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Comunicar Journal 66: Public schools for educational transformation in the Knowledge Society (Vol. 29 - 2021)

Educational practices to transform and connect schools and communities


Ola Erstad

Raquel Miño

Pablo Rivera-Vargas


The current social and educational challenges force us to rethink the role of educational institutions and digital technologies in the 21st century, which requires a deeper understanding of learning activities in schools. In this article we analyze bottom-up initiatives for educational transformation implemented in public lower secondary schools from Norway, Chile and Spain that involved 230 students and 14 teachers. Three ethnographic case studies were carried out, using individual interviews, focus groups, participant observations and document analysis in six schools. The main goal was to deeply understand how bottom-up school initiatives, with a comprehensive use of digital technologies, are contributing to generate connected practices and to involve teachers, learners and communities in the discussion about what kind of society they want in their future. The results of the analysis indicate that fostering a transformative agency in secondary schools has the potential of engaging students in the exploration of contemporary social issues and that digital connectedness can contribute to connect schools with youth life trajectories and communities. This study on transformative agency and digital connectedness reveals a new path for educational transformation that may interest everybody who, in one way or another, are involved in education systems all around the world.


Transformation, agency, school, community, digital technologies, learning