The rhythms of pedagogy: an ethnographic study of parenting education practices

Nick Hopwood
  • Studies in Continuing Education, May 2013, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/0158037x.2013.787983

Understanding learning and teaching in terms of rhythms

What is it about?

Educational research is increasingly turning to conceptual frameworks from a range of disciplines in order to enrich understandings of education, pedagogy and learning. This paper draws on the work of Henri Lefebvre, specifically rhythmanalysis, to explore the nature and the function of pedagogy. The context is an ethnographic study of parenting education and pedagogic practices in a child and family service in Sydney. Three features of rhythmanalysis are discussed: kinds of rhythm, rhythms and bodies, and oppositions such as repetition and difference, fast and slow and secret and public. Through these concepts, intricate connections between rhythm and pedagogy are identified, including rhythms as providing a pedagogic imperative, rhythms as content and mechanisms at the heart of pedagogy and rhythms as outcomes of learning. The paper argues that rhythmanalysis opens up possibilities for new questions, different kinds of empirical sensibilities and distinctive accounts of pedagogy and learning in continuing education.

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