The 2006 Learning Conference will feature plenary session addresses by some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in the field of education, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Garden Conversation Sessions

Main speakers will make formal 30 minute presentations in the plenary sessions. They will also participate in 60 minute Garden Conversation sessions at the same time as the parallel sessions. The setting is a circle of chairs outdoors. These sessions are entirely unstructured - a chance to meet the plenary speaker and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.

The Speakers

  • Jim Gee, Tashia Morgridge Chair in Reading, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.

    James Paul Gee was born in San Jose, California. He received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of California at Santa Barbara and both his M.A. and Ph.D in linguistics from Stanford University. He started his career in theoretical linguistics, working in syntactic and semantic theory, and taught initially at Stanford University and later in the School of Language and Communication at Hampshire College in Amherst Massachusetts. After doing some research in psycholinguistics at Northeastern University in Boston and at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Holland, Professor Gee's research focus switched to studies on discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, and applications of linguistics to literacy and education. He went on to teach in the School of Education at Boston University, where he was the chair of the Department of Developmental Studies and Counseling, and later in the Linguistics Department at the University of Southern California. At Boston University he established new graduate programs centered around an integrated approach to language and literacy, combining programs in reading, writing, bilingual education, ESL, and applied linguistics. From 1993 to 1997 he held the Jacob Haiti Chair in Education in the Haiti Center for Urban Education at Clark University in, Massachusetts.

    In 2001, Professor Gee accepted the Tashia Morgridge Chair in Reading in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Prof. Gee's work over the last decade has centered on the development of an integrated theory of language, literacy, and schooling, a theory that draws on work in socially situated cognition, sociocultural approaches to language and literacy, language development, discourse studies, critical theory, and applied linguistics. This work has served as a theoretical base for a number of school-based projects run by the Hiatt center at Clark University in elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as in an after-school science project funded by the Spencer Foundation.

    Professor Gee's recent work has extended his ideas on language, literacy, and society to deal with the so-called "new capitalism" and its cognitive, social, and political implications for literacy and schooling. He has published widely in journals in linguistics, psychology, the social sciences, and education. His books include Sociolinguistics and Literacies (1990, Second Edition 1996); The Social Mind (1992); Introduction to Human Language (1993); and, with Glynda Hull and Colin Lankshear, The New Work Order: Behind the Language of the New Capitalism (1996).

    He is the author of the acclaimed What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, (The Learner, Melbourne) and the more recent Situated Language and Learning: A Critique of Traditional Schooling, both of which deal with video games and their implications for learning in the modern world.

  • Kris Gutierrez, Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.

    Kris Gutierrez' current research in the 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.

  • Anne Hickling-Hudson, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

    Dr Anne Hickling-Hudson teaches cross-cultural and international education at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia. Born and raised in Jamaica, Anne was educated at universities in the Caribbean and Hong Kong and did her PhD in Australia. Her involvement in curriculum and social reform in decolonising Caribbean societies includes working with the late Paulo Freire to prepare teachers for educational change (see her article 'Towards Communication Praxis: Reflections on the Pedagogy of Paulo Freire and Educational Change in Grenada'. Journal of Education 1988, Vol. 170, No. 2: 9-38). Her explorations of postcolonial perspectives challenge the negative legacies of colonialism in education, and she has co-edited a book on this (A. Hickling-Hudson, J. Matthews and A. Woods, Editors, Disrupting Preconceptions: Postcolonialism and Education. Flaxton: Post Pressed, 2004).

    As the immediate past President of the World Council of Comparative and International Education (WCCES) for the 2001 – 2004 term of office, Anne coordinated participation in the Council of over thirty comparative education societies across the globe. She led the 12th World Congress of Comparative Education Societies, the largest Congress in WCCES history, in Havana, Cuba in October 2004, involving a thousand participants form over 68 countries.

    Anne is widely published in the field of comparative and international education, with a research focus on social justice and equity issues in education in global context. Her articles have analysed these issues in university policy, K-12 schooling, teacher education and adult basic education in developing countries, as well as in the schooling of Indigenous children in Australia and the USA. Having studied and written on 21st century educational challenges that the Caribbean region faces, Anne is currently researching how educators can help counter the devastating spread of HIV/AIDS. She recently led a team in winning a large competitive grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to collaborate from 2006-2009 with the Department of Education in Papua New Guinea in preparing teachers for countering the AIDS crisis through social and health education, and will be studying anti-HIV/AIDS strategies in a forthcoming sabbatical visit to Jamaica, Ghana and South Africa.

    Anne has participated in many projects of international education, including leading a team to design and implement a national teacher education curriculum in ‘Teaching the Studies of Asia’ (1998 and 1999), which has been adopted by a dozen Australian universities as part of their postgraduate degree programs. She has been Deputy and Acting Director of the QUT’s former research Centre for Policy and Leadership Studies in Education, and continues an active role in the Education Faculty’s current research Centre for Learning Innovation.

  • Olusegun Sogunro, .

    Dr Olusegun A. Sogunro is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut, USA. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Educational Administration and a postsecondary education diploma in Adult Education, both from University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. His research interests include leadership, training, supervision, curriculum, multicultural education, and, development education.

    A native of Nigeria, Sogunro returned home after graduation and served as coordinator for Schools Agricultural Program and acting head of the newly established Agricultural Training Institute in Lagos State. In those roles, he gained first-hand knowledge of leadership complexities and decided to expand his interest in educational planning and administration by pursuing a doctorate at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. As part of his dissertation, he conducted a study of a 19-year-old leadership training program for rural organizations and individuals sponsored by the Rural Education and Development Association in Alberta.

  • Elisabeth (Betty) Hayes,Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with joint appointments in the Departments of Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis.

    Elisabeth (Betty) Hayes is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with joint appointments in the Departments of Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis. She brings to gaming research a background in adult education, specifically adult literacy education, gender studies, adult learning and diversity issues. Her current interests include understanding how gender influences the construction of virtual identities and game play, exploring sports games as examples of simulated communities of practice, and using virtual worlds to foster digital and design literacies, particularly for girls and women. She is the author or editor of numerous articles, chapters, and books, including Women as Learners (2000) and the Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education (2000). She has been on the faculties at Syracuse University and Rutgers University, and was an adult literacy teacher and teacher trainer. She often can be found in the dungeons of World of Warcraft or the dance halls of Second Life.

  • Alastair Pennycook, Professor of Language in Education, University of Technology, Sydney.

    Alastair Pennycook has published widely on cultural and political implications of the global spread of English, colonialism and language policy, plagiarism and intertextuality, and critical applied linguistics. He is the author of The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language (Longman, 1994), English and the Discourses of Colonialism (Routledge, 1998), and Critical Applied Linguistics: A Critical Introduction (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001). He is currently working on an edited book (with Sinfree Makoni), Disinventing and Reinventing Language (Multilingual Matters) and is writing a book on language, globalization and hip hop, Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows (Routledge).