Voice, Discourse and Transformation: Enabling Learning for the Achieving of Social Change

Karen Ann McArdle, Sue Mansfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes that transformative social change by community educators is not achievable unless they can challenge the social, economic and political discourses that have an impact on the practice of community education. As educators of community workers, the authors regard the development of voice to be a prerequisite for the challenging of discourse. Voice provides the foundations for understanding what it means to be who one is and how change is needed and possible. Voice, we argue, is inseparable from criticality and we draw on Brookfield's (2000) four traditions of criticality, in particular pragmatic constructivism, to link our understandings of voice. It is important, we conclude, to allow students to develop distinctive voices so that they become critically reflexive professionals who can work towards transformative social change. Shared and contrasting views on the development of voice are presented in a dialogical format to reflect the sometimes shared and sometimes contrasting voices of the two authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-498
Number of pages14
JournalDiscourse : studies in the cultural politics of education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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