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Becoming public: public pedagogy, citizenship and the public sphere

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Abstract:

This paper explores the question what kind of educational work can be done in attempts to reclaim or reinvigorate the public sphere. Through a discussion of the intersection of public sphere and public space, it engages with the work of Hannah Arendt in order to outline a conception of the public sphere as a space for civic action based on distance and the conservation of a degree strangeness rather than on commonality and common identity. The discussion of the educational work that can be done to support the public quality of common spaces and places focuses on three interpretations of the idea of public pedagogy: that of public pedagogy as a pedagogy for the public, that of public pedagogy as a pedagogy of the public and that of public pedagogy as the enactment of a concern for the public quality of human togetherness. The latter form of public pedagogy neither teaches nor erases the political by bringing it under a regime of learning, but rather opens up the possibility for forms of human togetherness through which freedom can appear, that is forms of human togetherness which contribute to the ‘becoming public’ of spaces and places.

Keywords: Arendt; citizenship; citoyenneté; ciudadanía; domaine public; educación; education; esfera pública; identidad; identity; identité; pedagogía pública; public pedagogy; public sphere; pédagogie publique; éducation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2012.723736

Affiliations: University of Stirling, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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