Developing Participatory Pedagogies
Professor Penny Jane BurkeDirector, London Paulo Freire Institute & Centre for Educational Research in Equalities, Policy & Pedagogy
aimsTo interrogate related dominant policy discourses of widening participationTo explore the potential of pedagogical practices to address issues of diversity, difference and in/equalityTo consider the development of participatory pedagogies as a potential strategy
Critiquing hegemonic discourses of WP
WP central policy themediversification of higher education persistent patterns of under-representation continue to perplex policy-makers and practitioners individualist approaches, framed by neoliberal perspectives neoliberal technologies of self-regulation - shift responsibility from the state to the individual
neoliberal project of self-improvement In the context of widening participation, the government provides the opportunities, and it is up to the individuals to take them up, to aspire to greater things, to develop their own potential, to strive for economic and other benefits for themselves whilst contributing to the good of society and the economy. This vision of limitless potential and individual advancement is rooted in a fantasy of classlessness, based on the myths of meritocracy (Young 2001), where individuals can attain their dreams of fulfilment and prosperity (Leathwood and O'Connell 2003: 599).
Inclusion & polarising discoursesInclusion often works as a disciplinary technology to include those who are excluded into the dominant framework/state of being, rather than challenging existing inequalities within the mainstream system, or encouraging alternative ways of being (Archer, 2003, p. 23).
Identity formation, subjectivity & mis-recognition Subjectivity - the relational, discursive and embodied processes of recognition and identity formation The subject of WP attempts to avoid the positioning of Other, the identifiable non-standard subject of the often derogatory discourses of WP
richer imaginary of pedagogies Dreaming is not only a necessary political act, it is an integral part of the historico-social manner of being a person. It is part of human nature, which, within history, is in permanent process of becoming (Paulo Freire, 1992) .
There is no change without dream, as there is no dream without hope (Freire, 1992).
Critiquing BarriersLimits our imagination:suggests the possibility of simply lifting or overcoming barriers without examining the deeply embedded processes of privileging and excluding certain subjectivities, experiences and knowledge Tends to focus on remedial provision e.g. study skills or academic language support
regulatory technologies of voice and writing If it was someone like that fella who- who was very very intelligent then I'd be more quiet I think, because I wouldn't want him to think I was totally stupid in the questions that I ask. I mean I was listening to you for quite a while before I said anything. So I'd have to be listening for quite awhile before I'd actually say something (Amanda, interview, 1999).The first thing I was really frightened of was the speaking out (Linda, interview, 1999).
Student Decisions & PowerHow does the student position herself in relation to the field and the voices in the literature that carry with them status, power and authority? In what ways might the student bring in the voices of others to give legitimacy and authority to her own voice and in locating herself as the author of her text?
Writing is a method of inquiry I consider writing as a method of inquiry, a way of finding out about yourself and your topic. Although we usually think about writing as a mode of telling about the social world, writing is not just a mopping-up activity at the end of a research project. Writing is also a way of knowing a method of discovery and analysis. By writing in different ways, we discover new aspects of our topic and our relationship to it. Form and content are inseparable (Laurel Richardson, 2000).
questions about the written text and its production How does the writer/reader locate herself in the writing? If she uses the first person, what effect does that have on the claims that she is making? How does the writer draw on other writers exploring similar lines of enquiry? Which voices are dominating and which are subdued or erased? How does this link to the writers theoretical and/or methodological framework(s)? What is the relation between form and content in the text? In what ways is the writer developing a critical analysis and position?
Thought patternsI would have liked something like this in my undergrad. It would have directed me so much better something actually in the course saying this is how we do it, this is how we expect the writing to be, because again I think the writing is very personal to a subject and like my writing now is very different to what I was doing in my undergrad and even in what I was doing in my PGCE. Like there are very different styles of writing and so it would have been useful. This [workshop] was excellent because I have actually realised what I need to do in terms of my dissertation and how I need to structure it, maybe what thought patterns I need to have instead, and obviously having that clear guideline will hopefully help.
Embedding itI think it is really important actually to embed it and wish that it had been earlier on for me. I think it would have helped with the anxieties that I was talking about at the start. You know they are just going to laugh when they get these essays; it is just not at all the standard that they are expecting. Because if you have never worked at that level before, you dont know at all whether you are achieving the standard
Making connectionsStudent 1: I mean for me, the way you deliver things is much more dumbed down academic speak and clarifies things for me than some of the other lectures that we have and I come away thinking, I know what these words mean now and it actually does mean something to me, whereas in a lot of other sessions we have had, I go home with a headache thinking, What has happened? But on your last session, I had a eureka moment; finally I get this.Student 2: Do you often think though that is sometimes the way it is presented at times, you have got nothing to put your hat on? You cant hang your hat on anything. Because actually it is not saying, This is it. Sometimes, well me personally I want to know that that is it. Okay, some things are not as black and white as that, but I think people sometimes just make problems and say, Well what does this mean? Well what do you think it means? I think that is what you did quite clearly today.
Participatory Pedagogiesunderpinned by explicit sets of social justice principles and ethical starting points Reject deficit discoursesConcerned with politics of recognition Demystifies & makes accessible academic practices and forms of knowledge Quality = equality - redistribution of cultural and symbolic resources
Participatory pedagogiesvalue and recognize the richness and diversity of experiences and perspectives all students bring to their learning creates the spaces for students to explore & develop their interests and experiencesto exchange ideas & dialogueto make connections between theoretical & practical requires sophisticated levels of of complex pedagogical relations & operation of power
Further detailsBurke, PJ (2012) The Right to Higher Education: Beyond Widening Participation. London & New York: Routledge