Social Transformations and Education Research Hub

The Social Transformations and Education (STE) Research Hub addresses questions about educational purposes, policies and practices in light of social transformations. Our work explores new formations of knowledge, identities, social relations and cultural diversity, and how these are shaping and are shaped by education.

We engage with disciplinary perspectives from across the social sciences and humanities, including philosophical, historical and sociological approaches, as well as interdisciplinary policy studies.

The STE Research Hub encourages work that explores new modes of theorizing to better understand the ways in which social and educational transformations are historically constituted and politically contested.

Researchers draw from scholarship in globalization, postcolonial, race, feminist, queer, socio-material, indigenous, cultural and visual studies, and also in the sociology of knowledge and political theories of inequality and social justice.

Affiliated researchers include academic staff, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, creating a vibrant scholarly community and hub for working with other researchers and research centres within MGSE, across the university and the world.

We are keen to incubate ideas, build collaborations and partnerships, and seed new research activities that connect with our interests and the following themes and topics.

The kind of research problems we investigate include:

  • aims of schools and universities in an era of rapid change
  • purposes of curriculum today
  • histories of youth and educational provision
  • globalization and education policy
  • identity and difference
  • race relations and curriculum
  • knowledge economy and the changing nature of work
  • education for citizenship
  • senior years of schooling and educational policy
  • new and old forms of inequalities in education
  • popular culture and transnational space
  • teaching for changing Asia-Australia relations
  • objects, affects and public pedagogy
  • digital cultures and visual cultures.
Professor Julie McLeod

Professor Julie McLeod

03 8344 3455

Julie McLeod is Professor in Curriculum, Equity and Social Change at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Capability) at The University of Melbourne.

Julie researches in the history and sociology of education, with a focus on youth, gender and social change. She was an editor of the journal Gender and Education (2011-2016). She held an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2012-2016) and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia.

Professor Lyn Yates

Professor Lyn Yates

03 9035 8166

Lyn Yates is one of Australia's foremost educationists. She has written extensively on gender and education, what makes good education research, and on curriculum in a changing world.

Lyn is a fellow of the Academy of Social Science, a past president and honorary life member of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) and has previously been Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Melbourne. Her recent and current research is about knowledge, reform, and governance issues across schools and universities.

Professor Fazal Rizvi

Professor Fazal Rizvi

03 9035 8095

Fazal Rizvi is a Professor of Global Studies in Education at the University of Melbourne, as well as an Emeritus Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has written extensively on issues of identity in transnational contexts, globalisation and education policy.

Between 1998 and 2001, Fazal served as Pro Vice Chancellor (International) at RMIT University, and in 1996 established and directed Monash Center for Research in International Education. Fazal's book, Globalizing Education Policy (Routledge 2010) has been widely used in courses around the world. A collection of his essays is published in Encountering Education in the Global: Selected Writings of Fazal Rizvi (Routledge 2014). Fazal is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences and a past Editor of the journal, Discourse: Studies in Cultural Politics of Education, and past President of the Australian Association of Research in Education. In 2016, Fazal published a major report for the Australian Council of Learned Academies on Australia's Asian Diaspora Advantage. He has also been a member of an international research team on a large ARC funded project on elite schools, which led to the production of a jointly authored book, Class Choreographies: elite schools and globalization (Palgrave 2017). He is currently working in three research areas: Transnationalism and Diaspora Formations; Higher Education policy in India and Southeast Asia; and Rethinking Cosmopolitanism and Learning in Transnational Spaces.

Dr Jessica Gerrard

Dr Jessica Gerrard

03 9035 7696

Jessica works across the disciplines of sociology and history with particular research interest on the relationship of education to social change and politics, shifting - but persistent - experiences of inequality, and critical theories and methodologies.

Jessica is Senior Lecturer in Education, Equity and Politics. She coordinates Melbourne Graduate School of Education's Masters of Education specialisation Equity, Diversity and Social Change. Jessica was a McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow, 2012-2015, and has won a number of awards in recognition of her research, including an Early Career Researcher Commendation from The Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2015. She publishes widely, and her most recent monograph, Precarious Enterprise: Work, Poverty and Homelessness on the Margins, was published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Dr. Ligia (Licho) López López

Dr. Ligia (Licho) López López

Dr. Ligia (Licho) López López is a McKenzie Fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Her scholarly interests include “diversity,” youth popular and visual cultures as curriculum, migrations, and post-foundational avenues in educational inquiry.

Licho Lopez's current research turns to young people as curricular experts and asks: if schools are for and by young people, how come schools refuse young people’s cultures in the classrooms? How is another curriculum possible? Dr. López’s work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals in Latin America, Australia, the US, and Europe. Her dissertation received AERA’s 2017 Division B Outstanding Dissertation Recognition Award in Curriculum Studies.

Associate Professor John Quay

Associate Professor John Quay

03 8344 8533

John Quay has a school teaching background in outdoor environmental education and physical education. His research interests include these areas of teaching as well as teaching more generally, extended by a passion for history and philosophy of education as this informs understanding of curriculum and pedagogy.

John Quay’s research interests revolve around the notion of praxis, particularly the contributions of phenomenological and pragmatic philosophical theories (Dewey, Heidegger, Peirce) applied in experiential learning, outdoor and environmental education, physical education and broader areas of teachers’ work. Central to his ideas are ontological perspectives in education. His most recent book is Understanding Life in School published by Palgrave Macmillan. Recent journal papers include “From human–nature to cultureplace in education via an exploration of unity and relation in the work of Peirce and Dewey” published in advanced online form with Studies in Philosophy and Education.

Peter Woelert

Peter Woelert

03 8344 8732

Peter is a Senior Lecturer at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, with research interests in higher education policy and governance, the sociology of organizations, and the philosophy of technology.

Peter Woelert has a background in philosophy (PhD, University of New South wales) and sociology (MA, University of Frankfurt, Germany). His research focuses on exploring governance and organizational dynamics in the university sector. He has researched and published on issues such as universities’ internal responses to national funding settings, the politics of research performance measurement, universities’ organizational autonomy, and the unintended effects of large-scale policy and governance reform on institutional diversity.

Dr Sophie Rudolph

Dr Sophie Rudolph

03 8344 9672

Sophie’s research and teaching interests centre on questions of educational justice and equity. Her work seeks to understand political struggles (historically and presently) over educational provision, curriculum, pedagogy and identity.

As a non-Indigenous Australian, Sophie Rudolph has had a long-standing interest in exploring issues of social justice, diversity and equity in education and, in particular, the impact that colonial history has on present day inequalities in Australia. These interests frame her teaching and research practices. Her research includes sociological and historical examinations of education and investigates issues of curriculum, pedagogy and politics in education, policy and practice. Her work is informed by critical and post-structuralist theories and aims to offer opportunities for working towards social change.

Members of the Social Transformations and Education Research Hub organise regular events and reading groups, some of our current and past events are detailed here, below.

Unpacking Education Brown Bag Lunchtime Series

Upcoming speakers for 2018 are:

Thursday April 26 -Hernan Cuervo, Youth Research Centre. Assistant Professor Cuervo is the Deputy Director of the Youth Research Centre. His research interests include youth studies, the concept of belonging, rurality and theories of justice in education.

Thursday May 24 -Julie Choi. Dr Choi is interested in reflective and reflexive writing using autoethnographic approaches. Her research projects focus on plurilingual pedagogies, the intersection of language, culture and identity and the learning needs of refugee women and young people in Australia.

Generally held on the third Thursday of every month.
Location: Level 7,100 Leicester Street
Time: 1-2pm
Contact: Dr Licho Lopez Lopez

The Power, Policy and Politics reading group

The Power, Policy and Politics reading group was established in 2015 and meets monthly. The aim of the reading group is to foster collegial and constructive discussion around some of the key issues around policy, politics and power in education today, including the role of the state, accountability, data, equity, curriculum and governance. Dr Jessica Gerrard is the group's current convenor.

Policy and Schooling: Community, Citizenship, and Social Change

Conference workshop featuring: Professor Meg Maguire, Professor Julie McLeod, Professor Mary Lou Rasmussen, Professor Marie Brennan, Associate Professor Helen Proctor, Associate Professor Nicole Mockler, Dr Emma Rowe, Dr Eve Mayes, Dr Howard Prosser, Dr Nikki Moodie, Dr Shaun Rawolle, Dr Sophie Rudolph, Dr Glenn Savage, Dr Jessica Gerrard, Elisa Di Grigorio, Sam Oldman and Mary Purcell.

Location: Frank Tate Room, Level 9, 100 Leicester Street
Date: 27 March 2018
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Fee: free, but limited places available.

For more information and to register, visit the Eventbrite listing.

Making. Indigenous. Borders Book Launch & Colloquium

The Making of Indigeneity, Curriculum History, And The Limits of Diversity

Routledge 2018 Ligia (Licho) López López

In the Making of Indigeneity, López interrogates how what is 'indigenous,' as a category of diversity, emerged, has been made, re-made, and is taken up to fund discourses of multiculturalism and intercultualism. Through historical and ethnographic classroom research López devices event-alizing as a methodological approximation to educational research at the limits of 'the educational' to interrogate how liberal and progressive propositions for educating the “Indian” generate particular ways of organizing difference ostensibly meant to serve historically marginalized indigenous peoples. Asking questions of the historical and scientific involvement of anthropology, sociology, law, photography, and education in the making of indigenous as a kind of people, López accounts for the aspirations, activities, and tactics that perpetuate violence on indigenous lives limiting their futurity as un-fixed beings.

Launched by Liz McKinley, Professor of Indigenous Education MGSE, University of Melbourne

Location: Frank Tate, Level 9 Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Date: 3 May
Time: 4.30pm

Dr Jeanine Leane, Wiradjuri Writer and Senior Lecturer Fac. of Arts, University of Melbourne
Melinda Hinkson, Associate Prof. of Anthropology ADI, Deakin University
Julie McLeod, Professor of Education MGSE, University of Melbourne
MC Jay de Los Reyes, PhD Student MGSE, University of Melbourne

World Curriculum Studies Conference

Location: Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Date: 9-12 December 2018

For further details and registration, visit the Conference website.

Past events