Studies in Philosophy and Education 32 (3):297-311 (2013)

Family-focused community education implies a relational pedagogy, whereby people of different ages and experiences, including children, engage interdependently in the education of selves and others. Educational projects grow out of lived experiences and relationships, evolving in dynamic conditions of community self-organisation and self-expression, however partial and approximate, as opposed to habitual and repetitive actions. In developing educational activities through radical listening, community educators aim to reflect the character of the neighbourhood and build on local knowledge and expertise. The paper reports on ways in which one community school invited, encouraged and supported children as co-educators through projects that promoted collaborative leadership and unfolded, rather than being delivered through planned and scripted lessons. These were creative projects of cultural significance, characterised by attentive listening and aiming to promote intergenerational conversation. Through such transformative projects children emerged as educators by acting as catalysts of change, as cultural producers and as conversationalists, as did their parents and other members of the school community. The paper concludes that community co-education ideas should be re-visited to breathe new life into educational and social actions today.
Keywords Community education  Radical listening  Intergenerational learning  Critical pedagogy
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DOI 10.1007/s11217-012-9352-1
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