This unique publication seeks to bring teachers, education academics, parents and students in Australia together to critically discuss contemporary issues in teaching and learning. In the present neoliberal context, the gap between academic research and the work and thinking of practicing teachers is an increasingly difficult one to bridge, likewise the gap between teachers and parents. At the same time it seems clear that any meaningful change in education towards more equitable and just systems and outcomes will require collaboration and joint action between all key actors.
In the context of the ongoing marginalisation of much critical and radical practice and research in teaching and learning Breaking Out seeks to provide a collective space to connect and strengthen currently isolated thinking and activity. Ideally this will contribute to the development of a stronger and better articulated critical, alternative, cross-sectoral voice in education.
Breaking Out will be a fully online and entirely open access project. The journal will encourage constructive dialogue and engagement with the main ideas of the published articles via social media and by publishing thoughtful responses as Correspondence in future issues.
Breaking Out is a collaboration between academics in the College of Education at Victoria University, Melbourne, and the Popular Education Network of Australia (PENA). PENA was founded in 2008 by a group of academics, teachers, pre-service teachers, parents and community educators interested in fostering a community-driven and controlled education system that values learning and teaching for the sake of social change, social justice and public good. Based largely in Melbourne, PENA has hosted two successful symposia in the past three years involving around 150 people and has also collaborated with others in a range of grassroots education activities and campaigns. The journal is a new initiative for PENA and one which hopes to draw on and strengthen existing networks and build on an established history of hosting successful academic and community events.
Publication of Breaking Out is overseen by an editorial committee consisting of Dr Jo Williams (Victoria University, PENA), Assoc Prof Tom Griffiths (University of Newcastle), Dr Lea Campbell (Our Children Our Schools, PENA) and James Tonson (The Rescope Project, PENA). They are supported by an editorial advisory group consisting of teachers, academics and other community members.
The opinions expressed in contributions to breaking out are those of the authors, not necessarily those of the editorial committee or Breaking Out.
Given the current climate, some contributors to Breaking Out elect to present their work using pseudonyms for a range of reasons. In all cases this is declared.