Published Jul 15, 2020

Clarence Ng  

Peter Renshaw


“Learning from home” was a collective response to school closure in Australia amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we offer a description of the learning-from-home event, highlighting changes that were required of teachers, students and parents. Drawing on Engeström’s cultural-historic activity theory, we reflect on these changes and query the extent to which the changes amount to a transformative pedagogy recognizing home and community as a significant source of and place for learning. It is argued that cultural knowledge and family practices have not been sufficiently acknowledged and utilized in the current practices associated with the learning-from-home event. Based on the notion of funds of knowledge, we argue that a transformative pedagogy should build purposeful connection between school curriculum, cultural knowledge and family practices. This approach is illustrated using an example of play-based learning where a parent engaged her Year 4 daughter in a home café enabling informal learning that met the requirements of the school curriculum. This case invites further reflection on important questions related to what counts as learning and what worthwhile learning encompasses.



COVID-19, Online Learning, Pedagogy, Educational Change, Activity Theory, Funds of Knowledge

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How to Cite
Ng, C., & Renshaw, P. (2020). Transforming Pedagogies in Australian Schools amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Activity Theoretic Reflection. Best Evidence in Chinese Education, 5(2), 635–648. https://doi.org/10.15354/bece.20.or023
Original Article

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