Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices, Vol 5, No 2 (2011)

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Open spaces: An investigation on the OSDE methodology in an advanced English conversation course in Brazil

Leticia Martins


In the article I report a study on the use of the Open Spaces for Dialogue and Enquiry (OSDE) methodology in an advanced English conversation course that took place at a Brazilian language institute in 2007. The OSDE methodology suggests the creation of open spaces for learning where people can engage critically with their own as well as the others’ understandings of world, in a collaborative meaning-making process.  The aim of this study, therefore, was to investigate how the construction of an open space took place as well as its participants’ understandings of their learning process during the course. I start with a discussion on some of the theoretical assumptions underpinning the methodology such as critical literacy, Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of Autonomy, power relations in education (from a Foucaultian perspective) and Stephen Sterling’s concept of sustainable education, followed by an introduction of the OSDE methodology and by a discussion on the advanced English conversation course at issue.

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Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices is a non-commercial initiative committed to the ethical dissemination of academic research and educational thinking. CLTP acknowledges the thoughtful dedication of authors, editors and reviewers to develop and promote this open journal initiative. The journal receives copy-editing sponsorship from the Faculty of Education at the University of Oulu, Finland. CLTP has previously received  copy editing support from the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice at the University of Nottingham, UK.