1st Edition

Theorising Public Pedagogy The Educative Agent in the Public Realm

By Karen Charman, Mary Dixon Copyright 2024

    Drawing on the ideas of Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, this book extends the theoretical understanding of public pedagogy and brings into sharp focus the elements that constitute the public realm; the site of public pedagogy.

    Karen Charman and Mary Dixon offer a new theorisation of the public, a term at the heart of debate in the field, heightened in this post-truth era by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of fake news and the technological reconfigurations of public life. The new theorization addresses the ‘public’, ‘pedagogy’ and their confluence in ‘public pedagogy’. The book explores a deep engagement with the architecture and dynamics of pedagogy and argues for the positioning of pedagogy with the public. The authors contribute to a theorisation that re-considers the individual and their capacity for agency within the public realm. The book presents knowledge and pedagogical encounters as key elements of public pedagogy and most significantly, the educative agent as a means of critically rethinking social life and learning in public spaces.

    Presenting an innovative theoretical approach, this book will be of interest to academics in the fields of public and critical pedagogy and postgraduate students in education, cultural studies and politics.

    1. Reading the Public 2. Pedagogy in the Public 3. Knowledge in Public Pedagogy 4. The Educative Agent 5. Public Pedagogical Encounters 6. Researching Public Pedagogy 7. Conclusion: Futures of Public Pedagogy Research


    Karen Charman is Head of Program Education at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. She is the co-author with Mary Dixon (2021) of Theory and Methods for Public Pedagogy Research. She is the founder of the Public Pedagogies Institute and editor of the Journal of Public Pedagogies.

    Mary Dixon is a founding member and researcher with the Public Pedagogies Institute. Her research interests include pedagogy, public pedagogy and curriculum. Her career as a researcher has included a significant methodological contribution to posthumanist research and to the visual turn.