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discursive pedagogy

In this example (Bamber and Crowther, 2012) we look at how a theoretical framework informed by Gramsci and Habermas provides a lens for reflection on teaching and learning within a community education programme. Gramsci and Habermas are two heavyweight thinkers but the article is helpfully concise. In particular the authors draw on Habermas in particular to promote a discursive pedagogy resting on four principles:

• Learning depends upon acts of reciprocity

• Knowledge can be developed through redeeming validity claims

• It is necessary to safeguard rationality in processes of argumentation

• In essence, becoming critically competent can be understood as a constructive

For these authors theory is evoked to inform practice and in particular to show how a claim to knowledge building can be made. I like too that the authors draw on their own practical knowledge of teaching and describe different kinds of knowledge that inform practice. If you are looking to make a critique of their approach you might want to counter their view of learning with a more technical or instrumental one, or more subtly you may want to ask more about the participant view of knowledge and the lack of participant voice in the paper.

The article shows how concepts that were not developed within a particular discipline can illuminate practice. The question for you is whether there are particular concepts or theories that inform your practice in a similar way?

Bamber, J., & Crowther, J. (2012) Speaking Habermas to Gramsci: Implications for the vocational preparation of community educators. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 31(2), 183-197.