School of Education

The Second International Theorising Education Conference:

The Future of Theory in Education: Traditions, Trends, Trajectories
Cottrell Building with a blue sky

Stirling Management Centre, University of Stirling, UK, 7 - 9 June 2012


  • Nov 25 2011 Abstract Deadline
  • Dec 16 2011 Notification of acceptance
  • Feb 3 2012 Deadline for early registration
  • Mar 30 2012 Deadline for full papers

The Laboratory for Educational Theory at the School of Education was established in 2008 with the ambition to create opportunities for researchers, students, practitioners and others to explore the roles of theory in educational research and educational practice and to engage in theory development and capacity building.

The Laboratory is coordinated by Professor Gert Biesta, Professor Julie Allan and Dr Helen Lees. As part of its programme of activities the Laboratory for Educational Theory is hosting the second biennial international theorising education conference. This year's conference theme is The Future of Theory in Education: Traditions, Trends, Trajectories.

About the conference

The purpose of the conference is to consider the role and significance of theory in educational research and educational practice and to provide opportunities for discussion, exchange and networking. The conference takes a broad definition of education which includes school education, informal education, work-based learning, vocational education, higher education, adult education and lifelong learning.
The discussion will be guided by such questions as:

  • What theories are drawn upon in educational research and educational practice? With what intentions and to what effects?
  • What are the different traditions of theory and theorising in different historical contexts and national settings?
  • How is theory development changing? How should theory development change?
  • What is the relationship between educational theory and theory development in other disciplines? Is there distinctive educational theory?
  • Does theory make a difference? What constitutes good theory in research and in educational practice?
  • How can theoretical work by promoted?

The conference will be organised around short discussion papers (ca. 3,000 words), full papers (ca. 6,000 words), progress reports from doctoral students (ca. 3,000 words), discussion posters (ca. 1,000 words), and proposals for theory clinics (in which presenters work with the audience in the critical analysis of the theoretical dimensions of existing research or practice) are invited.
Presentations will follow on the following issues:

  • work that engages in theorising of educational processes and practices in new ways
  • work that explores or exemplifies the utility of particular forms or traditions of theorising in educational research or practice
  • work that analyses the roles of theory in educational research or practice
  • work that provides insight in different traditions of theorising, particularly international comparisons
  • position papers, vision papers, agenda settings papers about the future of theory in educational research or practice
Keynote speakers

Professor Thomas S. Popkewitz, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Popkewitz Abstract

Professor Julie Allan, University of Stirling, UK
Making a difference - in theory

Allan Theorylab 2012 Keynote 

Plus invited presentations from :
Prof Vivvienne Baumfield (University of Glasgow, UK)
Prof Andreas Fejes (Linköping University, Sweden)
Prof Paul Standish (Institute of Education, London)


Registration fee
Early bird – £270.00
Standard fee – £320.00
Student Fee – £200.00 (inc 2 nights accommodation)
Single Day – £160.00/£135.00

Accommodation is at Stirling Management Centre or at the halls of residence at the University of Stirling

Register now
Registration form

For more information, contact:

Getting here

The city and University are easily accessible by public transport, and are situated roughly 50km/35miles from the international airports outside Glasgow and Edinburgh.

View more information on getting here.


Sessions Programme

Click to download the Sessions Programme: TheoryLab Sessions Programme

Summary Programme

Click to download the Summary Programme: TheoryLab 2012 Summary Programme  

Programme Book 

Click to download the Programme Book: TheoryLab Conference Programme Book

Author's NamesTitlePaper TypeInstitution
Paul Adams Education policy: explaining, framing and forming Full Paper University of Hull
Kirsty Alexander Education without purpose or (a) direction?  Progress Report University of Stirling
Maria Pereira de Almeida, Patrícia Bastos Theory and the theories of education today. Some alternatives to the Portuguese case Full Paper University of Lisbon
Mariza Weber Alves Urban and architecture research in education - Connecting school spaces: when the classroom meets its surrounding territory  Progress Report Universidade Nova de Lisboa.
Maria G. Amilburu Lack of Theory and University A reflection on the Bologna Reform in Spain Short Discussion Paper Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)
Anna Anderson The role of genealogy in critiquing student participation projects Full Paper Independent Scholar
Jovito Anito, Maricar Prudente Playing with Equations: Exploring How Engineering Students Solve Physics Problems Full Paper Ateneo de Zamboanga University
Carla Augusto Matrioskas and displacements Progress Report University of Minho
Carla Augusto, Gillian Cowell, Elisabete Gomes, Jani Koskela Travels in Theory Theory Clinic University of Stirling
David Backer Hiding in Plain Sight: Educational Critique and The New Spirit of Capitalism Short discussion paper  Columbia University
Henriette Bastrup-Birk, Danny Wildemeersch Can a complexity informed notion of democratic education help us move towards sustainability? Full Paper K.U. Leuven
Ira Bogotch Educational Theory: The Specific Case of Social Justice as an Educational Leadership Construct Full Paper Florida Atlantic University
Jenni Carter Education Policy as Law: Derrida, Ethical Responsibility and ‘Teacher Quality’ Full Paper University of South Australia 
Pei Wen Chong Developing contextualized descriptive theory through the "Russian doll" approach to international comparative research in education Full Paper University of Edinburgh, Macquarie University
Richard Davies Polygamy in Educational Research: Selfish Reflections on 'After School: The Disruptive Work of Informal Education' Full Paper De Montfort University
Markus Deimann, Robert Farrow Rethinking OERs and their use: Open Education as Bildung Full Paper FernUniversität in Hagen
Phil Duggan Planning for ambivalence in a competitive message environment to enhance network stability Full Paper Liverpool John Moores University
Richard Edwards, Sian Bayne, Lesley Gourlay, Helena Pederson  Theory Clinic: Education as a Posthuman Practice: the End of Learning? Theory Clinic University of Stirling
Sune Frølund Atmosphere and education Full Paper University of Aarhus
Sarah Galloway

Exploring empowerment as a purpose for adult literacies education

Short Discussion Paper University of Stirling
Alexis Gibbs The Responsibility for Dialogue in Higher Education Development Progress Report University of Stirling
Teresa Gonçalves,Elisabete Gomes Challenging the concept of continuous professional development Short discussion paper  Universidade Nova de Lisboa
María Marcela González Arenas Transgressing modern reason. Rethinking education from counter-hegemonic perspectives Full Paper Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México 
Margaret Hawthorne Through a Foucauldian Lens Full Paper Glasgow Caledonian University 
Chris Holligan Applying Max Weber's ideal-types. Exploring British Education Research Capacity Full Paper University of West of Scotland
John I'Anson Examining Religion: Truth, Epistemic Culture and Care of the Self Full Paper University of Stirling
Carmen James Derrida, Educational Policy and Responsibility Full Paper Columbia University
Harald Jarning Theorising Education from Didaktikk & Pedagogy: Professional and academic genres? Norwegian examples and comparative questions Full Paper  HIOA
Lotta Jons Learning as Calling and Responding Full Paper Stockholms universitet
Lotta Jons Theorising the Teacher-Student-Relation as a Matter of Calling and Responding - A deliberation on philosophical underpinnings and affordances in articulation Full Paper Stockholms universitet
Oliver Kauffmann On the mésalliance between theory of consciousness and theory of education Full Paper University of Aarhus
Karsten Kenklies From There to Queer – The Pedagogical Challenge of a New Freedom Full Paper Universität Jena
Margot Kirkland   Theory in transition Progress Report University of Stirling
Ari Kivelä Education for Self-activity? The Legacy of the Post-Kantian Idealism for the Theory of Education Full Paper University of Oulu
Ari Kivelä Between Allgemeine Pädagogik and Philosophy of Education: Bildung and Reason Full Paper University of Oulu
Helen Lees The Future of Educational Thought: silence, autonomy and the terms of education Full Paper University of Stirling
Steven C Lockwood Paradoxes within Science Education: the development of student evidentiary logic through the exploration of the Mpemba Paradox  Full Paper Curtin University
Aurora Lopez-Fogues Theorising Further Education Through A Capability Lens: Vulnerability and Freedoms Progress report University of Nottingham
Birthe Lund, Merete Wiberg Normativity and Uncertainty in Evidence based informed Knowledge Full Paper Aalborg University
Ian Munday Creativity: performativity's poison or its antidote? Full Paper University of Stirling
Colette Murphy Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development – a Russian Perspective Short discussion paper  Queen's University
Kathy Nicoll Opening discourses of educational research - means for flight? Full Paper University of Stirling
Trine Kløveager Nielsen Theory and practice in professional education: A systematic review. Poster University of Aarhus
Adrianna Nizinska Understanding adult non-learning.  Collecting theoretical 'breadcrumbs' Full Paper University of Lower Silesia
Elena Nobile The role of theory in educational research Full Paper University of Padua
Arnd-Michael Nohl The reflective relation between theoretical and qualitative-empirical inquiry Full Paper Helmut Schmidt-Universität
Trevor Norris The removal of education and theory: making space for theory in the study of philosophy Full Paper University of Toronto
Stefano Oliverio, Enricomaria Corbi Beyond the Bracketing of Reality: Educational Perspectives on Constructivism, New Realism, and ‘Pragmatism’.  Full Paper University of Napoli Federico II
Le Ha Phan Transnationality, mobility, locality and the nation state in knowledge mobilisation and educational research Full Paper Monash University
Carey Philpott You are the stream not the cork in the stream Full Paper University of Strathclyde
Roya Pugh The Quirkiness of Educational Theorising: A phenomenological reflection Full Paper Curtin University 
Jocey Quinn Theorising Learning and Nature: posthuman possibilities and problems Full Paper Plymouth University
Ana Sofia Ribeiro Santos Parity, agency and vulnerability: A framework for analysing higher education student experience from a social justice perspective Progress Report University of Bielefeld
Thomas Aastrup Rømer John Dewey’s Philosophy of "Thing" Full Paper University of Aarhus
Liz Ryan A Red Chair Phenomenon Progress Report Curtin University
Carl Anders Säfström What is wrong with this picture? A critique of tendencies of reduction of educational theory within universities in Sweden Full Paper University of Sweden
Birgit Schaffar On the subjectivity of truth Full Paper Åbo Akademi University
Chryssa Sgouridou Exploring the aesthetics of translation in drama education Short Discussion Paper University of Exeter
Johanna Sitomaniemi-San Thinking otherwise through theory in teacher education Progress Report University of Oulu
Carlos Sousa Reis, Maria Formosinho Educational Sciences:  Towards a Theoretical Rebirth Beyond All Reductionisms Full Paper Polytechnic Institute of Guarda (IPG)
Ari Sutinen A Pedagogical Pragmatic Maxim. -   Teaching as an Art and the Teacher’s Decision-Making in an Educational Situation Full Paper University of Oulu
Maddalena Taras Where is the theory in Assessment for Learning? Full Paper University of Sunderland
Christoph Teschers An Educational Approach to the Art of Living Full Paper University of Canterbury,
Christiane Thompson, Jan Masschelein, Maarten Simons An Educational Theory of the University  Theory Clinic Catholic University Leuven
Nigel Tubbs Phenomenology of theory Full Paper University of Winchester
Gisselle Tur Porres The Emancipatory Potential Of Vocational Education And Training (Vet) Progress Report KU Leuven
Roy Williams, Jenny Mackness, Simone Gumtau Footprints of Emergence: applying complexity theory to education Theory Clinic  University of Portsmouth
Roy Williams, Simone Gumtau, J Makness, Regina Karousou Synaesthesia and Embodied Learning   Full Paper University of Portsmouth
Jason Thomas Wozniak Exercises in Making the World Strange: Cultivating New Ways of Perceiving the World in Teacher Education Programs and Adult Literacy and Philosophy Classes Full Paper Columbia University
Piotr Zamojski Educational Theory as Rationality of Action Towards a Post-critical Relation between Philosophy and Educational Practice  Full Paper

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