Animating Classroom Ethnography: Overcoming Video-Fear

Sep. 01, 2010

Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 23, Issue 5 (September 2010), pages 543 – 556.

The current article addresses the use of video in classroom research.

Influenced by the work of Deleuze on cinema, the article challenges the mundane realism that continues to regulate video method, and its role in perpetuating what Deleuze calls the 'everyday banality' that produces and conceals the 'intolerable'. In failing to interfere with the everyday banality of the normal child, research colludes with the production of exclusion, disadvantage and a stunted set of possible futures for children.

Written by four ethnographers of early childhood who have themselves (mis)used video cameras in classrooms, the article describes an experimental video film that attempts to intervene in the repetitious production of the banal.

The film takes the form of an assemblage that deploys montage, cutting, disconnections of sound, vision and script, and the jolt of the irrational cut. In particular, it tries to mobilise the barely formed, dimly glimpsed sensations that comprise 'affect' in its Deleuzian sense.

Updated: Mar. 01, 2011