Category Archives: Conference

Creative Body Based Learning

Public Pedagogies Institute Conference 2018
Footscray, Melbourne

Thursday November 22, 1.30pm

Creative Body Based Learning (CBL) is a method that utilises arts based strategies to mobilise the aesthetic, cognitive and affective domains of participants. This workshop led by Belinda MacGill will use CBL strategies with participants to explore the affordances of public pedagogy and ways in which to mobilise arts based strategies in public sites.

Using embodied arts pedagogies to promote engagement (Dawson and Lee 2018) through meaning making strategies is a creative response to advance the power of collective community knowledge in the public sphere.

This workshop is underpinned by relational aesthetics through co-construction that will culminate in a set of strategies for participants to mobilise in their own sites.

Belinda MacGill is a lecturer, artist and researcher at University of South Australia. Her primary research interests draw on the fields of Indigenous education, postcolonial theory, visual methodologies, arts pedagogy (Dawson 2013) and critical race theory.

This session is part of:

Public Pedagogies Institute Conference 2018
November 22-23
Footscray, Melbourne

Register for the conference here

The Public and Touch

November 22-23
Public Pedagogies Institute Conference 2018
Footscray, Melbourne

This special program will take place over two days, beginning with a panel discussion on Thursday at 3.30pm, that invites you to join the conversation on the theme of The Public and Touch with the program creators: Raffaele Rufo, Paul Carter, Maya Ward, Elian Sellanes, Clare Walton, Merinda Kelly, Soraya Mobayad, Shelley Hannigan.

An ecological sensibility runs through the group, and so does a sensibility to the issues of migration, coloniality and the embodied imageries of indigenous Australia. The contributors to this session are creative practice-led researchers, and writers or creators of bodily or musical or visual performances.

There is a common thread with the potential for collaboration, discovery and change, as ways of finding and changing the place of our body in the material fabrics of the world.

This program will include presentations, exhibition, performance, workshop, and screenings.

This session is part of:

Public Pedagogies Institute Conference 2018
November 22-23
Footscray, Melbourne

Register for the conference here

The Story of the Disability Pride Mural in Footscray

Public Pedagogies Institute Conference 2018
November 22-23
Footscray, Melbourne

Social Activism and Public Pedagogies
Thursday November 22, 1.30-3.00pm

The Disability Pride mural project was led by Larissa MacFarlane and created by a large team of contributing artists. Barely a week after hundreds of hours were spent putting up the mural, the creators were shocked to find it had been removed.

Presenters Debbie Qadri and Larissa MacFarlane will tell the extraordinary story of the Disability Pride Mural in Footscray (the first of its kind in Australia), of its accidental removal . . . days later, and subsequent re-instatement!

This presentation will explore the meanings of the mural for the artists involved in making it, as well as how the art creates public pedagogy reflecting diverse experiences of disability.

View the Mural:
If you get a chance while at the conference or on your way, please take a look at the mural. It is located between Footscray Station and the Campus at:

Telstra Exchange building, 201 Nicholosn St Footscray
Google Map

For more information about the mural see:

Continuing the theme of social activism this presentation will be followed by:

Activist Art as Embodied Public Pedagogy for Social Change
by Shalin Krieger

Social Movement as Public Pedagogy: The Case of Adivasis
by Alankrita Chhikara

This session will include both a local and international focus around activist art, social movements, and public spaces.

This session is part of:

Public Pedagogies Institute Conference 2018
November 22-23
Footscray, Melbourne

Register for the conference here

Visual Thinking Strategies and Public Pedagogies

Visual Thinking Strategies:
Presentation and workshop
Friday November 23, 2018, 3.30-5pm
Public Pedagogies Conference

This session will begin with the presentation Making Thinking Visible in Public Spaces by Noeleen Curran, exploring Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) as a public pedagogy, with a focus primarily on informal institutions and public spaces that teach the public and engage the community.

VTS is a research-based construct that has proven to be effective in developing critical thinking and communication skills using art, on location at art gallery spaces. This presentation It will explore the value of utilising VTS to facilitate public pedagogical processes in its capacity to engage observation, provide evidence to support that observation, active listening, and being open to other viewpoints and interpretations. By exploring public venues and places to construct meaning, advances in a ‘public curriculum’ in which participants become their own ‘curriculum coordinators’, supports a powerful facilitated and self-constructed public pedagogy.

Noeleen Curran is a visual arts educator based in Adelaide, currently working at University of South Australia. She engages preservice teachers in The Arts curriculum as an integrative methodology and espouses the value of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) to support learning in the classroom and as a public pedagogy. She is currently the Secretary of Visual Arts Educators of South Australia Inc. (VAESA) and recently led a breakout session at the recent VAESA Winter Conference, sharing her knowledge and experience of VTS as a public pedagogy.

The presentation will be followed by an Introduction to Visual Thinking Strategies workshop with Christine Healey in which participants will engage in a VTS ‘conversation’, placing themselves in the position as learner. VTS uses facilitated discussion to practice respectful, democratic, collaborative problem-solving. Through this shared experience and debrief, workshop participants will gain personal insight into this pedagogy and its application.

Christine Healey is Curator Education and Community Learning at the Incinerator Gallery, Moonee Ponds and an experienced Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) facilitator, coach and trainer. Christine initially trained in VTS in New York (2012), followed with two fellowships at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (2013) and again as a guest of Independent Schools Victoria (2016). Christine introduced VTS and the VTS school partnerships into Australian contexts whilst Education Manager at Heide Museum of Modern Art. Christine’s formal qualifications include an MA Arts Management, RMIT University, Grad. Dip Ed. (Visual Arts), Uni Melb and Bachelor Fine Arts (Photography), Victorian College of the Arts and current Ph.D candidate at RMIT University. She is vice-president of Education Network Victoria (ENVI) and a 2013 Melbourne Boston Sister Cities fellow. Twitter: @ChristineHealey

This session is part of:

Public Pedagogies Institute Conference 2018
November 22-23
Footscray, Melbourne

Register for the conference here

Conference Registrations

Transmissions—knowledges and public spaces

2018 Public Pedagogies Institute Conference
November 22-23, Footscray, Melbourne

Click here to register for the Conference

Click here to register for the Conference Dinner

Registrations are now open for the 2018 Public Pedagogies Institute Conference.

The annual conference features a range of presentations and workshops across the diverse field of public pedagogies and is open to participants from many sectors.

Keynote Speakers 2018

Jake Burdick, Assistant Professor of Curriculum Studies
at Purdue University
Charlotte Courtois, 
Artist and founder of French association Konstelacio

Activist Public Pedagogies for the Post-Truth Moment

We are very excited to share the abstract for Jake Burdick’s Keynote presentation for the 2018 Public Pedagogies Institute conference:

Beneath Reason:
Activist Public Pedagogies for the Post-Truth Moment

The contemporary cultural and political landscape across the globe has been characterized as post-truth, a term that signifies both the ascendance of ideology-as-knowledge and the outright dismissal of any claims stemming from intellectualism, inquiry, or empirical evidence that does not align with the dominant position. As such, spaces of formal education, which trade heavily in these currencies of knowledge, have lost much of their effectiveness as sites of questioning and resistance. In this talk, I provide a brief overview of the post-truth moment and its seduction of educational spaces, and to respond, I discuss approaches to activist public pedagogies and historical knowledge traditions that have operated beyond reason-based forms of critique and protest. Bringing these concepts into dialogue, I discuss how we might reconceptualize activism via its affective, embodied, imaginative, and aesthetic approaches to ethical living and cultural difference.

Jake Burdick will be the Keynote speaker on Day One of the Public Pedagogies Institute Conference on November 22, 2018.

Transmissions—knowledges and public spaces
Public Pedagogies Institute Conference 2018 
November 22-23, Footscray, Melbourne

Learn more

PPI Conference 2017

The Public Pedagogies Institute annual conference took place on November 23 – 24, 2017.

Crossing the boundaries of disciplines and institutions, this unique program brought together participants from diverse sectors and fields, unlikely to be found at any other event.

The Keynote Speakers for our 2017 conference were Margaret Wertheim, of the Crochet Coral Reef project, and Liss Gabb of cohealth Arts Generator, which were both engaging and richly rewarding presentations that we felt very privileged to experience.

In addition to our Keynote Speakers, Panelists and Break Out Discussion Groups each morning, the two day program included a fantastic range of presentations, workshops, publication launches and other events each afternoon.

Both the presentations and workshops provided the opportunity to discover and engage with the wide range of research and practice taking place in the community in the area of public pedagogies.

If you are interested in participating in our 2018 conference please contact us via our contact page.

The 2018 conference will take place on November 22 – 23, in Footscray, Melbourne.

For those who missed the 2017 conference the  Abstracts are still available to view online.

Images below from the 2017 conference:

Keynote Speaker on Day One, Margaret Wertheim explores the question do sea slugs know hyperbolic geometry? in her presentation: “Art, Science and Figuring the World”
Keynote speaker Margaret Wertheim explaining the “Menger Sponge” project
Seminar session being chaired by Marg Malloch
Jayson Cooper, Robin Bellingham, Matthew Thomas, Mary Dixon and Karen Charman at the launch of their publication, “Towards a Footscray Curriculum”
Launch of the new issue of the Journal of Public Pedagogies
Drinks and discussion at the close of Day One
Keynote speaker on Day Two, Liss Gabb discusses the “Art of Radical Listening” project as part of her presentation on the work of cohealth Arts Generator
Keynote Speaker Liss Gabb (seated) with Panelists and session chair Karen Charman (standing)
Participatory music in the Marimba workshop with Sue Buchan and Martina Golding: in one session multiple songs and parts were learnt and performed
Playing the Marimba: from novice to group performer in one session
Music and movement combined in the participatory music workshop with Sue Buchan and Martina Golding
Music and movement combined in the participatory music workshop with Sue Buchan and Martina Golding
Disruptive Innovation: Is our Hedgehog disturbing you? with Ellen Lowrey, Leonie Hanock, City of Sydney Library
Workshop with Ellen Lowrey, Leonie Hanock, City of Sydney Library
Solomon Island Project session with Dr Irene Paulsen & Charlotte Clemens
Jenny McCaffer launching the new issue of the Australian Journal of Adult Learning
Jenny McCaffer launching the new issue of the Australian Journal of Adult Learning


Art, Science and Figuring the World

The Public Pedagogies Institute is very excited to announce the Keynote Speaker for our 2017 conference will be Margaret Wertheim, of the Crochet Coral Reef project and the
Institute For Figuring.

Margaret Wertheim is an internationally noted writer, artist and curator whose work focuses on relations between science and the wider cultural landscape. The author of six books including “The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace,” a history of space from Dante to the Internet, and “Physics on the Fringe,” she has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Aeon and many others. With her twin sister Christine she founded the Institute For Figuring, a Los Angeles-based practice devoted to the aesthetic and poetic dimensions of science and mathematics. ( Through the IFF, she has created exhibitions for the Hayward Gallery (London), Science Gallery (Dublin), MASS MoCA (MA), and Art Center College of Design (Los Angeles). The Wertheim sisters’ Crochet Coral Reef project is the largest participatory art & science endeavor in the world, and has been shown at the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Deutsches Museum (Munich), the Smithsonian (Washington D.C.), and elsewhere. Margaret’s reef TED talk has been viewed more than a million times and translated into 22 languages. In 2016, she was granted the AxS Award from the Pasadena Arts Council, for contributions to art and science, and the American Association of Physics Teachers award for public science communication – the first woman to given this honor in 10 years. She has been a Discovery Fellow at the University of Southern California (2012) and a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne (2015), and is currently a Phd. candidate at Deakin University.

Margaret’s presentation will be based on the following:

Art, Science and Figuring the World

Welsh writer Merrily Harpur has written that: “the duty of artists everywhere is to enchant the conceptual landscape.” It may not be the duty of scientists to produce conceptual enchantment, but in this talk Margaret Wertheim will propose that this is one of the goals scientists and mathematicians achieve. In 2003, Wertheim founded the Institute For Figuring, a Los Angeles-based enterprise with her artist-twin-sister Christine that’s dedicated to “the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science and mathematics.” The IFF can be conceived of as a “play tank” – a new kind of practice for exploring creative public engagement with topics ranging from geometry and topology, to physics, computation, and biological form. Here, Wertheim will discuss how imaginative speculative play practices can provide insight into the realms of math and science for citizens of all ages. From a worldwide project to model coral reefs using the art of crochet, to building giant fractals from tens of thousands of brightly colored business cards, Wertheim’s work offers experiences for playing with ideas.

Find out more:
Crochet Coral Reef
The Institute for Figuring

Public Pedagogies Institute Conference
Turning Learning Upside Down
Footscray, Melbourne
November 23 – 24 , 2017

Conference Call For Papers

Turning Learning Upside Down
Learning and Teaching Beyond the Classroom

The Public Pedagogies Institute invites contributions for our 2017 conference:

Turning Learning Upside Down
Footscray, Melbourne
23rd – 24th November, 2017

We understand public pedagogies to be the many sites in which teaching and learning occurs in the community and outside formal institutions. These may include museums, libraries, neighbourhood houses and community centres as well as in the arts, through community engagement and public history.

This conference seeks to engage people who participate in learning and teaching in practice, research and the evaluation of public pedagogies and presents a platform for exchange on the challenges, achievements and best practice in this field.

We welcome and invite a range of submissions – informal presentations, academic papers, workshops, screenings – and encourage a diversity of sectors to participate in two days of ideas-sharing and networking.

Submissions of no more than 300 words will be accepted up until Friday 25 August. All submissions should be accompanied by an up to 100 word biographical note.

Please send submissions by 5pm Friday 22 September.

Please contact for more information or to make a submission.

Click here to download the Call for Papers Flyer.

Second Keynote Speaker Announced

The Public Pedagogies Institute is pleased to announce a second Keynote Speaker for the 2015 Conference

Jane Smith is the Director of the Museum of Australian Democracy Eureka and has over 25 years experience dealing with technology change, content generation and the changing behaviour of consumers.  Jane’s senior roles include being corporate Strategist for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Chief Executive of the NSW Film & TV Office for nine years, Vice-President of Seed Australia – actor Hugh Jackman’s production company. Jane has held a number of board positions including the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Chair of the Mobile Premium Services Review and the national Classification Review Board. She is currently on the board of the Melbourne Writer’s Festival.

Public History Forum
This keynote will be followed by a round table discussion on the importance of preserving community history and memory as a counter or sometimes a con-current narrative to more authorised versions of history and the role of the university in supporting or perhaps lack of support for this? This discussion will also address how support can be provided for small historical societies to continue to take carriage of public history.

This discussion will include the incoming President of the Australian Centre for Public History Dr. Anna Clarke. Dr Clarke is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in Public History at the University of Technology, Sydney. With Stuart Macintyre, she wrote the History Wars in 2003, which was awarded the NSW Premier’s Prize for Australian History and the Queensland Premier’s Prize for Best Literary or Media Work Advancing Public Debate. Carmel Taig, the President of the Footscray Historical Society, author of The Giant by the River –a History of the Yarraville Sugar Refinery and Dr. Karen Charman whose most recent publication is A Space for Memory–examining the effects of industrial change and the possibilities of reparation in an era of privatisation and de-industrialisation.