Leading, looking and learning through place: Remaking a School of Education as an educational space-time

Year: 2017

Author: Bosetti, Lynn, Brbousas, Joanna, Seddon, Terri

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In this present, shifting geopolitics disturb the historic trajectory of Europeanisation. That social and political project produced eurocentric nation-states, territorialised national education systems and, through universities, an enlightenment culture. It also settled social worlds initially in the European landmass, then through empire, and now via globalising economies and cultures. But since the 1990s, this trajectory has also unsettled the university and its logic of governing through knowledge that provided institutional anchoring for enlightenment cultures. So how does a university navigate this change? In particular, how can a university school of education reorient its work and learning to restabilise cultural politics in our times?

This symposium interrogates 'social embeddedness' to consider what it means to lead, look and learn through place in ways that reorient educational space-times. We use a case study of La Trobe University to investigate the remaking of a university school of education. Celebrating its 50th birthday in 2017, the university is re- positioning in the world of globalising education. As a newly appointed leadership team, we consider how we see, know and do professional and research education to inform our work, which is required to remake the School of Education for 'new times'. Drawing out embedded knowings and doings, incubated through Canadian, Greek-Australian and Euro-Australian places and spaces, we examine how these resources inform our renewal agenda at LTU.

We argue that uncertain spaces of politics require capacities for leadership that are reflective, and also reflexive about knowledge projects. Re-centering a school of education on the work and learning of knowledge projects therefore offers ways of rebuilding collective professional capacities by re-institutionalising the right to look. It is a leadership strategy that also authorises the right to learn and to lead, orienting space-times of education and educators in ways that might help resettle societies.