Making education more meaningful to address the problems facing us

Friday, 20 October 2023 - 10:00am to 10:30am

 Marie Brennan and Lew Zipin talk about their research and action-research projects with schools and universities.

They present a direction for education that is intertwined with commmunities - with students researching issues that matter to them, while drawing from a range of sources and 'knowledges', and forming relevant relationships in the process.

This is contrasted with the current top-down, command-and-control approach of our schools and universities, within a Neoliberal, corporatised model. Certainly, Marie and Lew's approach is much better suited to meet the many challenges facing us, such as economic disadvantage, global warming, and the effects of colonisation.



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Bourdieu, P. 1993, The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature, New York: Columbia University Press.

Brennan, M. 2019, 'Scholarly activism in and for renewed Australian universities', Social Alternatives 38(3), pp 56-62.

Bunda, T., Zipin, L. & Brennan, M. 2012, ‘Negotiating university “equity” from Indigenous standpoints: A shaky bridge’, International Journal of Inclusive Education, 16(9), pp 941–957.

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Zipin, L. 2019, ‘How Council-Management Governance Troubles Australian University Labours and Futures: Simplistic assumptions and complex consequences’, Social Alternatives 38(3), pp 28-35.

Zipin, L. 2020, ‘Building curriculum knowledge work around community-based “Problems That Matter”: Let’s dare to imagine’, Curriculum Perspectives 40(1), pp 111–115.Zipin, L. & Zipin, L. & Brennan, M. 2023, ‘Affective labour pains of academic capitalism in crisis’. In D. Nehring & K. Brunila K. (Eds), Affective Capitalism in Academia (pp 21-46), Bristol: Policy Press, imprint of Bristol University Press.

Zipin, L. & Brennan, M. 2023, 'Opening school walls to funds of knowledge: Students researching problems that matter in Australian communities'. In M. Esteban-Guitart. (Ed), Funds of Knowledge and Identity Pedagogies for Social Justice: International Perspectives and Praxis from Communities, Classrooms and Curriculum (pp 41-56), London & New York: Routledge.


Friday 10:00am to 10:30am
Think Again offers weekly conversations and reflections about current events, trends and public pronouncements on contemporary and emerging issues. The show moves beyond what we read and hear via the public and ‘social’ media, to invite alternative possibilities to guide our thinking, living and organising.


Jennifer Borrell & Jacques Boulet