Sydney School of Education and Social Work events - 2014 Archive

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Democracy, inclusion and education: differing perspectives from Canada

10 April 2014

Canada has been described as having ‘multination federalism’ since it adopted a combination of official language status for Quebec and territorial autonomy for First Nations peoples. Although accommodating minority nationalism within a liberal-democratic model has somewhat mitigated historic experiences of economic, social and cultural discrimination and oppression in Quebec, a sizeable nationalist movement remains in that province. Notwithstanding official bilingualism at the federal level, Canada is divided into official English- and French-speaking regions.

As a democratic immigrant country, Canada as a whole, and Quebec as a distinct ‘nation’ within the larger nation-state have depended on diverse populations for their economic, social and intellectual growth. Issues of justice, equality and rights were put on the social agenda with the emergence of Québécois nationalism leading to the Quiet Revolution in the 1960s. More recently, in addition to the Canada-Quebec tensions, the realities of diversity in both contexts have given a sense of urgency to social justice issues concerning inclusion and social cohesion. I will briefly look at educational policies and practices that aim to respond to diversity and inclusion through two models: multiculturalism and interculturalism, which is specific to Quebec.

The talk will begin with a brief discussion of the contexts that have given rise to different perspectives on addressing issues of diversity and inclusion. These become complex due to a “paradigm of duality” that remains in Quebec with its double conception of culture – its need to maintain its French identity on the one hand, and the threat it faces not only from the overwhelming English domination of North America, but also in its encounters with immigrant populations. The presentation will end with practices that operationalise the different policies in education.

Event details

  • When: noon–1pm

  • Where:

    Lecture Theatre Room 101, New Law School Building
    New Law School
    Click image for interactive map.

  • Cost: FREE but RSVP is essential

  • RSVP: RSVP by emailing Rosina Gallace

  • Dress code: Smart casual
  • Contact:

    Rosina Gallace
    T: +61 2 9351 7043

  • More info: The event is hosted by Associate Professor Lesley Harbon, Associate Dean International, Sydney School of Education and Social Work.

  • Speaker: Professor Ratna Ghosh is James McGill Professor and William C Macdonald Professor of Education at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She was Dean of Education from July 1998 to December 2003. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada (C.M.) in 2000, Officer of the Order of Quebec (O.Q.) in 2005, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (F.R.S.C.) in 1999.

    Professor Ghosh is also a Full Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities. Her publications in books, journals and encyclopedias, as well as her prestigious grants and teaching, reflect her varied research interests, which include education and technology. She has done research in Canada, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Professor Ghosh was featured in the Canadian Edition of Time magazine, October 13, 2003 issue as one of "Canada's Best in Education". In 2009 she was selected for the Power List published by India Abroad.

    She is the recipient of the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in 1996, and has received several awards from national and international organizations. She has held important administrative positions at McGill, as Director of Graduate Studies and Research for the Faculty of Education, and Acting Director of McGill International. She has had an important leadership role in the development and governance of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, which is a consortium of Canadian universities involved in academic exchanges and programs between India and Canada. She served as its resident director in New Delhi, India, in 1982–83, and as President of the Institute from 1988–90. She has been on the Board of Directors (as well as the Education and International Committees) of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation. She is on the editorial board of several international journals. In 2009 she was elected as the President (2011–2012) of the Comparative and International Education Society of the US.

    Academic Background
    • PhD in Comparative and International Education, Department of Educational
      Foundations, University of Calgary
    • MA in Comparative and International Education, Department of Educational
      Foundations, University of Calgary
    • BA (honours) in English, with distinction, University of Calcutta
    • Music Diploma in Pianoforte and Theory, Trinity College of Music,
      London, England

Democracy, inclusion and education: differing perspectives from Canada


Lecture Theatre Room 101, New Law School Building
New Law School
Click image for interactive map.


10 April 2014

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