Unpacking education - brown bag lunchtime series
The ‘Unpacking Education’ series of seminars and presentations provide an opportunity for people to discuss their work in progress, test out new ideas and perspectives, share emerging projects and encourage interdisciplinary dialogue.
The Unpacking Education Brown Bag Lunchtime Seminars are organised by Dr Ligia (Licho) López López and are generally held on Level 7, 100 Leicester Street.
Thursday February 1, 2018 – Jane Kenway. Multi-sited Global Ethnography and Elite Schools: A Methodological Entrée. Professor Kenway discussed the methodology and insights from international project Class Choreographies: Elite schools and globalisation (2017: Palgrave).
Thursday February 22, 2018 – Leslie Farrell. .Shaping that Brave New World: Literacy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Professor Farrell discussed the Literacy 4.0 project and the literate practice and role of education in preparing people and society for the world of the fourth industrial revolution.
Contesting Curriculum (September 2017)
Professor Liz McKinley
The contesting of the colonial history of white-settler nations is not new. Intermittently debates erupt into the public arena such as that being carried out in Australia over the Captain Cook monument in Sydney’s Hyde Park, ‘change the date’ campaign, and those in the University of Melbourne over building and room names after people involved in the Australian eugenics movement. What is at stake here is the lure of Western epistemology, peoples’ beliefs about knowing and knowledge. In this presentation, I will explore the academy (including schools) as a site of struggle over knowledge making for Indigenous peoples. I will draw some comparisons between New Zealand and Australia.
Spectres of progressive education and other ideas that won’t go away (August 2017)
Professor Julie McLeod
In this presentation, Professor McLeod considered two related themes in her current work on the ideas and enactments of progressive education, following these aspirations in the 1960s and 70s, as expressed across two fields of educational work – the ethos of alternative or community schooling and debates regarding the organisation of education for Aboriginal students. Firstly, she posed some questions about the ‘time of ideas’ and ideas that hang around, or become versatile or even banal ghosts in educational discourses. Second, she juxtaposed different uses of ‘progressive’ sentiment in advocacy and mediation of the above educational reforms, at the same time, attempting to question the limits and problems associated with this type of analytic work.
Distribution of Worries: Interdisciplinary Meetings As Welfare Technology (March 2017)
Associate Professor Hanne Knudsen, Aarhus Univeristy, Denmark
The “worry conversation” is an interdisciplinary meeting used by Danish schools and related welfare institutions. Various professionals are invited to a worry conversation if the teachers or another professional worries about a student’s wellbeing or learning. This session began by unpacking worry conversations in the case of a girl in 7th grade. The focus of the analysis was how “the worry” is formulated and who is attributed responsibility for the problem and thus the possibility to act. I suggest that professionals “worry” when they locate the problem outside their own professional field. The worry is not formulated as a professional problem, or an educational problem in the case of the school, because the school thereby would exclude other disciplines from describing and handling the problem. Using the concept of “worrying” creates, though, the risk that the meeting solves the school’s problem but not the student’s problem.
"He's Selling himself!': Enterprise, Poverty and Education (March 2017)
Dr Jessica Gerrard
In this presentation Dr Gerrard reflected on methodological challenges of researching marginality, and in researching precarious spaces of education and work, underpinned by the notion and practice of ‘entrepreneurialism’. The paper was based on the in-depth research undertaken on the everyday experiences of sellers of homeless street press (like ‘The Big Issue’) completed as part of Dr Gerrard's McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellowship. Drawing on sellers’ own accounts of their enterprising work practices, she suggests the need to re-examine the connections between contemporary education and work.
The Concept of Participation: A Powerful or Obsolete Educational Ideal? (February 2017)
Professor Venka Simovska, Aarhus University, Denmark
This presentation critically discussed the concept of participation of children and young people as an educational ideal and educational strategy. Participation is construed as a fundamental constituent of the process of Bildung – formation of determination and solidarity through education– and linked to children’s rights and inclusion, their becomings and subjectification. While the concept of participation harbours significant potential, it rests on notions of the ‘good’ and ‘worthwhile’ that are often out of reach and clash with neoliberal logics. However, a theoretical emphasis on the excess embedded within such an imperfect concept opens up other ways of approaching participation and the never-ending race to come up with the ‘perfect’ concept in the educational field.
"Policy assemblages’ in Australian schooling: The complex process of making national teaching standards (February 2017)
Dr Glen Savage
In this seminar, Dr Glenn Savage used the development of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) as an illustrative case to examine how national schooling reforms are being assembled in Australia’s federal system. Drawing upon an emerging body of theory and research on ‘policy assemblage’ within the fields of policy sociology and anthropology, he explored the ways that so-called ‘national reforms’ evolve from complex interactions between policy actors and organisations across federal, national, subnational and transnational policy spaces.
Diaspora Communities and the Dilemmas of Transnational Lives (October 2016)
Professor Fazal Rizvi
Nation-states around the world often view their globally mobile diaspora communities as a resource helpful in engaging the possibilities of the globalizing economy. Low-income countries have of course long known about the economic and social contribution that their diaspora abroad can make to their national development through financial and social remittances. More recently, however, higher-income countries, such as Australia, too have begun to consider the possibilities of their ‘diaspora advantage’ - the benefits that can be derived for the nation from the linguistic skills, cultural knowledge and transnational networks of their diaspora communities. Based on work recently completed for ACOLA, Professor Rizvi discussed how diaspora business communities occupy a complex and contested location within and across national borders. On the one hand, they are able to benefit from their location within the transnational economic space, but, on the other hand, confront a range of very difficult ethical and political challenges.
A Spoken Word, Making Up Human/Indigenous Kinds, and #MovingImagesMatters (September 2016)
Dr Ligia López López
Popular culture matters. The ways in which people become particular kinds of people inserted in diversity and multiculturalism agendas matter. Still and moving images matter in the production of choreographies of difference and diversity. Dr. Ligia López López invited us to unpack diversity from her lived experiences, her work on indigeneity in Guatemala, and her current project on popular moving images in Australia and the United States.
Dangerous Concepts in Education
During 2017 the Dangerous Concepts Forum convened on the first Thursday of every month to ponder the different ways in which key educational concepts can be understood, deployed and contested.
In this monthly series we offered an opportunity to dialogue openly with friends and colleagues, pondering the different ways in which key educational concepts can be understood, deployed and contested. The aim was not to arrive at a shared meaning but to become more aware of different meanings and inflections of the same concept and how this makes it then, a dangerous concept, to be thoughtfully and carefully contended within educational spaces. In 2017 the forum series discussed the following concepts: potential, impact, wellbeing, gap, evidence, development and democracy. The final forum for the year discussed the question: How do we approach our work ethically in the context of dangerous concepts?
For more information, visit the blog.