How experiential learning in an informal setting promotes class equity and social and economic justice for children from ‘‘communities at promise’’: An Australian perspective

David Zyngier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    Educational research often portrays culturally, linguistically and economically disenfranchised (CLED) children’s disengagement from school learning as individual behaviour, ignoring the contribution of race, gender, socio-cultural, ethnic and social class factors. This paper analyses a specific community engagement programme in Australia which uses experiential learning in an informal setting.The programme, which has been running for seven years, partners pre-service teachers, volunteer high school students and volunteers from a national bank with primary schools where many pupils are experiencing learning difficulties and school engagement problems as a result of their socio-economic status, their poverty, and their ethnic and cultural diversity. Drawing on the perspectives of the children and volunteers participating in the pilot study, and privileging their voices, this paper illustrates how community partnerships may be developed and sustained. The programme’s conceptual framework of Connecting-Owning-Responding-Empowering(CORE) pedagogy is explored for its potential to enhance student engagement,achievement and empowerment through focused community involvement. The findings show that when students feel connected to and involved in their community,all participants are empowered in their learning and teaching.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-28
    Number of pages20
    JournalInternational Review of Education
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Experiential learning
    • Informal education
    • Student disengagement
    • Social disadvantage
    • Community involvement
    • Connecting-Owning-Responding- Empowering (CORE) pedagogy

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