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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Reclaiming Education: A Performance/Paper in Multiple Voices

Elizabeth J. Wood.

This performance/paper in multiple voices will present the work of Reclaiming Education, a project undertaken between September and December, 2002, in the Faculty of Education at McGill University. The project itself originated as a result of the initiative of one professor and 7 students: Chadwick Barnes, Andrea Galway, Joshua Novis, Aynsley O'Carroll, Alelia Parenteau, Jennifer Sweer, and Kaya Taché-Green. Reclaiming Education was the outcome of these students' request for an alternative to the traditional university course. With social justice concerns at the core, the members of Reclaiming Education democratically developed the theoretical and practical content, goals, and practices of the 'course' itself, embedding within it an innovative community-based project. Together, we created a learning environment in which all voices – of both professor and students – were present and determinant at every level of the educational process. Emergent from this was a focus on power relations in the group, communication, and the challenges faced when responsibility for learning is reappropriated by students. The resultant forum not only challenged and transformed traditional university practices, but extended the classroom into the broader education community. Reclaiming Education is the performance piece that we collectively developed to portray this powerful, difficult, and hugely rewarding journey.

The performance/paper workshop begins with a condensed, poetic, and intensely honest representation of the process undergone. Involving all participants, the performance segment lasts approx. 25 minutes. Following this, the participants will engage in discussion with the audience, answering questions and highlighting issues in an interactive workshop format.


Elizabeth J. Wood  (Canada)
Associate Professor
Integrated Studies in Education
McGill University

Elizabeth Wood is Director of Undergraduate Programs at McGill University. Her teaching and research are situated at the intersection of education, the arts, and social justice. She is recipient of several awards for distinguished teaching and is author of numerous articles on contemporary art.

  • Transformative Education
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Arts-based Methodology
  • Student-centred Learning

(60 min Workshop, English)