PostGrad Symposium: Creativity, Methods and Issues in the Social Sciences

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Presenter:  School of Creative Arts and Humanities, CDU

Date: Nov 18, 2016

Time: 1:00pm to 5:30pm

Contact person:  Francis Marty Sison
T: +61 8 8946 7404

Location:  Blue 05.1.01





Dr Bruce Haynes

“Creativity and Critical Thinking”




After consideration of ‘and’, consideration is given to critical thinking and creativity as types of thought common to a wide range of activities in which successful practitioners need both. Consideration is also given to the different types of activity usually associated with critical thinking and creativity in which one may be assumed to inhibit the other. An example is outlined of an approach to critical thinking that may be of use in preparing a research thesis. No help is offered to enhance creativity.


Dr Bruce Haynes FPESA FPES retired in 2003 from Edith Cowan University after 34 years in teacher education and some teaching in philosophy. He edited the Australian Journal of Teacher Education 1990-2012 and is a past President of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia. Publications include Australian Education Policy: An introduction to critical thinking for teachers and parents (2nd ed, 2002) and Patriotism and Citizenship Education (2009). He is in his 15th year on the Town of Claremont Council.



Jean-Michel David

“Everything you wanted to know about Steiner education and weren't afraid to ask: its philosophical underpinnings and development across a century”




Europe is facing the aftermath of WWI devastation and Wilson's proposed accord, which includes re-determining its borders along ethnic lines. Steiner is critical and claims it will not lead to lasting peace: instead he advocates a formal three-fold division of society: economic; judicio-political; and cultural (inclusive of education). In light of this, Emil Molt, CEO of the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette company, engages Steiner to develop a 'free' school for the children of its employees, becoming the first instantiation of Steiner-Waldorf education.

    The presentation will provide an explanation of the basis of Steiner-Waldorf educational philosophy through an overview of the world conception out of which arises the three-fold social order, the nature of the human being, and consequent pedagogical understanding.

Jean-Michel David has a background in philosophy and in education, having worked in Steiner schools as well as teacher formation and professional development for over twenty years. He has previously taught Philosophy at LaTrobe University, involved in the establishment of the Philosophy for Children Society (now VAPS in Victoria), and has presented on education and philosophy here and overseas. He currently lectures in Steiner’s educational philosophy and is Education Administrator at Little Yarra Steiner School, a K-12 school in Victoria.



Dr Philipp Ablett

“Politics in Philippine imaginary Institution of Revolutionary Religion in the Philippines: Reflections on Christians for National Liberation (1972-1993)”




The recent Philippine elections resurrected socio-political divisions stemming from the martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos. A significant component of the opposition to that regime was the revolutionary, Communist-led National Democratic movement and a salient feature of that opposition was the participation of Christian Church-people supportive of the armed struggle, whose emblematic organisational expression was the Christians for National Liberation (CNL). This paper employs Castoriadis’s theory of social imaginary creation to propose a non-structuralist explanation of the emergence of CNL countering reductive arguments that it was just the outcome of communist infiltration nor a linear outgrowth of liberation-oriented theologies. Rather, the revolutionary participation of church-people is best understood as resulting from the imaginative creation in action of two “revitalisation movements” that coincided in the late 1960s, bringing together the attendant dialectical significations of “revolutionary cadre” and “prophetic witness”.


Dr Phillip Ablett is a lecturer in sociology at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He has taught sociology and anthropology since 1994 at both La Trobe University and University of the Sunshine Coast including introductory sociology, cultural anthropology, international community development, social movements, critical social theory and the social history of technology. He also has strong research interests in the sociology of religion, social inequality and Philippine Studies. Dr Ablett was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding Teacher in 2007 and in 2010 received an Australian Learning and Teaching Council citation for his contribution to student learning in social theory. He is currently working on a book on the role of Philippine Church people’s involvement in the Communist-led revolutionary movement against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos from the 1970’s onwards. He has co-authored (with Christine Morley and Selma MacFarlane) Engaging with Social Work: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge, 2014).



Christine Morley

“Using critical reflection as a method of inquiry in social science research”




This paper will discuss how using critical reflection as a methodology can lead to emancipatory change by facilitating transformative learning in research participants.

As an example, I will discuss a project that was concerned with challenging legal injustices that exist for victims/survivors of sexual assault. I will also explore possibilities to conduct this type of research in organizational settings, such as universities, and discuss the challenges that this can present for dominant, objectivist ways of knowing, that are often privileged within these contexts. In exploring methodological and ethical issues, it is argued this qualitative approach may be particularly useful for social researchers who are interested in social change and concerned with social justice.


Christine Morley BSW (Hons) PhD is Associate Professor of Social Work at the Queensland University of Technology. Formally foundation Head of Social Work at the University of the Sunshine Coast, her intellectual passions include exploring the possibilities for critical social work and critical reflection to make a contribution to social work as an emancipatory project. Previously at Deakin University, Christine has published more than 40 papers in national and international refereed journals, conference proceedings and in edited books as invited chapters. She has authored Practising Critical Reflection to Develop Emancipatory Change (Ashgate, 2014) and co-authored (with Selma Macfarlane and Phillip Ablett) Engaging with Social Work: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge, 2014).