Friday, April 06, 2018

#lilac18 a framework for research as praxis

Kyle Feenstra from University of Manitoba in Canada led a discussion based session. He is a liaison librarian who works with the faculty of education. The discussion stemmed from interest in critical literacy, and the role of the librarian as an educator in the knowledge creation process of the student. Kyle draws on the ideas of Patti Lather who wrote about “research as praxis”. And the writings of Paolo Freire, Joe Kincheloe and Nick Couldry. Pedagogy is about making space for learning, which is conceived as a critical, interpretive, dialogic response to the world. Freire said that what makes us human is our ability to reflect and act upon the world in order to transform it. Dialogue is what makes  learning authentic, and literacy is reading both the world and the word, because how we understand what we read is dependent on how we understand the world around us. Kyle then moved on to discuss constructivism as an educational theory. Joe Kincheloe writes about constructivism, who sees the role of the teacher to introduce students to a world, and help them build their epistemological infrastructure to understand that world. Reciprocity in information literacy teaching would involve not positioning the teacher as expert, but instead seeing the learning as a mutual exploration, where students are invited to critique the teacher’s worldview. Kyle asked the question “how can the library make space for the voice of the learner, ensuring g that it is visible and validated as a meaningful expression alongside the privileged voices of academics and dominant university discourses?” We had an interesting discussion about how to empower students to take greater ownership of their own learning, when the dominant educational experience is teacher centred, positivist and transmissive.

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