Policy Futures in Education
ISSN 1478-2103

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Volume 9 Number 6 2011


CONTENTS [click on author's name for abstract and full text]


The Art of Public Pedagogy

Brian McKenna & Antonia Darder. Introduction. The Art of Public Pedagogy: should the ‘truth’ dazzle gradually or thunder mightily?, pages 670‑685 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/pfie.2011.9.6.670 VIEW FULL TEXT

Henry Giroux. Breaking into the Movies: public pedagogy and the politics of film, pages 686‑695

Antonia Darder. Radio and the Art of Resistance: a public pedagogy of the airwaves, pages 696‑705

Joe Feria-Galicia. Mascot Politics, Public Pedagogy, and Social Movements: alternative media as a context for critical media literacy, pages 706‑714

Sam Beck. Public Anthropology as Public Pedagogy: an autobiographical account, pages 715‑734

Brian McKenna. Staging a Christopher Columbus Play in a Culture of Illusion: public pedagogy in a theatre of genocide, pages 735‑746

Nathalia E. Jaramillo, Peter McLaren & Fernando Lázaro. A Critical Pedagogy of Recuperation, pages 747‑758

Carl A. Maida. Project-Based Learning: a critical pedagogy for the twenty-first century, pages 759‑768

Jen Katz-Buonincontro. Improvisational Theatre as Public Pedagogy: a case study of ‘aesthetic’ pedagogy in leadership development, pages 769‑779

Antonia Darder. Embodiments of Public Pedagogy: the art of soulful resistance, pages 780‑801

Gregory N. Bourassa. (Dis)Locating the Logics of the Anthropological Machine of Education: a review of Tyson Lewis & Richard Kahn’s Exopedagogy Out of Bounds: reimagining cultural studies for a posthuman age, pages 802‑804 http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/pfie.2011.9.6.802 VIEW FULL TEXT

Breaking into the Movies: public pedagogy and the politics of film



This article argues that how we think about education must extend far beyond matters of schooling and include those spaces, practices, discourses and maps of meaning and affect produced through a range of cultural and pedagogical technologies. We live at a time in which the educational influence of the larger culture has become the major force in producing subjectivities, desires and modes of identification necessary for the legitimation and functioning of a neoliberal society. If pedagogy has become central to creating particular modes of agency, public pedagogy represents a new cultural politics in which pedagogy has become central. One such mode of public pedagogy is film. As a form of public pedagogy, film combines entertainment and politics, and a claim to public memory, though in contested ways given the existence of distinctly varied social and cultural formations. In this article, I argue that films not only provide a pedagogical space that opens up the ‘possibility of interpretation as intervention’, they also make clear the need for forms of literacy that address the profoundly political and pedagogical ways in which knowledge, practice, discourse, images and values are constructed and enter our lives. Central to this article is the belief that the decline of public life demands that we use film as a way of raising questions that are increasingly lost to the forces of market relations, commercialization and privatization. As the opportunities for civic education and public engagement begin to disappear, film may provide one of the few mediums left that enables conversations that connect politics, personal experiences and public life to larger social issues. Not only does film travel more as a pedagogical form compared to other popular forms such as television and popular music, but film carries a kind of pedagogical weight that other mediums lack. As a quintessential element of a screen culture, film offers a way to rethink both the importance of cultural politics and public pedagogy as central to what it means to make the political more pedagogical and the pedagogical more political.


Radio and the Art of Resistance: a public pedagogy of the airwaves



The politics of the airwaves should be of vital concern to critical democracy, given the expanding realm of neoliberalism and its deeply homogenizing impact on social, political and economic relations everywhere. In light of the privatizing forces that control the media today, the article considers the manner in which community radio can provide public pedagogical spaces for often marginalized community voices to challenge the official public transcript of social life dictated, more times than not, by the powerful and wealthy leaders who shape public discourse. Here independent radio production is discussed as an important tool for building community relationships and as a viable alternative for supporting civic participation and critical forms of public engagement.


Mascot Politics, Public Pedagogy, and Social Movements: alternative media as a context for critical media literacy



Within the culture of central Illinois, mascot politics has been a hugely contentious issue. Since 1926, the university employed the use of the fabricated ‘Chief’ Illiniwek to motivate and entertain fans at athletic events. Since the late 1980s, Native American students began a campaign to end this ‘tradition’. This article examines the critical narratives of independent media producers who utilized a variety of public art forms to contest and help to finally eliminate this racist practice. Their narratives illuminate the strategic role of public pedagogy in the process of social struggle and provide an example of how the production of alternative media content can be critically appropriated in ways that help mobilize, sustain, and build collective actions for social justice.


Public Anthropology as Public Pedagogy: an autobiographical account



This autobiographical account provides a historical map of landmarks in the author’s personal and professional life that led him to his present understanding of public anthropology as public pedagogy and vice versa. He indicates that his experiences led him to study sociocultural anthropology to investigate learning from experience, a foundational method in anthropology that this discipline describes as participant observation. While not completely rejecting participant observation, he asserts that objective and value-free anthropology is not viable, and hence an activist approach may not only support research agendas but also support the needs of the people and communities under study. He explains some of the issues that are related to making this approach work and the ethical elements involved in an approach that is mutually advantageous. As an anthropologist, he became more involved in the political engagement of the people who were the subjects of his investigation. His position is that at this time in human history anthropology must become more activist, given that the vulnerable of the world are subjected to conditions that are increasingly more exploitative and oppressive. Public pedagogy developed out of his research experiences, and as his activist orientation grew, he found that his anthropological engagement was also an in-context and in-process pedagogy. Not only was he teaching, but he was also learning dialogically, as Paulo Freire might do.


Staging a Christopher Columbus Play in a Culture of Illusion: public pedagogy in a theatre of genocide



In the foreword to The Politics of Genocide, political theorist Noam Chomsky writes that denial of the American Indian holocaust is a potent force in the United States. He argues that ‘the most unambiguous cases of genocide’ are often ‘acknowledged by the perpetrators, and passed over as insignificant or even denied in retrospect by the beneficiaries, right to the present’. That is very true in the United States, where the author of this article discovers that few of his college students know much, if anything, about the capacious genocide of North American Indians. In this article, Brian McKenna explores the power of aesthetic theory and praxis to help overcome the rigid psychological defenses of besieged students. He carefully informs students about the genocide spawned by Columbus and the Spanish, and then draws connections between that history and the history of US Indian genocide and imperialism, up to the present day in Iraq and around the globe. The article presents a five-part exercise, refined over seven years, that shows how McKenna lets the ‘truth’ dazzle gradually and then thunder mightily in revealing students to themselves. He requires students to imagine themselves as high school teachers where they must produce the written outlines of a play that is based, in part, on the truths of the Spanish genocide as depicted by America’s first de facto cultural anthropologist, Father Bartolomé de las Casas. The ultimate aims of the exercise are threefold: (1) Will students, in the politically charged setting of a high school, construct a Theatre of Genocide about the Arawak Indians and the Spanish? (2) Will students draw the educational links between the Spanish and the theatres of war and genocide associated with the United States? And (3) How will students grapple with the pedagogical relationships between knowledge and power; censorship and self-censorship; truth and art? The article also asks, ‘Who controls the play curriculum? How can critical public pedagogues challenge the ubiquity of high school productions such as Oklahoma! and Hello, Dolly! to create forms of drama that speak directly to the issues of the day?


A Critical Pedagogy of Recuperation



Using the term ‘recuperation’ from their experiences working alongside activists in the ‘occupied factories’ of Argentina, the authors illustrate how ‘occupied spaces’ were transformed into ‘recuperated’ sites of pedagogical, cultural and artistic production. Focusing on the IMPA factory (Industrias Metalúrgicas y Plásticas Argentina) located in Buenos Aires, this article examines how the unique visions and alternative arrangements created by workers, intellectuals and artists became reality and how such visions and arrangements were indivisible from the struggle for worker self-determination. The authors note that the pedagogy of recuperation, while drawing its inspiration from the struggles of the occupied factories, schools and cultural centers of Argentina, is in the last instance a transnational pedagogy of resistance, one that is multi-voiced, epistemologically decolonized and decolonizing, and dedicated to fostering oppositional and alternative spaces of reciprocity and struggle.


Project-Based Learning: a critical pedagogy for the twenty-first century



John Dewey’s notion of the school as a ‘social laboratory’ influenced educational policy a century ago when the United States underwent a ‘great transformation’ in its educational history toward mass schooling, resulting partly from the ‘high school movement’, where the focus was on ‘schooling for life’. Project-based learning, which builds on Dewey’s work on experiential, hands-on, student-directed learning, is ultimately delivered within a student‑teacher relationship, and the structure of this relationship and that of the school itself were shaped by an industrial culture that developed during a period of rapid industrialization when the dual revolutions of technology and information processing were transforming the country. During the earlier transition from craft to mass production, schools provided a social context for the task of renegotiating and reframing occupational techniques and world orientations in light of dramatic technological changes. So, too, have the challenges of the current technological revolution shifted the emphasis of education toward students actively using what they know to explore, negotiate, interpret, and create. As a potentially ‘disruptive innovation’ to the traditional schooling model, project-based learning challenges students by acknowledging their roles as participants engaged in producing knowledge. Students also perceive the value of project-based learning, experience this form of learning, and are rewarded through the responses of others to their projects within a community of practice.


Improvisational Theatre as Public Pedagogy: a case study of ‘aesthetic’ pedagogy in leadership development



How does improvisational theatre promote aesthetic learning in leaders, emphasizing emotion and somatic, or sensory, knowledge? While improvisational theatre has been used in organizational settings, there is little empirical research describing the aesthetic learning process geared towards preparing educational leaders. Based on a case study of an educational leadership institute using grounded theory to investigate the use of improvisational theatre, four learning conditions emerged for promoting the phenomenon of the aesthetic learning process. The article describes key features of this process – catharsis, empathy, and heightened sensory perception – as compared to works by Dewey, Greene, and Freire. These aesthetic aspects challenge the traditional role of leadership ‘trainer’ and leadership ‘student’ and reflect a more collaborative conception of leadership development as conveyed in public pedagogy literature.


Embodiments of Public Pedagogy: the art of soulful resistance



This article provides a space to explore, through artistic representations and the words of artists themselves, the manner in which politically engaged artists use their visual art, poetry, music, dance, and theatre performances as an effective tool for public pedagogy. In turn, these artists provide those who enter into their cultural production a place of interrogation, affirmation, political critique, and solidarity, as they contend skillfully with issues of oppression, resistance, and the daily struggles to survive in a world of inequalities.


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