The Quest for Social Justice Goes to the College Classroom
Rawia Hayik

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Sakhnin College for Teacher Education, Israel

Primary Discipline

Literacy and/or English/Language Education
The proposed study explores the application of a participatory documentary photography tool called PhotoVoice with Israeli-Arab students in the English department at a teacher-education college. PhotoVoice involves inviting students to take photos of deficiencies they encounter in their reality, write a commentary on the problem reflected in each photo, and then present the photos and “voices” (written accounts) to leading figures in students’ society, hoping for change.Grounded in critical literacy theory, this study challenges the EFL teaching practices that often focus on teaching a set of linguistic skills and standards without connecting the language to students’ lives or using it to discuss social justice issues. Rather, it offers students an empowering methodological technique for relevant English language writing and use. In addition to providing a stage for minority students’ voices, worries, and demands, the purpose is checking whether students’ involvement in the process affected their attitudes of themselves not only as future English teachers but also agents of change. It will have implications for teacher education through fostering a more engaging approach to language education that connects literacy teaching with social action.
About Rawia Hayik
Dr. Rawia Hayik ( is a lecturer and pedagogical advisor in the English Department at Sakhnin Academic College for Teacher Education, Israel. She is a recent PhD graduate from the Literacy, Culture, and Language Education Department at Indiana University in the United States. Her PhD research focused on using children’s literature on gender, religious diversity, and minority issues with Israeli-Arab EFL students as a springboard for critical reader responses. Her post-doctoral research explores the use of participatory documentary photography with college students to address social justice issues and problems in the linguistic landscape in the Galilee area.

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