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Researching for social justice: Contextual, conceptual and methodological challenges

By R. Hattam, M. Brennan, L. Zipin and B. Comber


Reforming schooling to enable engagement and success for those typically marginalised and failed by schools is a necessary task for educational researchers and activists concerned with injustice. However, it is a difficult pursuit, with a long history of failed attempts. This paper outlines the rationale of an Australian partnership research project, Redesigning Pedagogies in the North (RPiN), which took on such an effort in public secondary schooling contexts that, in current times, are beset with 'crisis' conditions and constrained by policy rationales that make it difficult to pursue issues of justice. Within the project, university investigators and teachers collaborated in action research that drew on a range of conceptual resources for redesigning curriculum and pedagogies, including: funds of knowledge, vernacular or local literacies; place-based education; the 'productive pedagogies' and the 'unofficial curriculum' of popular culture and out-of-school learning settings. In bringing these resources together with the aim of interrupting the reproduction of inequality, the project developed a methodo-logic which builds on Bourdieuian insights

Topics: Educational disadvantage, Funds of knowledge, Pedagogical innovation, Professional learning community, Research methodology
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1080/01596300903037010
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