25 SES 08, Children’s Perspectives on Formal and Informal Educational Spaces
This paper is based on a pedagogical action research initiative that focuses on two perspectives: 1. How pupils can participate to the process of developing school pedagogy by taking photos from their meaningful experiences? 2. What were the meaningful experiences of pupils of participatory pedagogy.
Participatory pedagogy is based on constructivism both in terms of its learning concept and its epistemological assumptions. In addition, it includes features of participative education, experiential learning, investigative learning, and critical pedagogy. In participatory pedagogy pupils express their learning by creating different kinds of narratives of learning topics. Narratives have varied from a written fairytale into a scene play, a picture book or a research report written according pupils’ own research findings. During the school year each pupil produces narratives alone, with a pair and in a group.
The data was gathered in two periods. The first data was gathered between January 2012 and May 2012 and the second data was gathered between September 2012 and December 2012. A total of one teacher-researcher, 25 pupils (aged 9-10) and four teacher students participated in the research. The first data included 239 pictures and 12 group interviews and it was analyzed by the teacher-researcher by using narrative analysis. The second data included 200 pictures. The pictures of the pupils were analyzed by teacher students. Before analyzing the pictures teacher students and pupils had several group discussions of the pictures.
The theoretical contribution of analysis rests on the concept “lived pedagogy”, adapted from Max van Manen’s term “lived experience”. Like van Manen, I start by asking the key question of phenomenological-hermeneutical research: what is the nature of the phenomenon as meaningfully experienced? For me the phenomenon is the pedagogical understanding of the people in a pedagogical relationship: it begins from listening to and reflecting on the stories told by children about their experiences of education.
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