Lecture to focus on social justice in conservative times


Professor Sue Shore will deliver the second Professorial Lecture for 2015 this month

Professor Sue Shore will deliver the second Professorial Lecture for 2015 this month

The concept of “academic activism” and its impact on teaching and industry engagement will be the focus for senior educator Professor Sue Shore when she delivers the second Charles Darwin University Professorial Lecture for 2015.
Sue Shore is Professor in Education in the International Graduate Centre of Education at CDU and will deliver the lecture titled “Living and working in conservative times: Is there a role for academic activism?” on Tuesday, 22 September.

“Academic work is something of a mystery to many people who do not work in universities,” Professor Shore said.

“Drawing on many years as an educator and researcher in the vocational training and higher education sectors I will discuss how activism has been central in giving meaning to my teaching and industry engagement.”

For more than 35 years Professor Shore has worked, taught and researched issues associated with vocational training, further education and higher education. Much of this work has focused on the issues and consequences of educational disadvantage experienced by adults.

“Our understanding of learning is often based on the experiences of children and schooling, yet a substantial amount of learning occurs between adults, in workplaces, in community centres and on streets,” she said.

“It is very important that we understand more about this learning especially where so many policies are directed at gaining and maintaining employment, improving productivity and enriching community engagement.”

Professor Shore’s research in the adult sector has demonstrated that educational policy decisions are often based on issues other than academic achievement.

“Decisions about people’s workplace and social potential are influenced by myths about nationality, race and culture,” she said.

More recently Professor Shore’s research has focused on growth and prosperity flagged in the government's most recent paper “Our North, Our Future” targeting regional development in North Australia.

“This new focus on developing the North offers many opportunities for new learning, but some old lessons need to be remembered,” Professor Shore said.

“Our biggest challenge is our failure to imagine solutions beyond these old-fashioned but very powerful ideas about race and capability that have underpinned so many past initiatives in education and development.”

Professor Shore’s public lecture will focus on how these ideas sit within a broader understanding of academic work and the role of universities in engaging with policy and educational work.

She is completing a co-edited SUNY Press volume with American and Canadian colleagues, the chapters of which illustrate the everyday work involved in lifelong and lifewide learning in the 21st Century.

The Professorial Lecture will be held on Tuesday, 22 September from 5:30pm to 7:00pm in the Nitmiluk Lounge, Level 4, Parliament House. The event is free, but seats are limited and RSVPs are essential. RSVP by September 18 to E: cduevents@cdu.edu.au or T: 08 8946 6554.

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