2019 Writing Program Forum

Collective Praxis: a forum on the National Writing Program

This forum highlighted the work developed through the national Writing Program for Equity & Widening Participation Practitioners developed by the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education. The event allowed space and time for practitioners to share reflections on how engaging with the research process provides a critical space to engage with what equity means in a changing higher education landscape.

The forum commenced with the two keynote addresses:

  • Creating Time for Change through Praxis-based Pedagogical Methodologies -  Professor Penny Jane Burke &
  • The Role of Equity in the Interconnected World -Professor John Fischetti.

The national writing program at UON, commenced in 2017, brings participants together across research, policy and practice to generate rich, shared pedagogical re-search spaces of communities of praxis. The program aims to break down problematic divisions that legitimise some bodies of people and bodies of knowledge and not others by working across research-evaluation-theory-policy-practice and holding these together in reciprocal and ethical frameworks of collaborative exchange.

The Program aims to enhance the relationship between widening participation practitioners and researchers and raise the profile of robust research and evaluation of widening participation practice nationally and internationally.


Keynote Abstracts

Professor Penny Jane Burke

Creating Time for Change through Praxis-based Pedagogical Methodologies

Time and change have become significant but also taken-for-granted discourses in our collective and contested (re)imagining(s) of contemporary higher education and its future. Contemporary higher education is increasingly driven by strong narratives of anticipated future(s) and the need (desire) to be future-oriented, often framed in terms of aspiration, employability and success. In this keynote, I argue that we need to reframe change as a transformative project of social justice, drawing on pedagogical methodologies that ‘make’ time for (social) change within a praxis-based framework. This requires that we (re)conceptualize ‘time’ through the lens of praxis (critical theory/practice), drawing attention to its deep relationship to the reproduction of material, cultural, structural and symbolic inequalities in higher education and the ways time (mis)frames our understanding of – and orientation to – change, often in deeply inequitable ways.

In this context, I illuminate the power of dialogical, cyclical and participatory reframings of equity (Burke, 2002; Burke, 2012; Burke, Crozier and Misiaszek, 2017). Equity work is deeply relational; we cannot generate equitable spaces without recognising and working to trans/form the complex, unequal and dynamic power relations within and across educational institutions and histories. Praxis-based Pedagogical Methodologies bring participants together across difference, opening up time and space to deepen our collective understanding about what equity and social justice work entails, while drawing on, recognising and critically interrogating the multiple and contested perspectives and values at play within and across our fields of practice. This has guided the creation of the National Writing Program for Equity & Widening Participation Practitioners, which brings participants together across research, policy and practice, generating rich, shared pedagogical re-search spaces of communities of praxis. The program aims to break down problematic divisions that legitimise some bodies of people and bodies of knowledge and not others by working across research-evaluation-theory-policy-practice and holding these together in reciprocal and ethical frameworks of collaborative exchange.

Professor John Fischetti

The Role of Equity in the Interconnected World

What is the interconnected world?

Where does equity sit in the priorities for Universities in the interconnected world?

What is the role of academics & practitioners to embrace an equity mindset in their research, teaching, practice and leadership?

This session will share a vision for three pillars of Universities for the future of Australia.

Progressive rather than regressive Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) built on a vison of excellence and equity will be required for larger universities to maintain their relevance in an increasingly machine-based world.

John Fischetti is Professor of Education and Interim Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Education and Arts. John’s work centers around a new vision for schooling and transforming learning, teaching and leading. John believes the for too long schools and universities have been places students go to watch their teachers work and that we are on the cusp of a new way to envision learning centres instead of teaching centres.

Three 2019 publications linked here provide some insight into John’s positions on these issues: