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A bridge over troubling waters in education: The complexity of a “students as co-researchers” project

Susan Groundwater-Smith, Eve Mayes, and Kadek Arya-Pinatyh

“Students as co-researchers” is a mode of engagement between students and teachers in school systems that has been likened to a bridge. This article explores the bridge metaphor with reference to one school’s experience of a students as co-researchers project involving students and teachers in the school and a university partner. We use the bridge metaphor, inspired by the imagist poet Ezra Pound, to explore particular challenges faced in this project, and to envision new modes of teacher/student relationships in education. We argue that the purpose of building such a bridge between students and teachers is not an instrumental one (to reach the other side), but rather that the bridge offers up zones of affective relational encounters between students and teachers.

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