Sydney School of Education and Social Work events – 2017 Archive

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Social Justice Seminar Series


7 October 2017

A joint presentation by the Sydney School of Education and Social Work Social Policy, and School and Teacher Education Policy research networks

What do we mean when we talk about social justice and how should we proceed?

Terms such as, “social justice”, “diversity”, “equity” and “inclusion” are in common use in universities, but they are not always used with clarity or precision. Sometimes they describe well-developed plans and actions. Occasionally they represent little more than progressive chic. In any case it is time for some serious examination of what we mean when we talk about social justice – and of how we might attempt to act in socially just ways. This series of fortnightly seminars aims to deepen our collective understanding of social justice by addressing a range of pressing problems from teaching, research and community engagement in the areas of education and social work. The presentations will be critical and questioning, and hopefully push beyond the language of feel-good vision statements in order to encourage hard thinking and serious agenda setting about the practices and politics of inequality.

University lecturers – gatekeepers of inclusive higher education

What does it mean to be an inclusive university lecturer? University students with intellectual disabilities challenge some lecturer perceptions of “the ideal university student”. Attitudes toward disability influence approaches to teaching and the reception of students with additional learning needs. Lecturers hold the power to act in socially just or unjust ways that define who belongs at university. Although there are many systemic barriers for students with additional learning needs to attend university, lecturer attitudes and teaching practices may facilitate or inhibit students to engage as part of a learning community.Presenter: Michelle L Bonati

When ‘participation’ is not enough – the role of service user narratives in critiquing psychiatric hegemony

A cornerstone of mental health activism and the critique of biomedical constructions of mental illness has been the oft-quoted notion, ‘nothing about us, without us’. This presentation will explore the increasing use of ‘lived experience’ narratives in critical mental health research, which has emerged as a response to this call to action, receiving widespread praise as empowering and inclusive research methodologies. However, instead of positioning such approaches as categorically connected to social justice, it will explore the limits of ‘participation’, as well as the capacity for service-user narratives to be co-opted by conventional professional agenda.Presenter: Emma Tseris

Event details

  • When: 4–5.30pm

  • Where: Room 612, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
    Education Building A35
    Click image for interactive map.

  • Cost: Free

  • RSVP: Not necessary

  • Contact:

    Dr Kelly Freebody

    Professor Donna Baines

    Associate Professor Susan Goodwin

    Associate Professor Helen Proctor

  • More info: View the topics and speakers for the entire series of seminars on the Social Policy Research Network events website or the School and Teacher Education Policy Research Network events website.

  • Speakers: Michelle Bonati is an associate lecturer in special and inclusive education in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at The University of Sydney. She earned her PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US. Her research interests include examining service-learning pedagogy as a context for developing inclusive schools, universities and communities.

    Emma Tseris is a lecturer in social work and policy studies, where her research and teaching areas include the social construction of mental illness, and mental health in relation to gender inequality. She is a contributor to the forthcoming collection, Routledge International Handbook of Critical Mental Health.

Social Justice Seminar Series

Where Room 612, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
Education Building A35
Click image for interactive map.


17 October 2017

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