the kinds of leadership that exist at different levels, including outside of formal, professional roles and beyond classroom practice and systems leadership? And finally, how should visual practitioners respond to conflicting values, risk, failure, and nuance in relation to women's leadership, where there is strong desire and need for positive, strengths-based depictions? The author considers her positionality in relation to the [...]
doi:10.3389/feduc.2021.550058 doaj:75d834cd703344e3baf55496b786837c fatcat:fcgppqibbnajdbns5zt4riy2rq