Re-framing education as a thirdspace: neonarratives of pedagogy, power and transformation

Jones, Janice Kathleen (2011) Re-framing education as a thirdspace: neonarratives of pedagogy, power and transformation. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Educational practices are ideologically informed, socially framed, and culturally contested. Historically, these forces have impacted upon how far and how swiftly education can respond to national and global challenges. In the 21st century the tension between Platonic and Aristotlean philosophies of education, and how those dissonant epistemologies are embodied in curriculum and pedagogy continues to inform contemporary debate about the purposes and practices of formal education. Platonic beliefs in education as a means of strengthening the state are consistent with Firstspace ideologies of testing and reporting, benchmarking and competitive practice. This is in contrast with Secondspace ideologies that emphasise education for the individual, and for cooperative communities.

This study is situated in the troubling and troubled borderland or Thirdspace between two ideologies. They are Firstspace ideologies and practices of education that seek to create a skilled but malleable workforce for a competitive economy, and Secondspace ideologies that promote individual learner autonomy for lifelong and life-wide learning and global citizenship. Transformative or critical pedagogies are described by both ideologies as pivotal: for governments they are presented as strategic to the achievement of a competitive edge in a global economy, and for postcolonial theorists they are the means for subverting epistemologies of difference and inequities of power.

The organising argument of this study, that critical pedagogy has the capacity to democratise and subvert dominant and colonising ideas and practices of education, is balanced by two supporting arguments. They are, first, that reflective, critical and transformative pedagogy belongs to a Thirdspace epistemology, whose purpose is to trouble, rather than to serve beliefs and practices of education that re-inscribe the dominant culture. Second, that the dominant culture employs bureaucratic and hegemonic force to subvert the potential for change that results from critical and transformative praxis. Hence, the transformative educator seeks to effect change in fields that are inherently resistant to change.

A bricolage of narratives gathered over a three-year period informs this study of transformative praxis in the context of education. The data are constituted from notes, diaries, children‘s and pre-service teachers‘ writings and feedback, and films and interviews gathered by the researcher and participants. Narratives from an alternative play-based community primary school, undergraduate pre-service primary educators and self-as-teacher-educator constitute ‗tales from the field‘, locating participants in the study as post-colonial voices.

The process of writing upon writing reveals and re-presents the views of participants as subtexts from the field. The findings of the study are presented as neonarratives, indicating shared perceptions between the school community, pre-service teachers and the researcher of dissonances between contemporary theories of education and constraints impacting upon transformative pedagogy in practice. These findings have implications for the researcher‘s personal and professional practices of pedagogy as an educator of pre-service teachers as well as more broadly for government policy, the implementation of change within established systems; and for parents seeking a transformative education for their children.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Docotr of Philosophy (PhD) thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Stewart, Robyn; Temmerman, Nita
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2012 01:47
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2017 01:58
Uncontrolled Keywords: thirdspace; pedagogy; power; transformation
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390102 Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development

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