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Emergent Educational Practice in Community Settings

Evans, S. M. (2020) Emergent Educational Practice in Community Settings. Doctoral thesis (EdD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

My study examines the processes and practices of community teaching, delivered by a social enterprise, between 2017 and 2020, in Wythenshawe, a Manchester suburb. I investigated the nature of my work as a community educator. Learners and tutors involved in my practice participated in my study. The thesis aimed to search out the entanglements, discourses and practices that underpin and construct understandings about teaching, learning and relations with others. I also investigated whether these practices differed sufficiently from those of established teaching to be considered emergent. Although there have been many studies of community education, there is little research on small community enterprises operating in the liminal spaces between, education, arts, and community. To contextualise my research, I drew upon Communities of Practice (Wenger, 1998) and refinements to his theory, particularly knowledgeability (2014), Figured Worlds (Holland, 2001), (Gee, 2010), and Affect Theory notably Sarah Ahmed's (2014) work on emotion. I drew upon studies I considered relevant to my lived experience. These included Alison Gilchrist (2019) on networking, Sarah Banks (2018) on co-production and co-inquiry and the series of contemporary community research books in the Connected Communities series, notably (Jones and Perry, 2019) and (Campbell and Pahl, 2018). The study evidenced many aspects of my teaching sufficiently divergent from established models to suggest emergent practice. The study implies that at a time of austerity, the approaches to education I describe may provide a model of practice for other educators within a new paradigm of community teaching.

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