Blogging as public pedagogy: Creating alternative educational futures

Dennis, Carol Azumah (2015). Blogging as public pedagogy: Creating alternative educational futures. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 34(3) pp. 284–299.



In this paper I explore ‘blogging’, the use of a regularly updated website or web page, authored and curated by an individual or small group, written in a conversational style, as a form of public pedagogy. I analyse blogs as pre-figurative spaces where people go to learn with/in a public sphere, through collaboration with interested others. However, my intention is not to conceptualise blogging spaces as such, but rather – having framed them in a particular way - to explore the extent to which they globalise dissent. My argument is that the blogs I explore, understood as public pedagogic spaces, cultivate voices of educational dissent.
Positioning itself within the global research imagination, the paper draws extensively on data generated by two blogging communities with a combined international readership in excess of 40,000 people; one of the blogs is based in the UK, written by a group of adult educators. The other is based in Canada written by a group of adult literacy practitioners. While both blogs are authored, curated and carried by a named individual, as public pedagogic spaces they are implicated in the creation of a dialogic self: a self which is developed collaboratively with/in the interests of and through a public that coalesces around them.
The pedagogies associated with these spaces are argued as explicit and intentioned. The public that coalesces around them learns how to survive a global neoliberal policy nexus that is unsympathetic towards the ideals they pre-figuratively embody. In so doing, they call into being the creation of alternative educational understandings of themselves and each other in relation to policy, pedagogy and the purposes of education.

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