Current Projects

Thomas, Mark. & George Patterson Y & R. & National Australia Day Council.  (2010).  Your country needs you BBQ like you’ve never BBQ’d before this Australia Day.

I am currently working with Sophie Rudolph and Jessica Gerrard on a book called Learning Whiteness: Education and the Settler Colonial State.

We explore how education in Australia relays and sustains material, epistemic and affective relations of whiteness. The book demonstrates how education institutions have been founded in systems of racial capitalism as well as how schools and universities have produced epistemologies of white ignorance. We show how educational practices can also induce complex feelings to bolster and protect whiteness: pride, anxiety, fear.

In examining whiteness as an educative project of the settler colonial state, the book seeks to understand how whiteness can be interrogated, resisted and refused.

Photo by Gelgas Airlangga on Pexels.com

With David Nally, Pedro Ramos Pinto and Kevin Myers, I have been thinking about the idea of Reparative Futures.

Reparative futures signal a commitment to addressing past and present injustices in any imagination of tomorrow. As we outlined in our paper for UNESCO, education has a role in creating futures that are reparative rather than reproductive of harms and prejudice.

We are currently developing further work on this theme and have been inspired by conversations with colleagues as part of the Memory, History and Reparative Futures Reading Group.

Photo by Kelly Lacy on Pexels.com

The research field of international education has been largely silent on issues of racism. Responding to this, and seeking to learn from global anti-racist movements, I am working with Sharon Walker, Krystal Strong, Derron Wallace, Leon Tikly and Crain Soudien on a Special Issue for Comparative Education Review on the theme Black Lives Matter and Global Struggles for Racial Justice in Education.

The Special Issue will support theoretical, historical, empirical and creative knowledge-generation to help forge new lines of anti-racist analysis, inquiry and action in the field of Comparative and International Education.

Interventions in education have been preoccupied with the question of ‘what works?’. I am part of a team of researchers taking a critical look at this question, as part of the RAISE project. Funded by the ESRC, the RAISE project aims to advance an understanding of accountability in education as systemic and relational. It examines how norms for educational provision as set out in India’s Right to Education (RtE) Act are being reshaped as they interact with competing ideas and conditions across and within four scales of the education system: families, schools, communities and the educational bureaucracy.