The Learning Conference will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Thalia Dragonas Denise Newfield
Anna Frangoudaki Vicki Pascoe
Kris Gutiérrez Kylie Radel
David Istance J. Félix Angulo Rasco
Mary Kalantzis Cathryn Teasley

Garden Conversation Sessions

Plenary Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations - unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.


The Speakers

Thalia Dragonas
Thalia Dragonas is a Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Athens. She was for several terms Head of the Department of Early Childhood Education, she was a member of the board of the Greek Open University and the Center of Educational Research. Her research activity lies in the area of identities and the articulation of the social with the psychological. She has participated in and directed many Greek and international projects and has worked extensively for the educational reform of the Muslim Minority in Western Thrace. Specific areas of research interests are: psychosocial identity and intergroup relations, intercultural education and ethnocentrism in the educational system, prevention and promotion of early psychosocial health, transition to parenthood, construction of fatherhood and masculinity as well as research methodological issues such as the relationship of qualitative and quantitative techniques.

Currently she is an MP with PASOK. She participates in Parliamentary Committees on Education, Culture, Equality and Human Rights.


Anna Frangoudaki
Anna Frangoudaki is a professor at the University of Athens. Her fields of research include social inequalities in education, sociology of language, analysis of school textbooks, ethnocentrism in school, discrimination of minorities in education. She has collaborated with academics from Belgium, Israel, Italy, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkey on joint projects trying to adapt school knowledge to democratic ideas and values, by challenging prejudiced knowledge transmitted by schools, through which racism, social discrimination, nationalism and sexism are reproduced. Since 1997, she co-headed the Ministry of Greek Education - European Union Project on the educational reform of the Muslim Minority population in north-eastern Greece.

Kris Gutiérrez
Kris Gutiérrez is a Professor of Social Research Methodology at the University of California Los Angeles, USA. Professor Gutierrez was the 2005 recipient of the AERA Division C Sylvia Scribner Award and is a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences 2006-07. She was also the Noted Scholar in Residence, Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, July 23-August 10, 2006. She has a Ph.D., in English/Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Her current research interests include a study of the sociocultural contexts of literacy development, particularly the study of the acquisition of academic literacy for language minority students. Her research also focuses on understanding the relationship between language, culture, development, and pedagogies of empowerment.

Her current research projects include UCLA Center on Everyday Lives of Families: An Alfred P. Sloan Center on Working Families, The Role of Education in Middle Class Families (Co-PI); Studying the development of literacy and problem-solving competencies in an after-school computer program: The effects of auxiliary mediational means in the 5th Dimension (PI); The Social and Cultural Dimensions of Learning: Examining Writing, Digital Story Telling, and Teatro as Tools for Learning for Migrant Students (PI); and Examining the social organization of helping and learning in children’s small group interactions in the U.S. and Mexico (Co-PI).


David Istance
David Istance is a Senior Analyst in OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI). David heads the “Schooling for Tomorrow” project which is now launching an ambitious new phase. It has active country engagement from around half the OECD countries and some non-member countries, and it is building an international knowledge base on educational futures thinking.

He is part of the CERI “What Works” team, now focusing on formative assessment of school students and adults with low basic skills. He works closely with the CERI project on University Futures and with other projects in CERI and the Education Directorate – brain research and learning, teachers, leadership, and choice & accountability.

David is an honorary research fellow in the School of Social Sciences, University of Cardiff, is on the editorial boards of the European Journal of Education and the Korean KEDI Journal of Educational Policy, and on the Executive Board of the International Partnership Network.

Before his current CERI position, he held university posts in Cardiff and Swansea in Wales, UK from 1991 to 1997. Prior to that, he worked in OECD, in both CERI and the Education and Training Policy Division. He studied social sciences at Jesus College, Oxford University, gaining a B Phil. in Sociology in 1976 and a BA. (now MA) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) in 1974.


Mary Kalantzis
Dr. Mary Kalantzis is Dean of the College of Education and Professor of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois Urbana Campaign, USA. She also is an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, attached to the Globalism Institute and Research Director of the Knowledge Design Forum. She was the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia from 1997-2003, the President of the Australian Council of Deans of Education from 2000-2004 and an inaugural member of the Australian National Institute for Quality Teaching and School Leadership 2004–2005. She has also been a Commissioner of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Chair of the Queensland Ethnic Affairs Ministerial Advisory Committee and a member of the Australia Council’s Community Cultural Development Board. Her academic research and writing, crosses a number of disciplines, including history, linguistics, education and sociology; and examines themes as varied as Australian immigration, leadership and workplace change, professional learning, pedagogy and literacy learning. With Bill Cope, she is co-author of a number of books, including: ‘The Powers of Literacy’, Falmer Press, London, 1993, ‘Productive Diversity’, Pluto Press, Sydney, 1997; ‘A Place in the Sun: Re-Creating the Australian Way of Life’, Harper Collins, Sydney, 2000; ‘Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures’, Routledge, London, 2000; and ‘Learning by Design’, Victorian Schools Innovation Commission, Melbourne, 2005.

Denise Newfield
Denise Newfield is a teacher educator in the School of Literature and Language Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has been associated with the Learning Conference for over a decade and was co-organiser of the Learning Conference in Johannesburg in 2007. Her interests span literature, literacy, media, popular culture, pedagogy and transnational research. Her Ph D study is concerned with processes of multimodal meaning-making in classrooms. Other research has focused on the role of poetry (on the page and in performance) for English second language students in township schools in South Africa. She has published in the fields of English education, multiliteracies and multimodality. She co-edited a special edition of English Studies in Africa, entitled ‘English Education in Africa’ (49.1, 2006), and is a member of an India-South Africa-UK classroom research project. She was a frequent research partner and collaborator of Professor Pippa Stein’s, until Pippa’s untimely death in August 2008. In delivering the Pippa Stein Memorial Lecture at The Sixteenth International Conference on Learning in Barcelona, 2009, Denise will be paying tribute to her dear and respected colleague whose work has made an impact on literacy studies across the globe. She will assess Pippa’s contribution through a presentation of her work.

Vicki Pascoe
Vicki Pascoe is currently a lecturer and Program Co-ordinator for the Tertiary Entry Program at Nulloo Yumbah, Central Queensland University’s Indigenous Learning Spirituality and Research Centre. She is a co-recipient of the 2008 International Award for Excellence in the area of Learning. Vicki is also completing a PhD in the areas of Sociology and Health. Vicki’s research is concerned with the experiences of overseas trained medical doctors in rural and remote Queensland. Vicki has spent over a decade teaching in Organisational and Personal Communication, Indigenous Australian Studies, Indigenous Education, Sociology and Adult Education. Vicki has also completed a BA, a Grad. Cert. in Organisational Development and Training, a Grad. Dip. in Adult Education and Training and an MEd (Hons).

Kylie Radel
Kylie Radel is the discipline coordinator for marketing and a lecturer in marketing and tourism with Central Queensland University. She is a co-recipient of the 2008 International Award for Excellence in the area of Learning. Kylie has also spent 18 months working with Nulloo Yumbah – Central Queensland University’s Indigenous Learning, Spirituality and Research Centre as a lecturer with the Tertiary Entry Program and Indigenous studies. Kylie is currently completing a doctorate which uses a grounded theory approach to examine factors for success for an Indigenous tourism enterprise from the staffs’ perspectives. Kylie’s research interests include Indigenous tourism, Indigenous research methodologies, marketing, small and medium enterprises, education in marketing and tourism, socio-cultural issues for Indigenous Australians.

J. Félix Angulo Rasco
Professor J. Felix Angulo Rasco is the Director of the Lab Analysis of Educational Change (LACE) Group, Catedrático Professor, and Director of the Department of Education at the Universidad de Cádiz, Spain. He is also Director and founder of the Electronic Journal HEURESIS: Electronic Journal of Curriculum and Educational Research. His previous positions include Professor Titular in Didactics and School Organization at the Universidad de Málaga, Spain.

He received his Bachelor of CC. of Education from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and his Doctor/PHD in CC. of Education from the Universidad de Málaga.


Cathryn Teasley
Cathryn Teasley is Adjunct Professor (Profesora Asociada) of Curriculum, Instruction and School Organization at the University of A Coruña. Her research is focused on the pursuit of cross-cultural justice through ethnography, critical pedagogy, anti-bias teacher education, and peace education, all of which are reflected in her dissertation work on the recent incorporation of Roma/Gypsy students into secondary-level schooling in Spain. Cathryn Teasley has recently co-edited, with Cameron McCarthy, the volume Transnational perspectives on culture, policy and education: Redirecting cultural studies in neoliberal times (Peter Lang, 2008), and is contributing author to works such as Globalizing Cultural Studies: Ethnographic Interventions in Theory, Method, and Policy (Peter Lang, 2007), and the two-volume book Volver a pensar la educación (Morata, 1995), on critical issues in education across the globe.