Keywords - Chapter 2: Life in Schools

Architectonic – the physical settings of schools, their buildings and the spaces in which teachers teach and learners learn.

Authentic – Learning that is authentic sets out to be of relevance to the lives of learners and to have demonstrably practical uses. Such learning is authentic insofar as it is learner- or child-centred, true to the interests and motivations of the learner. It is also authentic for its focus on internalised understanding rather than memorised, formal correctness.

Didactic – to spell things out explicitly but perhaps a little too laboriously, or to present a view of what’s true, right or valued but in a way that might, at times, seem dogmatic. So, the teacher tells and the learner listens. Didactic teaching turns on what the teacher says rather than what the learner does. The balance of agency weighs heavily towards the teacher. The teacher is in command of knowledge. The teacher’s mission is to transmit this knowledge to learners, and learners, it is hoped, will dutifully absorb the knowledge laid before them by the teacher.

Discursive – the ways in which we communicate with each other using language in schools.

Epistemological – the ways in which we know.

Intersubjective – the ways in which the teachers and learners relate, expressing their wills, motivations, interests and drives. How much space the learner has to express themselves, or comply with the commands of the teacher.

Moral – the values and social meanings that underlie our thoughts, words and actions.

Pedagogical – the ways in which we learn.

Proprietary – patterns of ownership and control of knowledge involving teachers and learners.

Socio-cultural – the life experiences, social backgrounds and cultures that teachers and learners come from; the pressures exerted on them by school to be the same or the opportunities to build upon their diversity.

Transformative – Transformative education is based on a reading of contemporary society and the kinds of capacities for knowing that children need to develop in order to be good workers in a ‘knowledge economy’, participating citizens in a globalised, cosmopolitan society, and balanced personalities in a society that affords a range of choices that, at times, seems overwhelming. The essence of education is transformation of self and environment, which may be pragmatic (enabling learners to do their best in the given social conditions) or emancipatory (making the world a better place).