A different lens: Changing perspectives using Photo-Elicitation Interviews


  • Daniela Torre SRI International
  • Joseph Murphy Vanderbilt University




photo-elicitation Interview, qualitative methods


The purpose of this systematic literature review is to document how scholars in various fields have used Photo-Elicitation Interview (PEI), explain the benefits and obstacles to using this method, and explain how and why education researchers should use PEI. The key features of PEI are that a researcher or participant takes pictures about a research topic that are then used to elicit dialogue during an interview. The results of our review suggest that education scholars and school practitioners can use PEI methods to better understand school communities and the children, parents, and school staff who inhabit them. Utilizing this technique, the research community will be better positioned to speak on behalf of school stakeholders when contributing to policy discussions and when seeking solutions to improving schools.


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Author Biographies

Daniela Torre, SRI International

Daniela Torre is an education researcher at SRI International. Her research interests include school improvement, particularly for English learners and at-risk students. She holds a PhD in Leadership and Policy Studies from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. She recently co-authored the book Creating Productive Cultures in Schools: For Students, Teachers, and Parents (2014)

Joseph Murphy, Vanderbilt University

Joseph Murphy is the Frank W. Mayborn Chair and associate dean at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education. His work is in the area of school improvement, with special emphasis on leadership and policy.  He has authored or coauthored twenty-two books in this area and edited another twelve.  His most recent authored volumes include Homeschooling in America (2012), The Architecture of School Improvement (2013), and Creating Productive Cultures in Schools: For Teachers, Students, and Parents (2014).




How to Cite

Torre, D., & Murphy, J. (2015). A different lens: Changing perspectives using Photo-Elicitation Interviews. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23, 111. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v23.2051