Section: Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • Public Pedagogy
  • Curriculum
  • Representation
  • Memory
  • Public history and auto-ethnography

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

About Karen Charman

Karen is internationally and nationally recognised for her research work in the area of Public Pedagogy. Public Pedagogy is a new emerging discipline that is concerned with education outside of formal institutions. It has intersections with Social and Critical Pedagogy and to a lesser extent Arts Based Research. 

Karen is the founder of the Public Pedagogies Institute and the Editor of the Public Pedagogies Journal and convenor of the annual Public Pedagogies international conference. 

Karen leads projects in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne with the City of Maribyrnong, City of Wyndham and The City of Greater Geelong. These projects consist of ‘The Knowledge Project’ and ‘Pop Up School’. The Knowledge Project entails a series of interviews with people from a given suburb. The intent is to ascertain what knowledge is considered significant by members of that community. This research is purposefully undertaken in areas of Melbourne where communities are subject to demographic readings that deem them as deficit. This research culminates in an afternoon where the knowledge that is held by that community is demonstrated in a Learning and Teaching event called a Pop Up School. A publication, Towards a Footscray Curriculum or Towards a Werribee Curriculum is created and disseminated back into the community.

Karen has successfully realised an Office of Learning and Teaching grant to authentically embed students in Social History Museums.  This project worked with five universities and five social history museums across three states and is titled Learning and Teaching in Public Spaces. In part, this project entailed inter-generational work where the stories pf older community members were realised through curatorial work in exhibitions in Social History Museums.

Karen is currently contracted as lead author on a forthcoming Routledge Publication ‘Public Pedagogy Research and Methods’. This book offers new methods in Public Pedagogy research. Extending the well-established work of Sandlin and Burdick (2010, 2014) four new methods for public pedagogy research are introduced: structure, performance, geography and researcher. These are premised upon a new dynamic theorisation of public pedagogy itself.  


  • PhD Victoria University, 2011
  • Master in Psychoanalytic Theory, 2000
  • Bachelor of Arts with Honours, 1998

Key publications

Year Citation
2019 Charman, K. (190513). What is valued knowledge and where does it live?: Educational consciousness and the democratisation of education In Riddle, S. ;. (Ed.) London: Routledge.

Year Citation
2016 Charman, K. (160902). A wandering archive - a nuanced creative enactment of GLBT histories. Continuum, 30(5), (567-575).

doi: 10.1080/10304312.2016.1210797

2015 Charman, K. (150101). A space for memory. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 55(3), (361-378).
2013 Charman, K. (131001). Education for a new museology. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17(10), (1067-1077).

doi: 10.1080/13603116.2012.730066

2013 Charman, K. (130801). Bringing the outside in and bringing the inside out - Artifacts in a university classroom. Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies, 13(4), (252-256).

doi: 10.1177/1532708613487870

Research funding for the past 5 years

Please note:

  • Funding is ordered by the year the project commenced and may continue over several years.
  • Funding amounts for contact research are not disclosed to maintain commercial confidentiality.
  • The order of investigators is not indicative of the role they played in the research project.

Learning and Teaching in Public Spaces (LTPS)
From: Department of Education and Training, Victoria
Other investigators: Prof Maureen Ryan
For period: 2015-2016

Supervision of research students at VU

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

Currently supervised research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
6 PhD Associate supervisor
3 PhD Principal supervisor

Currently supervised research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (6) Associate supervisor
PhD (3) Principal supervisor

Key academic roles

Dates Role Department / Organisation
Jan 2014 - Present
Senior Lecturer & Chair of Bachelor of Education Studies
Victoria University
Dates Role & Department/Organisation
Jan 2014 -
Senior Lecturer & Chair of Bachelor of Education Studies
Victoria University