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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


No-one is a Good or Bad Student Here: Active Citizenship Projects as Justice in the Vernacular

Pat Thomson.

Active citizenshiph as been promoted by progressive educators in Australia as the means by which a national conservative Civics curriculum push can be made more real, authentic and meaningful. This paper focuses on three South Australian schools funded to undertake action research into pedagogies and assessment practices associated with active citizenship. A meta-analysis is made of the three projects Environment Activists; Democratic Classroom and Global Citizens -using teacher reports, student interviews and the final published overall report. In each site, a triple helix of local and official knowledges, negotiated classroom and school practices and community-based social action, were worked together to create an inclusive space in which a wide range of 'good, risky and bad' students could collectively construct active citizen identities. These projects did not produce the examples of 'best practice' the funder may have imagined, but rather illustrations of the possibilities of doing justice in the vernacular.


Pat Thomson  (Australia)
University of Nottingham

  • Citizenship
  • Social Justice
  • Action Research
Person as Subject
  • students

(30 min Conference Paper, English)