© 2012

A Critical Pedagogy of Embodied Education

Learning to Become an Activist

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Tracey Ollis
    Pages 1-19
  3. Tracey Ollis
    Pages 21-36
  4. Tracey Ollis
    Pages 37-55
  5. Tracey Ollis
    Pages 57-108
  6. Tracey Ollis
    Pages 109-161
  7. Tracey Ollis
    Pages 163-186
  8. Tracey Ollis
    Pages 187-208
  9. Tracey Ollis
    Pages 209-225
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 227-242

About this book


Explores the differences and similarities between two groups: lifelong activists who have been engaged in campaigns and socials movements over many years and circumstantial activists, those protestors who come to activism due to a series of life circumstances. Outlines the pedagogy of activism and the process of learning to become an activist.


adult education education politics

About the authors

TRACEY OLLIS is a Lecturer in Applied Human Rights, in the School of Education at RMIT University, Australia.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title A Critical Pedagogy of Embodied Education
  • Book Subtitle Learning to Become an Activist
  • Authors T. Ollis
  • Series Title Palgrave Macmillan’s Postcolonial Studies in Education
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2012
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Palgrave Education Collection Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-230-34051-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-34316-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-01644-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIX, 242
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Educational Philosophy
    Sociology of Education
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


'Tracey Ollis has written an important and insightful book. A Critical Pedagogy of Embodied Education provides us with a nuanced and very thoughtful discussion of how people become activists, a critical issue during a period when social and educational activism is ever more necessary.' - Michael W. Apple, John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison

'In A Critical Pedagogy of Embodied Education Tracey Ollis does a brilliant job theorizing about similarities and differences in two types of adult activists-lifelong and circumstantial. Using case study methodology, the author powerfully chronicles the subjects' embodied pedagogy of activism despite their different life trajectories and reasons for engaging in activism. This book makes a significant contribution to the fields of adult education, critical pedagogy, and community organizing, and it offers a highly original understanding of the nature of activism and the reality that all successful learning - for students in general and for activists in particular - goes beyond mere issues of cognition and must encompass students' sense of justice, and their strong emotional and spiritual connections as well! A Critical Pedagogy of Embodied Education is not only illuminating but it reminds us that life-long learning is part and parcel of any aspiration for a democratic life.' - Lilia I. Bartolome, Professor of Applied Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts, University of Massachusetts Boston

'Activism is, thankfully, alive. 'Occupy' is the cry everywhere at present. In this book, Tracey Ollis shows how activists learn from what they do. Activism is an informal, emotionally-charged form of practice, where reflecting-in-action (to use Donald Schön's famous term) is itself educational. Ollis shows with case studies and conceptual innovation how popular protests and timely readings of opportunism can come together in really successful adult learning for activists of all kinds. For those who want to understand resistance better, read here how circumstances can drive the social and political changes you value and, more inspirationally, how you can create those circumstances through what you do through your embodied learning from, and amidst, activism.' - David Beckett, Associate Professor, Melbourne Graduate School of Education