SPOKE: Knowledge exchange for pedagogical and community change
How does teacher and community participation enable, challenge and constrain pedagogical change and community building and how do these benefit educators, children, families and communities?
Newman’s spoke explores how through re-envisioning pedagogical leadership and by creating enabling learning environments, teachers, parents, children and communities re-interpret, enact and resist educational policies in Chile, Australia and South Africa. Newman’s interest is in the challenges to policy provided by participants acting at ground-level (Freire, 1992) and the relationships between policy and practice. The theoretical foundations of her work lie in socio-cultural theories (Vygotsky, 1978; Woodrow & Newman, 2011) and is underpinned by the explicit goal of re-positioning adults and children as active agents in learning encounters where learning is co-constructed within social, cultural and historical contexts (UWS, 2011). Methods currently in use and informed by these theoretical approaches include Participatory Action Research (Furlong & Oancea, 2005), visual methods such as photovoice (Pink, 2001), and ecologically informed environmental (early childhood literacy environment) rating scales.