From Praxis Inquiry to Lifeworld Actions

Within the broad context of praxis being understood as ethical action for the public good, teacher education at Victoria University has, for many years, actioned this concept throughout its programs via a Praxis Inquiry Protocol. Consisting of practice described, practice explained, practice theorised and practice changed, the protocol enables all participants to investigate their own realities and to work with others in changing social and educational conditions for more profound learning outcomes. In this way, praxis and the Praxis Inquiry Protocol support the enacting of social justice and of creating more just and equitable educational environments. In theorising praxis teacher education as practice-theorised involving a number of fluid and interrelated components, this research is currently investigating the location of education and teacher education within the lifeworlds of all families, students and teachers. Lifeworld is taken to mean our lived cultural and language experience in continuous dialectical relationship with how we undertake inquiries of our interest and attempt to make sense of that experience. Education and teacher education are not remote from the lived lifeworld of the ordinary but are integral to it, meaning that society is the basis of the construction of consciousness and selfhood, not the other way around. Consciousness is public, collective and cultural, not private, individual and a priori. In understanding that Praxis Inquiry takes place within the horizon of lifeworld, pre-service teachers, mentor teachers and educators respect the knowledges and practices that participants bring to learning and the imperatives, biases and aspirations that exist. Discussions with pre-service teachers and amongst staff are attempting to elaborate these connections and their implications for the design of teaching and learning experience at the university and school levels. The next series of presentations will provide an overview of the work being done by the College of Education at Victoria University in the area of signature pedagogies. How these signature pedagogies embody and are framed around a praxis inquiry lens is now the focus of our discussion.