Submissions Invited

Journal of Public Pedagogies is the peer-reviewed journal of the Public Pedagogies Institute, to be launched in 2016.

We invite submissions from those working in the area of public pedagogies, such as arts, community engagement, social pedagogy, public history, work in and research on public institutions such as museums, libraries, neighborhood houses, community centers, practice, research and evaluation in public pedagogies. The journal is interested in articles related to research and practice in learning and teaching in the community that extends beyond the boundaries of formal educational institutions.

Articles will be considered for publication of 3000-5000 words. The journal will also consider multidisciplinary work.

Please visit the journal site to register or contact Karen Charman for further information.

The closing date for submissions for our first issue has been extended to June 30, 2016.

Game Changers

How will future generations engage with knowledge and learning? What kind of impact will the rapidly changing technology industries have on how we learn? Explore these questions and more at Learning Futures, a hypothetical round table discussion into the future of learning.

The panel will consider how our schools and universities are adapting to the challenges and opportunities of the digital and online world, and ways that emerging modes of learning are encouraging us to rethink traditional approaches to education. Delve into current trends, such as the new learning environments that are being fostered outside of the classroom, and discover the exciting technologies that are facilitating these changes.

This conversation will spark a lively debate, pushing the limits of where and how we will encounter knowledge in the future.


Where: VU at MetroWest – 138 Nicholson St, Footscray, VIC 3011

To find out more and register visit the event page.

Conference 2016

The dates for the 2016 Public Pedagogies Institute conference have been announced. The event will feature a workshop and conference program that will take place over three days from November 28 – 30, 2016.

At this stage it is planned to hold workshops on the first day, with presentations, panels and other events to take place over the second and third day.

For preliminary enquiries please get in touch via our contact page.  Conference registration will be available online later this year.

Global Learning Exchange: What is Community?

Victoria University and the University of Texas El Paso:
Global Learning Exchange

Over a period of four weeks students from Victoria University Bachelor of Youth Work and University of Texas El Paso University Studies have engaged in a global learning exchange. The focus of this exchange has been ‘what is community?’ Students photographed examples of local spaces in Melbourne and El Paso and engaged in discussions via live video conferences about why these images represent community. This exchange has been supported by an Office of Teaching and Learning grant (OLT). This site is the beginnings of a virtual museum space that will grow over time.

Scroll down to see a selection of images and text that explore community.

Dr Karen Charman

Lincoln Park

Photography and text by Carlos Chavarria



This is Lincoln Park. Located under a freeway, this park consists of different murals and artwork by various artists. There are also basketball courts and a playground. Lincoln Park is situated close to what was once Concordia, which was the site of the first Mexican community north of the Río Grande.

The second photo is titled “Huelga” and represents the struggle in which Mexican American farmers and fieldworkers faced while fighting for their rights. “Huelga” translates to “strike” in English and was widely used as a form of protest. Workers would shout “huelga” while striking and marching. Cesar Chavez, a Mexican American field worker led this movement.

Lincoln Park is really the heart of El Paso when it comes to community and connecting the different peoples within the city.

The Palais Theatre

Photography and text by Deanna Senn



These photos are of The Palais Theatre located in the heart of St. Kilda in Melbourne. The reason why we chose this site is to illustrate the fact that although the outside of the building has had many facelifts and change of names, it still has retained many of its original features that date back to the First World War (1914).

The Palais Theatre holds a special place in the hearts of many thousands of people, with memories from events and shows. By having the Palais Theatre close to the CBD of Melbourne, it enriches the lives of those who come into its doors as it offers a gateway to new world experiences, emotions and even knowledge.

The El Paso Plaza Theatre

Photography and text by Vincent Bedjohn



The El Paso Plaza Theatre was built during the Great Depression to entertain. From that point on it proceeded to showcase films from west Texas, southern, and northern New Mexico for 40 years. Described as having the fabled beauty of Spain and the charm of old Mexico, the Plaza Theatre was renovated in 2000 as an official project of Save America’s Treasures. The site has continued to exist because the community continues to have an interest in theatre and so provides a sense of belonging. The Plaza Theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 2003 was declared a site of national significance.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground

Photography and text by Nathaniel Peredes

Melbourne Cricket Ground

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is our main sporting stadium. It was established in 1853, less than 20 years after the founding of Melbourne. It has been the home of Australian football since 1859, and was the birthplace of Test cricket in 1877 and one-day international cricket in 1971.

It was the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games, attracts up to 100,000 fans to the annual AFL Grand Final and “the G” comes to life each Christmas at the Boxing Day Test.

The significance of this photo is that the football community is a very special one. There are sometimes problems with fans because some can be pretty rude. But when there is ever a tragedy or problem the whole footballing community comes together to support those who are suffering.

Southwest University Park

Photography and text by Javier Isaac Marquez

South West University Park

Southwest University Park—Home of El Paso’s Chihuahuas is built over El Paso’s former City Hall, which was demolished by implosion on April 14, 2013 to make way for the new stadium. The state-of-the-art ballpark was designed by Populous, which also designed Major League stadiums like PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres and Yankee Stadium.

The significance of this photo is attracting community to the downtown area of El Paso.

And yes…our mascot is a Chihuahua.

La Mujer Obrera Community

Photography and text by Ruben Garcia



The photos above represent the Mayapan Café that houses the Museo Urbano and the Mujer Obrera (Worker Woman) organization among other things; it is located in Central El Paso, Texas.  The café includes a restaurant, store, museum, daycare and farmer’s market all run by the local community.

There are many partitions with exhibits on them dedicated to the woman workers that play a vital role in this community.

This photograph reflects the communities’ active participation in investing in them by providing a location where the community can learn about itself and interact with fellow citizens to form stronger bonds. The organization’s main goal is community involvement in all aspects, from community organizing to establishing sustainable social initiatives.

Flinders Street Station

Photography and text by Hayley Carroll and Mary Biffa



Flinders Street Station in 1854 used to be a collection of weatherboard sheds and was known as the ‘Melbourne Terminus’. It was the first steam rail station in Australia. A lot of people came to visit, to see the first steam railway. In 1889 the railway commissioner organised a competition to see who could design the best station. The first prize was 500 pounds. Work started in 1901 and finished around 1910 and cost approximately 514,000 pounds. It was since then used as a place to catch up and greet friends within Melbourne, hence the old Melbourne catch phrase: “Meet me under the clocks”, referring to the clocks above the steps.

The La Hacienda Café

Photography and text by Diana Lares


The Hacienda café, one of the oldest buildings in El Paso, marks the spot where Don Juan de Onate first crossed the Rio Grande, on May 4, 1598. The location used to house a stagecoach stop and a gristmill, owned by Simeon Hart.

The building, which became La Hacienda, was once the house of the Hart family. Since La Hacienda is located close to the UTEP campus, it was once a popular place for students to meet, eat and study. It used to have the student-made nickname of “union” until the student union opened on campus on 1949.

University of Texas at El Paso

Photography and text by Marissa Porras


This picture represents both past and present communities. It first started as the School of Mines and Metallurgy in September of 1914, was later renamed Texas Western College in 1949 and was finally renamed the University of Texas at El Paso in 1967. Our school mascot is “The Miners” so it shows how it’s been 100 years since the school first opened and the original name has generally stayed with the University. The significance of this picture is that we’re a community who generally wants to improve and have a better future which is why we are going to school.

Melbourne Street Art

Photography and text by Michelle Lenehan


The City of Melbourne has designated a few streets within the CBD where you can legally graffiti and show your art. Some youth love the idea and we have also heard that it takes away the so called “thrill” for some. The significance of this photo is that the community saw that youth and others wanted spaces to show case their art and the community finally listened and now we have a few streets for youth to go experiment.


A Note from the President

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to thank all those who were a part of the Public Pedagogies Institute conference: Turning Learning Inside Out—Learning and Teaching Beyond the Classroom. We had around 80 people attend on both days and the feedback I received from participants was incredibly positive. What amazed the organising committee was who the conference theme spoke to.

I think the reach of the conference theme was reflected in the diversity of presentations. I observed many connections being made over coffee and at lunch and I hope these keep growing. If you didn’t present at this year’s conference, I hope you will consider doing so next year.

I would like to thank our international keynote speaker Jennifer Sandlin from Arizona State University. I would also like to thank our other keynote speaker Jane Smith the Director of M.A.D.E. We recorded each of the keynotes and an edited version of these presentations will be available on the website early next year.

The outcomes from the conference include the formation of three sub committees promoting the Institute through project work, setting up a journal, and of course a committee to work on next year’s conference. For those of you who put your name down to work in these sub committees we will be in touch in the New Year. The Public Pedagogies Institute constitution was also ratified.

Below is a comment we received in response to the conference that we think captures the experience well:

It was wonderful to be part of the conversation. It was great to have such a range of people around the table and engaged in such enthusiastic  dialogue.  It’s funny that silence that exists around our work, yet it  is a very sophisticated and empowering practice, happening everywhere!

My colleague commented that the conference was one of the best PD’s she has been to. So congratulations to the organising group. We’d certainly like to keep being involved. 

Public Pedagogies Institute meets monthly at VU Metro West,
138 Nicholson Street, Footscray. Our first meeting for 2016 will be the 8th of February at 10.00 – 11.30am.

Karen Charman

President, Public Pedagogies Institute




The Public Pedagogies Institute conference this year included a number of performances and public artworks.

PERMESSO invited participants to experience painting intuitively. PERMESSO (Italian for permission) puts forth the notion that we are all innately creative but that sometimes the connection to this place has been interrupted. Facilitators Gisela Boetker and Rebecca Knaggs offered  a very gentle opportunity to reconnect by simply entering the process. After a brief meditation they invited participants to choose a brush and paint, approach the canvas and see what comes …

A collection of images from PERMESSO appear below –
All photographs by Todd Johnson.

Click to view larger images and browse gallery:

Australian Journal of Adult Learning Special Edition

Members of the Public Pedagogies Institute, Karen Charman and Maureen Ryan, recently edited a special edition of the Australian Journal of Adult Learning.

The edition  has a focus on Public Pedagogies and includes articles by Karen Charman, Debbie Qadri, Meghan Kelly, Ligia Pelosi, John Haycock, Anne Hickling-Hudson & Erika Hepple, Ya-hui Lee, Sally Thompson, and Jo Williams.

Volume 55, Number 3, 2015

Guest Editors Karen Charman and Maureen Ryan

Jennifer Sandlin Seminar

We are pleased to announce that an additional seminar by our keynote speaker from the conference Jennifer Sandlin, will be taking place at Victoria University.

Associate Professor Jennifer Sandlin will be speaking about her current research project, exploring the Walt Disney Corporation and the myriad ways its curricula and pedagogies manifest, and seeks to understand what it means to teach, learn, and live in a world where many familiar discourses are dominated by Disney as a global media conglomerate.

 Monday the 16th of November at Victoria University, Footscray Park Campus, Ballarat Road, Footscray, 12-1.00pm in room G368.  This event is free and open to all.

Conference Opening and Launch

The Turning Learning Inside Out conference opening reception will take place on the evening of November 11 from 6 – 8pm at VU Metro West.  The reception will also include the Launch of the AJAL Special Edition on Public Pedagogy edited by Karen Charman and Maureen Ryan.

The reception will also feature the launch of PERMESSO, an art event by Gisela Boetker and Bec Knaggs that will coincide with the conference.

Conference Opening Reception
Wednesday November 11, 6 – 8pm

VU Metro West, 138 Nicholson St Footscray

All conference participants and attendees are invited to attend.

Download Invitation to Conference Launch

Antonia Darder: Schooling the Flesh

Deakin University and the Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation (CREFI) proudly presents-

The Body, Pedagogy, and Inequality
Dr Antonia Darder, Loyola Marymount University, CA

The seminar seeks to explore the place of the body within the context of education and issues of inequality. The work moves toward articulating a pedagogy of the body that can assist educators to engage with the materiality of the body in more integral ways. In so doing, emancipatory educational ideals that recognize the primacy of the body in pedagogical processes of social consciousness and transformation are highlighted, along with critical principles to inform classroom life.

Dr Antonia Darder is a distinguished international Freirian scholar. She holds the Leavey Presidential Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and is Professor Emerita of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. She was inducted as an American Educational Research Association Fellow in 2015. Her scholarship focuses on issues of racism, political economy, social justice, and education. Her work critically engages the contributions of Paulo Freire to our understanding of inequalities in schools and society. Darder’s critical theory of biculturalism links questions of culture, power, and pedagogy to social justice concerns in education. In her scholarship on ethics and moral issues, she articulates a critical theory of leadership for social justice and community empowerment.


Download Flier: Antonia Darder Schooling the Flesh Mon 12 October 2015

Interconnecting public, learning and research