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Taking data literacy to the streets: Critical Pedagogy in the Public Sphere

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This article describes an ongoing series of public arts–based experiments that build critical curiosity and develop data literacy via self-reflexive public interventions. Examined through the lens of remix methodology the Museum of Random Memory exemplifies a form of collective–reflexive meta-analysis whereby interdisciplinary researchers generate immediate social change and build better questions for future public engagement. The experiments help people critically analyze their own social lives and well being in cultural environments of growing datafication and automated (artificial intelligence [AI]-driven) decision-making. Reflexivity, bricolage, and critical pedagogy are emphasized as approaches for responding to changing needs in the public sphere that also build more robust interdisciplinary academic teams.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Pages (from-to)227-237
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

This article describes an ongoing effort to train citizens to become social researchers themselves, to explore and develop their own data literacy. It focuses on a specific series of experiments called the Museum of Random Memory. Alongside explanations of this effort as applied research or critical pedagogy, which are both apt, we can consider it as a series of meta level analysis of the methods we use for public oriented engagement and intervention. Over time, this reflexive focus on method, a hallmark of the interpretive sociological tradition, is helping us build better questions across multiple digital, conceptual, and material modalities. The ambition of practicing collective self-reflexive meta analysis is to build our ability to respond
rapidly to changing needs in the public sphere and create interventions that have
immediate impact on people’s abilities to critically analyze their own social lives and wellbeing in ever more powerful automated systems of control.

    Research areas

  • data literacy, Critical pedagogy, Remix methods, bricolage, public arts-based experiments, reflexivity, Meta-Analysis, collective–reflexive meta-analysis, critical pedagogy, remix methods, public arts–based experiments

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