677 research outputs found

    When the street becomes a pedagogue

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    I've long been interested in the way that public space comes to be used to present the ideas of private concerns. I've never quite understood why a fast food chain can blatantly display their ideas in the streetscape, yet graffiti and street art is considered the work of criminals. I've found much of my professional activity, including PhD research, devoted to the exploration of how signage is deployed and appropriated and want to draw on a couple of these research projects to explain how I see the public pedagogical intent of urban signage functioning in the street-scape

    Cataloguing men: charting the male librarian's experience through the perceptions and positions of men in libraries

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    This study explores the perceptions of male librarians working in an academic library. Underpinning the methodology of this paper is a series of in depth interviews conducted over several years with a group of selected male librarians. This paper suggests that the meanings constructed by male librarians in the non-traditional work environment have broader implications within organisational contexts

    Repatriating race: exorcising ethno-exclusion

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    Race is widely acknowledged as one of humankind's most pernicious and enduring myths, and its contemporary ideological doppelganger – ethnicity – presents as arguably the single most divisive, oppressive and dangerous axis of identity at work in the world today. Attempts to develop more racially/ethnically harmonious communities have typically looked to education programs, usually conducted through the formal mechanisms of schooling, as a primary vehicle for the development of greater understanding and 'naturalizing' of difference. Focusing almost exclusively on the effects of racism and marginalization on the typically located victims of such oppression, these programs have largely ignored the importance of turning the focus of attention on to those positioned as beneficiaries of racism. That such programs have been largely unsuccessful in any broad societal sense has led to the exploration of alternative approaches to developing racial and ethnic awareness. This paper derives from a long-term project that has been anchored by two key political imperatives: making whiteness visible and effecting conscientization through autoethnographic work. Research on this project with pre-service teachers, most of it funded over several years, and more recently with middle (secondary) school students has provided valuable insights into more effective possibilities for the development of anti-racist pedagogies and for the decentring of the WWW (White Western Ways) that the authors see as crucial to a genuine move towards ethnic harmony. The first part of this paper exposes and justifies the ideological and procedural underpinnings of the program design and operation, and the second section reports on the outcomes to date. The authors conclude with a set of implications and possibilities for further, future activity

    Autoethnography and teacher development

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    Autoethnography has largely been deployed in formal therapeutic situations, with its potential for application in general personal and professional development only now emerging. Autoethnography presents valuable opportunities for application in situations requiring a connection between self-understanding and broader socialization processes. This paper explores the nature of autoethnographic approaches to research, including various methodological issues pertaining to Self as data-source, and describes initial outcomes of a research project aimed at illuminating procedural and epistemological issues attached to the use of autoethnography in teacher education and professional development situations. The importance of excavating Self and identity through the autoethnographic process is highlighted with the paper drawing upon examples from practice to illustrate possibilities for the deployment of agency through critical analyses of Self

    Bicycles, ‘informality’ and the alternative learning space as a site for re-engagement: a risky (pedagogical) proposition?

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    The great possibility of alternative education programs rests in the affront to established conventions that these present for what counts as learning, engagement and the experience of schooling. This paper takes as its point of focus one specific, in-school alternative learning program, and considers the possibilities for student re-engagement that emerged via the repair and restoration of old bicycles. The discussion focusses particularly on the 'informality' that presented within the day-to-day dynamics of the program and how the space provided in the program’s workshop sessions offered the opportunity for students to re-configure their relationships with each other, their teachers and the larger practice of schooling. A discussion of both the potential and risk of a 'pedagogy of informality' is posited in light of current discussions in the literature of alternative education in Australia

    Working the aporia: ethnography, embodiment and the ethnographic self

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    A more considered sense of the embodied nature of encounter is called for in the scholarship of ethnography. This paper argues for an ethnographic practice that accordingly moves beyond simplistic recounts of ‘highly personalised styles and their self-absorbed mandates’ (Van Maanen, 2011: 73), to more fully position an understanding of the ethnographer’s Self as an also encountered ‘site’. Taking cues from Heideggar’s (2008/1927) formulation of Dasein and the realisation of the Self through the encountered Other, this paper argues that attempts to make sense of the Other in ethnography – ultimately the raison d’etre of ethnographic practice – concomitantly require an accounting-for of the Self. This paper takes aim at the nature of embodiment as central to the experience of encounter, but will argue that this encounter of the Self functions as an aporia: a site of unknowing, but equally, of generative possibility. It is with the effects that embodiment has and the inflections it provides for the ethnography that particular attention is given

    Engaging community with social research: using social research to develop and evaluate local government community engagement initiatives

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    In 2011, a partnership between the Community Development and Facilities Branch of the Toowoomba Regional Council and Dr Andrew Hickey from the University of Southern Queensland commenced exploring the uses of social research in local government community development practice. The branch had identified a need for developing richer accounts of communities located within the Toowoomba region local government area, and although significant economic and demographic datasets were available via in-house and external providers, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing (2011, 2006) and Council’s own ‘Community Profile’ (2011) and ‘Community Atlas’ (2011) socio-demographic maps, the analyses of community drawn from these accounts could not provide Branch staff with a complete picture of the communities they were working with. Branch staff sought a sense of the qualitative aspects of living within community and set about attempting to identify the relational and affective nature of their communities. Through the gathering of accounts of the experience of community, Branch staff sought to refine and target program delivery in their community engagement initiatives. To this end, a partnership with Dr Andrew Hickey, a social researcher based at the University of Southern Queensland commenced, and set about identifying a skill set that community development practitioners in local government might draw on to effectively account for and record the relational and experiential aspects of community (Pretty 2002; Hickey 2012). An outcome of this early partnership included the development of a set of practitioner focused research training resources initially trialled with Community Development and Facilities Branch staff of Toowoomba Regional Council through 2012. Further funding to develop these resources was needed however, and following the securing of an ACELG Partnership Grant, the project extended to commence development of a web-based professional development training package, The Social Research Toolkit, underpinned by a research agenda that sought to understand how local government practitioners (especially those in community engagement and development) might go about using social research within their day-to-day practice. With a project team including Dr Andrew Hickey (University of Southern Queensland), Mr Paul Reynolds (Toowoomba Regional Council) and Dr Lisa McDonald (University of Southern Queensland), the development of The Social Research Toolkit commenced and a field-based research project exploring the uses of qualitative social research in local government settings undertaken in sites across Australia. This report details the key findings drawn from the Partnership Grant that supported this project and provides insight into the ways social research might come to be used in local government community engagement
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