14 SES 06 A, Multidisciplinary Approaches to Learning in and from Urban Spaces: Place-Based Methodologies - Part 3
Co-production/co-configuration is a challenging process (Engeström, 2004). In relation to teacher/researcher partnerships, a number of authors have pointed to the importance of trust (Rathgen et al., 2006) and quality of relationships (Hedges, 2010). In England there exists a culture of performativity within schools (Ball, 2003) which tends to dominate thinking and discourse. Whilst most schools play safe, there are some schools prepared to engage in innovation because of a fundamental belief in the benefits of a more rounded education (Downey et al, 2012). This paper is based on Co-Curate North East, which is a research council funded project which supports groups to use digital archives to create/mash up new artefacts. It focuses on work with two schools working on locality projects which culminated in significant ‘displays’ of students’ co-produced work. Question: How do co-production partners become reciprocal and trusting? Methods: We explore how co-production was facilitated by a Theory of Change methodology (Dyson & Todd, 2010) which sought to combine the aims and ambitions of the partners. It is a descriptive case study drawing upon: interviews, theory of change documents, researcher observations and reflections, and partner products and documentation. Early results: 1. It was vital to have genuine motivation for the project from school senior leaders, teachers and the researchers, which was reflected in their identity and agency; 2. Our evidence suggests that interwoven social capital (shared histories and connections) and care (Noddings 1988) all facilitated co-production; 3. A mutual understanding of partner contexts, aims and ambitions was important which was facilitated greatly by Theory of Change. In a policy context which can be suffocating and overpowering, educational change lies in the balance. We argue that for teachers to undertake even moderate educational reform requires both ecological (Biesta & Tedder, 2007) and individual agency founded on secure relationships.
- Ball, S., (2003). The teachers’ soul and the terrors of performativity. Journal of Educational Policy, 18: 215-228. - Biesta, G.J.J. & Tedder, M. (2007) 'Agency and learning in the lifecourse: Towards an ecological perspective', Studies in the Education of Adults, 39(2): 132-149 - Downey, C., Byrne, J. & Souza, A. (2012) Leading and managing the competence-based curriculum: conscripts, volunteers and champions at work within the departmentalised environment of the secondary school, The Curriculum Journal, Vol. 24 (3), pp. 369-388. - Engestrom, Y. (2004) New forms of learning in co-configuration work, Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 16 (1/2), pp. 11-21. - Dyson, A. & Todd, L. (2010), Dealing with complexity: theory of change evaluation and the full-service extended schools initiative, International Journal of Research & Method in Education, Vol. 33 (2), pp. 119-134. - Hedges H. (2010). Blurring the boundaries: connecting research, practice and professional learning, Cambridge Journal of Education, Vol. 40, pp. 299-314. Noddings, N. (1988). An Ethic of Caring and Its Implications for Instructional Arrangements, American Journal of Education, Vol. 96, (2) (The Moral Life of Schools), pp. 215-230. - Rathgen, E. (2006). ‘In the voice of teachers: The promise and challenge of participating in classroom-based research for teachers’ professional learning’
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