Young People's Geographies

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Vox Pops

Vox popVox Pops: finding out what students are thinking

'Vox pop' is from a Latin phrase which literally means 'voice of the people'. It usually refers to interviews where members of the public give their spontaneous response to questions on a particular issue.

Vox pops can be used in the context of young people's geographies as a strategy for finding out what students really think about working in a YPG way or how they feel about being involved in this type of work in school. Within the project, vox pops were used as an evaluation tool to try to establish how students involved really felt.

YPG Project

A camera was left running in a small room next to the main room where discussions were being held. Students were asked to use the 'Big Brother diary room' to consider four questions about their involvement in the project and then simply talk to the camera with their responses. No adults monitored this.

The four questions were:

1. Why did you get involved in the YPG project?
2. How have you been involved?
3. What have been the highs and lows of the project?
4. Have you learned anything about geography?

View these video clips to find out what some of the participating students thought of the YPG work they undertook.

vox popsIn School

It is not always practical to have a camera running in a small school office for students to pop in and out. However the vox pop approach does have potential within a YPG way of working in school.

  • Students could develop their own questions and interview each other on film during lesson time.
  • Filming and or audio recording could be a strategy for students to find out more about other the geographies of students from other schools. The editing process could be part of a broader teaching scheme on YPG, and the outcomes could be shared with others in all schools involved.
  • Students could be encouraged to capture their experiences of learning, such as during fieldwork, so that their perspectives are part of the fieldwork process. Again the editing process encourages students to think very carefully about the messages their films convey and the geography they want to communicate.