"Disrupting inequality: What has and what can Sociology of Education do to make a difference?"

Friday 8 June 2012

TASA Symposium


Sociology of Education as a sub-field of Sociology is defined by a focus on education and inequality. The relationship between the two has been fundamental to the trajectory of this disciplinary field. Functionalist sociology saw education contributing to social solidarity by transmitting social norms and values between generations. Conflict sociology critiqued schooling as an institution of social reproduction. Now, with education neo-liberalized, vocationalized and globalized, the conceptual narrative of sociology of education seems less clear-cut. Focuses of inquiry and conceptual resources have diversified, while formalised teaching of sociology of education has become embedded and often invisibilized in professional education programs, alongside calls for a more public sociology.

The 2012 TASA Sociology of Education symposium opens up an intergenerational conversation on the state of sociology of education. Its key question is: What has and what can Sociology of Education do to make a difference to social inequality?

The symposium brings different generations of sociologists together to discuss the resources available through our disciplinary tradition and how they might be mobilised in the future. It invites key figures in Australian sociology of education to reflect on our collective achievements and also draw out lessons that might help us frame its further developments.

Australian Association for Research in Education AARE
CREFI (Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation - Deakin University)

Conference Details

Date: Friday 8 June 2012
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Venue: Deakin Prime


Keynote Speakers



Professor Allan Luke is currently developing new research projects in early literacy, accountability and assessmen and comparative pedagogies.
He is co-editor of Teaching Education (Routledge), Review of Research in Education (American Educational Research Association), Asia Pacific Journal of Education (Routledge) and Pedagogies: An International Journal (Erlbaum).
He is a senior editor of The International Encyclopedia of Education (Kluwer), The Handbook of Urban Education (Kluwer), and the Handbook of Curriculum (Sage).
Allan Luke's published work focuses on language and literacy education, discourse analysis, curriculum theory, policy, educational sociology.
He is currently working on several projects, including: classroom-based coding and observation systems, new models of educational policy analysis, development and commissioned work prototyping the relationships between state curriculum and equity...more


Professor Raewyn Connell holds a University Chair in the University of Sydney.  She has previously held posts in other universities in Australia and the USA, and visiting positions in Canada, the USA, and Germany. Raewyn Connell is best known outside Australia for studies of the social construction of masculinity. She was one of the founders of this research field and her book Masculinities (1995, 2005) is the most-cited in the field. The concept of hegemonic masculinity has been particularly influential and has attracted much debate. She has been an advisor to UNESCO and UNO initiatives relating men, boys and masculinities to gender equality and peacemaking.
Raewyn's style of sociology tries to combine empirical research, structural theory, social critique, and relevance to practice. Much of her research uses biographical (life-history) interviewing, but she has also published survey research, historical research, institutional analysis, and theory. She has written or co-written twenty-two books and more than 150 research papers (see the list below); her work is translated into 15 languages. The most recent book, combining work from several research projects, is Confronting Equality (2011)... more


Jill Blackmore

Professor Jill Blackmore
Director, Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation

Currently she is working on an ARC research project Redesigning Schools and Leadership, and projects on Resilient Kids and Schools and The Impact of Internationalisation on Teachers Professional Identities and Careers. She is past president of the Australian Association of Research in Education(2002), past Managing Editor of the Australian Educational Researcher, Regional Editor of International Journal of Educational Leadership, on the Editorial Board of British Educational Research Journal, American Educational Research Journal, New Zealand Journal of Educational Leadership, Journal of Educational Administration and History and international review panels of Journal of Education Policy, Globalisation, Societies, Education etc. She undertakes professional development and policy consultancies with professional and community organizations (principal, teacher and parents), government and NGOs (eg Victorian Council of Social Services, Oxfam International), and community organizations.

Ruth Arber


Dr Ruth Arber
Senior Lecturer in Education (TESOL)

My research experience and interests has three strands. The first extends my interest in identity and difference in education, its implications for understanding how discourses of race and ethnicity are played out in schools and its consequences for critical and inclusive education. The second applies to my more recent application of this work for the study of internationalization and cosmopolitanism in schools and education systems which are becoming increasingly globalised. The third brings together my long experience as a teacher of English as a second and foreign language and is concerned with the implementation of good teaching practice in diverse contexts worldwide.

Professor Terri Seddon

Terri Seddon is Professor of Education at Monash University. Her research focuses on educational restructuring and the politics of educational work in schools and in postcompulsory and adult learning spaces. Recent studies explore the nature and implications of partnership work, changes in governance and the effects of intercultural engagements on knowledge and innovation (Monash University web page).


Standard Registration $50
Student Concession $25


Program outline:

10.00 Welcome and introduction
10.15 - 11.00 Professor Allan Luke keynote: Documenting and disrupting inequality: A sociological approach to 'structural determination'
11.00 - 11.30 Morning Tea
11.30 - 12.00 Panel 1 - Lead Researchers: Prof Julie McLeod (Melbourne University), Prof Terri Seddon (Monash University), Prof Pat Thomson (The University of Nottingham, U.K.)
12.00 - 1.00 Discussant comments plus wider discussion
1.00 - 2.00 Lunch
2.00 - 2.30 Panel 2 - Next Generation Researchers: A/Prof Kitty te Riele (Victoria University), Dr Daniel Marshall (Deakin University), Dr Ly Thi Tran (RMIT University).
2.30- 3.30 Small group workshops: Identifying social problematics
3.30 - 4.15 Professor Raewyn Connell - Discussant
4.15 - 4.30 Concluding remarks

Symposium Flier


Lisa Angelini
CREFI Co-ordinator
Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation
Faculty of Arts and Education
221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Vic, 3125
Ph: + 61 3 92517147
Email: lisa.angelini@deakin.edu.au



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