Chasing Social Change: Matters of Concern and the Mattering Practice of Educational Research
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University-based education researchers are increasingly expected to collaborate and partner with schools to produce improvements in student learning outcomes. In this paper we describe a school-university partnership project which used smart tools to facilitate collaborative pedagogic inquiries around student learning. In the Smart Education Partnership (SEP) project we worked with a cluster of 12 schools and a local education district office in a high poverty urban area of Queensland, Australia. We were chasing the illusive goals of generating social change to disrupt educational disadvantage. We worked with teachers, school leaders and school district administrators to design pedagogic interventions that would lift students' reading comprehension and disrupt cycles of educational under-achievement. Here we describe the formation of the initial partnership and the struggles to develop peer-to-peer knowledge networks across university and school spaces. We also describe the data visualisation tools, one set of smart tools generated to focus inquiry around student learning and innovative pedagogic designs. We draw on three sets of concepts to think about this work: (i) matters of fact, (ii) matters of concern, and (ii) the mattering practice of research to intervene and make a material difference in people's lives through new worldly configurations (Latour, 2004; Barad, 2007).
International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change
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Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development