Praxis, practical wisdom, practical intelligence or ‘history-making action’ (Kemmis 2010) requires educators to see beyond their immediate teaching practices and think, what benefits the individual learner as well as the wider society now and in the future? A praxis-oriented educator aims to utilize all available knowledge and skills to fulfil the double purpose of education: “to prepare people to live well in a world worth living in” (Kemmis et al 2014, 28).
In this seminar, we will consider TESOL teaching from a praxis-perspective. How can TESOL-teachers prepare students to live well in a world worth living in while negotiating values and goals which are not universally shared? How can educators adjust their practices to meet the needs of diverse learners, and what kind of knowledge and skills are required for this? After a brief glance at the praxis literature, we will discuss the role of theory, action and reflection in the work of TESOL teachers in Australia. In the end, we will have a look if the views of Australian professionals correspond with the views of their Finnish colleagues.
Dr Mervi Kaukko is a visiting researcher at Monash University. She is currently conducting two Finnish-Australian research projects: one on refugee students’ views on their educational success, and another focusing on the praxis development of teachers who teach refugee students. Both projects are conducted in collaboration with Associate Professor Jane Wilkinson (Monash University).
Before coming to Australia in 2016, Mervi worked as a university lecturer (Global Education) at University of Oulu, Finland, and was involved in several projects related to refugee and migrant children, and intercultural teacher education. Her research interests are in the mainly in the fields of refugee studies, practice theories and global education, focusing on topics such as children’s participation, children’s rights, school wellbeing and educational experiences.