Collective Memory-Work – a Method Under the Radar?


  • Robert Hamm Maynooth University


Educational alternatives, progressive education, alternative education, difference, educational theory, educational philosophy


Did you ever hear of memory-work?

There is no copyright on this term. You may associate it with a variety of practices in different contexts, probably within realms of disciplines like psychology and history.

Yet there is a distinct method also called memory-work or, in fact, collective memory-work. This method is an educational alternative, something tangible, offering the promise of practical experience and self-determined investigative learning. It is used as a method of teaching and learning in third level education, e.g. teacher training and continuing professional development (see e.g., Witt-Löw 1991; Mitchell & Weber, 1999; Norquay, 2008; Kaufman, 2008), and in a variety of other disciplines (e.g., Oinas, 1999; Berg, 2008; Widerberg, 2016). It has also been used in the training of educators in Germany and Austria (Ortner & Thuswald, 2012; Hamm, 2017)Nevertheless memory-work is still a method under the radar. At any rate a method that often leaves those who worked with it intrigued by its experiential potential as much as its depth. This is nicely put in words by a collective from Australia: “The method is radical—and it is fun.” (Crawford, Kippax, Onyx, Gault, & Benton, 1992, p. 1)

This Other Contribution on collective memory-work is meant to simply raise awareness....


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