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Ngidi, N.D., & Essack, Z. (2022). International Journal of Educational Development. 94, 102655.

Abstract

This paper describes a study conducted with 20 primary school children from a resource-poor rural community in South Africa. Using participatory mapping, the school children were asked to draw the paths they walked to school (referred to as child maps), and identify unsafe areas on this journey. The data were analyzed using participatory visual analysis techniques by focusing on the children’s representations of their school journeys and their perspectives on their vulnerability on these paths. The analysis revealed a plethora of areas that posed a threat to children as they walked to school. Moreover, the findings suggest that children experienced heteropatriarchal violence on their school journeys, which evoked fear and anxiety since they associated this walk with risk. Using participatory mapping offered a unique opportunity to see how school children constructed and navigated the routes they walked to school, and how on these paths, different forms of violence occurred. The children’s maps offered an important tool for understanding the significance of space and place on routes to school in rural communities.

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