The purpose of coming together in the SIG is to create a forum to explore and share theoretically and practically the challenges, possibilities and failures around critical pedagogies for social justice in teacher education; the matter of praxis at the local and global levels. We will reflect deeply together through dialogical processes, and write and present critically on what emerges for ITEs when we open up this new and perhaps less conventional research space (Sykes and Gachago 2018).
Through a dialogical praxis (including e.g. deep talk), members will research and theorise methodologies that have transformative potential and enable critique of policy and practice that is restricting and unjust in ITE. The forum will animate and activate educators, particularly teacher educators, to either establish or revisit their ways of working, and offer resistance to encroaching demands for performativity that curtail critical praxis for social justice.
We propose a stimulus/catalyst event to launch the SIG and create dialogue and networks of interest around shared and diverse praxis. A critical social justice theorist/educator will speak to the theme of critical praxis and social justice in education/teacher education (Zembylas/Andreotti for example). A further two face-to- face meetings per year are envisaged to develop the network.
SIG Convenor: Maeve O’Brien
Contact details: Twitter @Criticalpedago1
Interim report from the Teacher Education Critical Pedagogy and Praxis for Social Justice SIG
Teacher Education: Critical Pedagogy and Praxis for Social Justice (Spring 2021)
Context and Process:
Original statement: “Our purpose in coming together in this SIG is to create a forum to explore and share theoretically and practically the challenges, possibilities and failures around critical pedagogies for social justice in teacher education”.
To realise this statement of purpose for the SIG, our group of seven TEs (Teacher Educators) from a variety of disciplines and institutions have met online, on average at least once a month, for about 1 and 1/2 hours per meeting. Reflecting on the ‘remoteness’ of these meetings in COVID, we have considered repeatedly and from different perspectives, the pedagogical and critical challenges of relational disembodied TE praxis, and especially for the process of human development and transformational education. Notwithstanding the limitations of the remote space, we have successfully built strong bonds of trust and relationship, essential conditions for critical and transformative dialogic praxis. In effect we have developed a strong community of critical, contemplative and ethical practice from a cross institutional shared TE interest group. Our critical dialogue has explored the nature and significance of this communal space, for our own critical praxis and for future possibilities and projects.
Methodology and Findings:
We have recorded almost all the meetings because an exploration of process is fundamental to our reflexive methodology. In these we can capture and analyse the dialogue, uncover
major and emergent themes, uncover preconditions or obstacles for the development of this community of praxis, while also reflecting on our own individual TE praxis. Moreover, we have sought feedback from colleagues and critical partners regarding our dialogic and reflective methods. Having built a strong sense of understanding of our critical TE praxis specifically in COVID, but also in a broader educational context where the relational and its ethic is often under pressure, we now seek to present and share these learnings with other interested TEs.
Dissemination and Invitation:
Plans to host events and progress our work was put on hold in the lockdown, it took some time to understand the process of praxis, of dialogue and reflection in the now disembodied community space. At this point, after data gathering, reflection, analysis, we are increasingly in a position to present a series of thematic talks in coming months, to reach out to others interested in this type of community of praxis, and to host an event with an exceptional thinker on the significance of embodied experience possibly next Autumn 2021.