Publication date: Sep 23, 2023
Ethnographic journaling can provide students with powerful opportunities to recognize and value their individual and collective perspectives as both observers and analysts of the world around them, especially in times of crisis. In this Perspectives essay, we share our experiences of using the Pandemic Journaling Project platform as a teaching resource in the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We consider various aspects of online ethnographic journaling, including creative teaching strategies, journaling’s therapeutic potential, and student perspectives on the opportunity to document their own experiences as a forward-looking form of “archival activism. ” We also discuss how journaling can create robust ethnographic learning opportunities while at the same time providing a valuable space for connection and social support, especially when classroom dynamics are constrained by crisis conditions. Ethnographic journaling can help students appreciate what it means for ethnographers to bring their whole selves into their qualitative work in ways that can challenge mainstream misconceptions and contribute concrete forms of data and ethnographic insight. Overall, the essay explores how ethnographic journaling can create meaningful and creative opportunities for curricular innovation; generate durable forms of ethnographic insight; and also bring student experiences into the classroom in ways that can help them cultivate their voice, build a sense of solidarity, and potentially ease student distress.
|Student mental health|