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School of Education Lecture Series: Professor Stephen Ball, University College London

St Luke's Day Lecture

Event details

Thinking Education without School

In this lecture I will argue that the modern school is an ‘intolerable’ institution. Contrary to the sensibilities of educational research that look for more and/or better schooling as a way of making education and the social world more equal and more inclusive I will outline a position against school as an institution of normalisation within which equality and inclusion are impossible. Michel Foucault's strategy of reversal is used as a means of subversion to argue for an end to schooling. I will discuss the epistemic fundaments of the modern school and in particular the ways in which schooling is a form of government and a site for the production of  inequalities and isolated, materialistic individuals. Overall, I will assert the need for teachers and researchers to abandon the ‘redemptive perspective’. Over and against this, I will propose the need to think education differently and apart from the school in order to open up other educations, and specifically  to re-think education as an ethical activity, an exploration of limits, and a process of self-formation -  that is about how we live in the world, how we conduct ourselves, and how we relate to and care for others and for the planet. To change the world and our relation to it, we must change ourselves and in doing so we must come to see our well-being as inextricably linked to the well-being of others and to the planet – that is now the urgent role for education.

About the Speaker

Professor Stephen Ball is Emeritus Professor of Sociology of Education at the Institute of Education of University College London, and one of the most eminent scholars in the field of education policy.  His research interests are in education policy analysis and social theory. 1 - Changes in governance and new state modalities. 2 - The Global Education Reform Movement. 3 - The relationships between education and education policy and social class. I bring to bear on these issues the tools and concepts of "policy sociology" and in particular the methods of Michael Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu. In 2008, he was involved in launching the BERA Social Theory and Education SIG, and he is the co-founder and now Consulting Editor of the Journal of Education Policy. 


This lecture will be delivered online via Zoom and streamed live on St Luke’s Campus (venue to be confirmed).


Please register via Eventbrite to reserve a place. 


SJB_poster.pdfEvent Flyer (216K)


Baring Court 114 & Online Via Zoom