Methodological entanglements – public pedagogy research

Submission deadline date: 5 April 2023


There have been multiple calls for attention in public pedagogy research to move from the strategies used by the professional pedagogue to attention to the learner. Research in the field of public pedagogy has had its focus on ‘knowledge’ made available to the public.  This ongoing collapse of public pedagogy and public curriculum requires a critical analysis of why the focus on the public curriculum subsumes pedagogy.  
This public pedagogical encounter demands a methodological approach which entails a readiness to engage the complexity, the nuanced nature, and the ongoing vibrancy of ‘public pedagogy’.  The constant dynamic inter-actions of knowledge, public as learner and sometimes pedagogue and place forestall opportunities/inclinations to define it within a limited discipline. In this work we look to the work of St Pierre in her argument against logical empiricism in the social sciences, (2019). From inside our engagements with public pedagogical encounters MacLure (2020) has informed the shaping of our writing of these encounters and the methods of knowing these encounters through following the specific grain and contour of the complexity, the bespoke nature, and the generative nature of these learning encounters.

In our recent book Theory and Methods for Public Pedagogy Research (2021) we introduce the term educative agent to specifically addresses authority.  We argue public pedagogy is the actualisation of the educative agent as authority in the public. In this reading, the educative agent is the public pedagogue. When ‘the pedagogical encounter is located in the ‘public’ the quality of the reading of the public enhances the reading of that encounter. That encounter involves in the learning event the one who speaks/acts, the knowledge, and the place. In a public pedagogical encounter, the ‘one’ speaks/acts is in an engagement with knowledge. The ‘learner’ and the ‘pedagogue/teacher’ collapse in the being of ‘educative agent’. In our concept of the educative agent, we draw on Arendt’s work where she notes something other is revealed through the speaking agent. In this public realm, there is the possibility of the appearance of the agent revealed through speech and action. We extend this understanding of this revelation to the appearance of what we term the educative agent –  this is the becoming of the educative agent. In our pedagogical reading of the making of educative agent what is revealed is the speaker or actor and the setting of a new beginning in relation to knowledge. When pedagogy encounters public what comes into being is the educative agent and the presence of authority. Previous research has largely been undertaken by critical theorists in the area of public pedagogy. This work is important, but it maintains the focus on public curriculum to the extent that the public itself recedes in significance in this pedagogical encounter.

We seek articles that foreground methodological approaches to address the disconnect between public and pedagogy. What might a new public pedagogy look like? How might iterations of public pedagogy be disentangled from public curriculum? What kinds of new knowledge/s might emerge?

Topic areas

  • Public pedagogy
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Pedagogical encounter
  • Knowledge
  • Authority
  • Methodology

Submission information

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Key deadlines

Closing date for abstract submission: 1 February 2023

Email abstracts to [email protected] 


Submission opens: 13 November 2022

Submission closes: 5 April 2023