Reflecting (in)differently in order to re-imagine the politically infused higher education classroom for pre-service teachers

Lambert, K. (Contributor)

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic lecture/debate/seminar


Three big things happened to me recently. Firstly, I moved from being a member of the long-term casualised university workforce into a fulltime position. Secondly, I had an epiphany – my professional life does not align with my personal values. Finally, I had a close encounter with the ‘academic workload formula’. I prepare this paper under the influence of the above events and in relation to the increasing tensions within teacher education in Australian universities.
As the human by product of the expanding neoliberal economic agenda in universities I feel uniquely positioned to provide an insider/outsider view of the experience of re-engaging politically and re-imagining practically. In this paper I offer such a view by reflecting upon how I negotiated the system as a casual by dis-engaging as a ‘matter of survival’, and now in fulltime employment how I am ‘softly’ re-engaging politically in order to advance my research profile and as a ‘matter of principle’.
I exemplify this process by sharing a pedagogical dilemma – designing a unit assigned on my workload that is out of my teaching area of expertise. Using Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (1984) to reflect upon my thinking, planning and design processes for the unit ‘Arts, Design and HPE’ I share a pragmatic mode of thoughtful design and offer a space from which to (in)differently reflect in order to re-imagine the politically infused higher education classroom for pre-service teachers.
As a result of this engagement with Kolb I offer a four step process for re-engaging with politics, re-directing the agenda, re-imagining the teaching and learning space, and re-tooling pre-service teachers. I argue that this approach provides an alternative vision and practice for teacher education that is simultaneously disruptive, innovative, and personally rewarding.
Event titleAnnual Conference of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia 2015
Event typeConference
Conference number45th
LocationMelbourne, Australia, Victoria