Education and Power: Teaching, Empowerment, Subversion and Surveillance

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Mar 31, 2015
from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM


Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1

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0116 252 2320

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Professor Tony Lawson

School of Education

Lecture Summary

The relationships between education and power are multi-faceted and include the power to do things and get things done, power over people and things and the power to resist power. In teaching and in learning, all of these aspects have expression, both in the practicalities of delivering to learners and in the academic exploration of pedagogical forms. My career in teacher education has placed me at the interface between the transmission of learning how to teach to others and the empirical investigation of teaching and the classroom. In examining the dimensions of power in relation to both the practice of teaching and research into teaching, my work has been shaped by serendipitous opportunities occasioned by colleagues and by my students.

My Chair is awarded for excellence in teaching and for research into education. My inaugural lecture will therefore look at the principles of pedagogy that have framed my own practice in relation to the social science student teachers that I have had the honour to work with and at the research projects that I have continually been involved with over twenty-five years. The context of the former is mainly concerned with the Post-graduate Certificate in Education, but has manifestations in Masters and Doctoral level work, as well as in my role as Academic Director of the College of Social Science. My work in this regard has local and national profiles, but is also international through a number of European Union TEMPUS projects that I have been engaged in.

In terms of research, my interests have included information and communications technology, with a particular interest in videoconferencing as an innovative technology in schools; individual action planning, mentoring and teaching observations; and empowerment, surveillance and liberatory education. Though the last of these is more directly related to issues of power, the focus on the different forms of power threads through all my research and in my teaching.

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