2018 #littlepublics

Public pedagogy

Today we live in what Basil Bernstein (2001) describes as a “totally pedagogised society” (TPS), one in which we are trained, primarily through our technological interactions, to be lifelong “learners,” that is to say, flexible “prosumers” (Ritzer & Jurgenson, 2010). This process of what might be called “learnification” (after Biesta, 2004) cannot but affect pedagogy in the classroom and beyond, namely, in those “public pedagogies – spaces, sites, and languages of education and learning [–] that exist outside of the walls of the institution of schools” (Sandlin et al., 2010, p. 1). For the most part, public pedagogy has been conceived in this critical vein: as “a powerful ensemble of ideological and institutional forces whose aim is to produce competitive, self-interested individuals vying for their own material and ideological gain” (Giroux, 2004, p. 497; for a review of the literature, see Hickey-Moody et al., 2010).

But it can be conceived otherwise, as not only critical but also constructive. Two examples suggest themselves. In “Becoming Public,” Gert Biesta (2012, p. 693) argues that pedagogy becomes genuinely public – and political – when it involves the “interruption” of our ways of living together “as a ‘test’ of the public quality of particular forms of togetherness and of the extent to which actual spaces and places make such forms of human togetherness possible.” In “Little Public Spheres,” Anna Hickey-Moody (2014, p. 7) describes the performing arts as a mode of public pedagogy that “allows for the articulation of discrete forms of citizenship … through belonging to, and participating in, youth arts subcultures, which effectively constitute little publics when they create a work or text that calls an audience to attention.”

The Association for Visual Pedagogies invite you to explore the role of the visual in public pedagogy, in the critical and constructive modes.

Date: June 19 & 20 2018
Venue: – Faculty of Education and Social Work, Epsom Campus
Faculty of Education and Social Work, Epsom Campus, University of Auckland
74 Epsom Avenue,
Auckland, 1023
Registration: Room N356

Bernstein, B. (2001). From pedagogies to knowledges. In A. M. Morais, I. Neves, B. Davies & H. Daniels (Eds.), Towards a sociology of pedagogy: The contribution of Basil Bernstein to research (pp. 363–368). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Biesta, G. J. J. (2004). Against learning. Reclaiming a language for education in an age of learning. Nordisk Pedagogik23, 70–82.

Biesta, G. (2012). Becoming public: public pedagogy, citizenship and the public sphere. Social & Cultural Geography13(7), 683–697.

Giroux, H. A. (2004). Public pedagogy and the politics of neo-liberalism: Making the political more pedagogical. Policy Futures in Education2(3–4), 494–503.

Hickey-Moody, A. (2014). Little public spheres. In J. Burdick, J. A. Sandlin, & M. P. O’Malley (Eds.), Problematizing public pedagogy (pp. 117–129). New York, NY: Routledge.

Hickey-Moody, A., Savage, G. C., & Windle, J. (2010). Pedagogy writ large: Public, popular and cultural pedagogies in motion. Critical Studies in Education51(3), 227–236.

Ritzer, G. & Jurgenson, N. (2010). Production, consumption, prosumption: The nature of capitalism in the age of the digital “prosumer.” Journal of Consumer Culture, 10(1), 13–36.

Sandlin, J. A., Schultz, B. D., & Burdick, J. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of public pedagogy: Education and learning beyond schooling. New York, NY: Routledge.


This is a curated symposium that bridges academic and art publics. Through workshops and discussions we will explore collaborations in public visual pedagogy and participants will document these in a range of media. The collaborations will culminate in a special issue of the AVP journal.​ (Therefore, in some workshops, you will be invited to sign a consent form to give permission for data generated through these collaborations to be used for publication.)

Registration: Teachers $50, PhD students $50, Academics $150

Contact for registration enquiries: