'Teacher Education for Social Justice in Scotland'

  • Kirsten Amy Darling-McQuistan (Speaker)

Activity: Disseminating Research Workshop, Seminar or Course


Online seminar


Exploring participatory approaches to learning and teaching with Primary 1 and 2 children in Scotland: a story from the field

On-line seminar to the University of the Arctic’s Thematic Network, ‘Teacher Education for Social Justice and Diversity’.

Abstract: ‘Social Justice’ is one of the four core underpinning values of the current curriculum in Scotland (SG, 2004). Opportunities for children’s active participation in their learning have therefore, been advocated at a national level through a variety of methods and approaches. The underlying agenda for children’s participation in their learning has, however been questioned by some who claim that methods used to promote children’s participation are often employed to meet imposed ‘ends’, valuing performance over participation (Noyes, 2005). In order to move beyond a performance-orientated construction of participation, I wanted to explore how I could harness the opportunity for truly participatory learning to take place with my class of Primary 1 and 2 pupils. Through this discussion I will outline how insights from complexity theory enabled me to participate with the children in my class in an on-going process of collective knowledge creation. Complexity theory opened up the possibility of understanding the relational nature of our roles as a diverse group of learners, acting within an ever-evolving social, cultural, political and physical space (Davis and Sumara, 2008). This shift in thinking enabled me to explore methods, including walking and drawing, which would allow the children to embody a participatory role in their learning.
Period20 Jun 2016
Event title'Teacher Education for Social Justice in Scotland'
Event typeSeminar


  • Participation
  • Social Justice
  • Complexity Theory
  • Scotland