Syrian refugees’ vision for quality education in a Lebanese public school: a participatory visual research

Basma Hajir, William W. McInerney, Nomisha Kurian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores the quality of education delivered to Syrian students in a public school in Lebanon. Concepts of agency and empowerment are at the heart of this discussion. To address the current lack of student-centred perspectives on schooling in this context, this study supplements the Capability Approach (CA) with a social justice framework and uses visual and art-based methods to gain insights into what these young people have reason to value. It examines the value of combining theoretical insights, analytical approaches and methods that share a commitment to honouring participant agency. Analysis of input from children advocates considering the concept of ‘care’ as an integral dimension to social justice in the context of this study. It also suggests the need for implementing negative and positive peacebuilding strategies and contemplating the relationship between art education and school violence. We argue for a whole-child approach to refugee education, drawing connections between cognitive academic learning and affective embodied wellbeing. We conclude the study by discussing these findings and shedding light on the significance of our theoretical and methodological choices and their potential to inspire future research endeavours and explorations.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalVisual Studies
Early online date20 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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