Talk at the Institute of Education on public pedagogy research in the digital age

On 25th March I will be giving a talk at the Institute of Education , University of London, as part of their sociology of education seminar series:

The possibilities and challenges of Public Pedagogy research in the digital age

 Over the last decade, there has been a groundswell of scholarship drawing on the theoretical construct of ‘public pedagogy’. In this presentation, I will critically discuss some of the possibilities and challenges of this vision of education drawing on some of my past and ongoing research related to digitality and physical cultures (citizen journalism, mobile health surveillance, web 2.0).   This framing has provided exciting possibilities for critical explorations of the educative force of a range of cultural sites in young people’s lives.  Evidence is also emerging of the transformative potential of public pedagogies in challenging oppressive discourses of the body through alternative pedagogies. Yet public pedagogy scholarship is flourishing at a conjuncture when the assumed distinction between public and private spaces has been complicated by this emerging digitality.  Whilst the construct of public pedagogy has drawn attention to the persuasive pedagogical influence of new digital technologies, I will argue that the challenges of doing research on or through digital environments reveal some of the limitations of current conceptualisations of public pedagogy.  Finally, in considering future directions of the field, the intention is to raise a series of questions that I and other public pedagogy scholars have been grappling with in terms of the ‘mythologizing and totalising’ (Savage, 2010) aspects of public pedagogy.

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