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Learner agency and social justice: what can creative pedagogy contribute to socially just pedagogies?

Hempel-Jorgensen, Amelia (2015). Learner agency and social justice: what can creative pedagogy contribute to socially just pedagogies? Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 23(4) pp. 531–554.

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This paper extends the ongoing debate about socially just pedagogy by arguing that disadvantaged learners’ capacity to exercise learner agency, which is essential for learning but has been shown to be unequally constrained, can be more effectively enabled. This is accomplished by critically discussing the possibilities and limits of a selection of existing literature on socially just pedagogies, including Critical and Productive Pedagogies, for enabling learner agency. Using sociocultural theory of learner agency, the paper argues that these pedagogies implicitly aim to support learner agency but are to varying extents limited in this respect. It is argued that through a dialogue with the research on pedagogy for Possibility Thinking, disadvantaged learners’ agency can be significantly increased. The paper argues that this could lead to extending learner agency from learning in the form of meaning-making and knowledge construction to learners co-imagining socially just pedagogies and co-transforming existing unjust pedagogical practices.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 Pedagogy, Culture & Society
ISSN: 1747-5104
Keywords: equity; inequality; disadvantage; social justice; pedagogy; education; creative pedagogy; learner agency; possibility thinking
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Education Futures
Item ID: 40734
Depositing User: Amelia Hempel-Jorgensen
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2014 08:28
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2020 09:27
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