This descriptive qualitative study was designed to understand the experiences of former Community Psychology (CP) undergraduate students who participated in a degree program at a California university. The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore how former Community Psychology undergraduate students describe their experiences using reflective Photovoice activities to learn about and become involved in social justice. The theoretical frameworks that informed this study were in social justice theory, pedagogical practices related to teaching social justice using Photovoice, and the practice of self-reflection in college classrooms. Two primary research questions guide the inquiry: 1) How do former Community Psychology undergraduate students describe their experiences with Photovoice as a technique for raising their own self-awareness? 2) How do former Community Psychology undergraduate students describe Photovoice as a technique for becoming involved in social justice?

Six recent Community Psychology alumni graduates (aged 23 to 36) from a California university who engaged in Photovoice activities as part of their program were interviewed and provided their Photovoice artifacts. The analysis revealed six key themes: (1) Photovoice played a pivotal role in the students’ journey of self-discovery and transformation, (2) Through Photovoice class activities, students gained insights from different perspectives, (3) Photovoice enhanced students’ engagement with community issues and social topics, (4) Former Community Psychology undergraduate students embraced collective learning, (5) Through Photovoice, students felt empowered to advocate for marginalized communities and social justice, and (6) Students leveraged the emotional connection of Photovoice to inspire positive action and raise awareness. The study concludes with three main findings: (1) Photovoice has the potential to be a transformative educational method in the field of undergraduate Community Psychology, (2) Engaging in visual reflections help students gain a clearer understanding of social justice and (3) Photovoice helps students embrace collective learning.

Based on these conclusions, recommendations for future research and pedagogical practice are proposed. Future research should explore various pedagogical approaches, including Photovoice, for teaching social justice. Expanding the participant pool and implementing data collection methods to minimize recall bias are also recommended. Faculty development, curriculum enhancement, and community partnerships are suggested to further integrate Photovoice and self-reflection into Community Psychology education, enhancing students’ engagement with social justice issues.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Education—Study and teaching—Psychology; Community psychology--Undergraduates; Reflective teaching—Undergraduates

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



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Faculty Advisor

Paula Thompson