Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 297–311 | Cite as

Gifts of Time and Space: Co-educative Companionship in a Community Primary School

  • Joanna HaynesEmail author


Family-focused community education implies a relational pedagogy, whereby people of different ages and experiences, including children, engage interdependently in the education of selves and others. Educational projects grow out of lived experiences and relationships, evolving in dynamic conditions of community self-organisation and self-expression, however partial and approximate, as opposed to habitual and repetitive actions. In developing educational activities through radical listening, community educators aim to reflect the character of the neighbourhood and build on local knowledge and expertise. The paper reports on ways in which one community school invited, encouraged and supported children as co-educators through projects that promoted collaborative leadership and unfolded, rather than being delivered through planned and scripted lessons. These were creative projects of cultural significance, characterised by attentive listening and aiming to promote intergenerational conversation. Through such transformative projects children emerged as educators by acting as catalysts of change, as cultural producers and as conversationalists, as did their parents and other members of the school community. The paper concludes that community co-education ideas should be re-visited to breathe new life into educational and social actions today.


Community education Radical listening Intergenerational learning Critical pedagogy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education, Faculty of Health, Education and SocietyPlymouth UniversityPlymouthUK

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