Keynote Speakers  




Professor Mary Kalantzis
Dean, Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services (FELCS)
RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

TOPIC:   What are the 'Basics' of Learning for the Future? Changing Roles for Teachers.

Trained in the past, educators do their work in the present but prepare a succession of young people for the future. The challenge for educational leadership is to maintain the best of the past, to recognise the imperatives of the moment and to be astute enough to anticipate the future. Given the increased pace of change - as reflected in changing private and community values, changes in the nature and role of the public sector and the technological and organisational transformation of the nature of work - designing educational experiences that are satisfying to all is a challenging and onerous task. This presentation will examine the factors that impinge on educational decision making and explore the role educational leaders need to assume if we are to maintain social cohesion, individual well being and a robust economy. Key challenges for educators include working with communities of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and adjusting ourselves to being part of a globalising, high technology world. Moreover, with the end of the Cold War, market forces seem to be squeezing out the public sphere. In this context, the task for education systems is to ensure a sense of belonging and social cohesion as well as producing highly skilled people who are active citizens.

Brief Biography

Professor Mary Kalantzis is Dean of the Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. She was a part time Commissioner of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission from 1994 to 1997 and Chair of the Queensland Ethnic Affairs Ministerial Advisory Committee from 1995 to 1997. Her publications include co-authorship of Minority Languages and Dominant Culture with Cope and Slade (Falmer Press, London, 1989); Cultures of Schooling: Pedagogies for Cultural Difference and Social Access, with Cope, Noble and Poynting (Falmer Press, London, 1990); and Productive Diversity (Pluto Press, Sydney, 1997). Her latest books are an edited collection, with Bill Cope, based on the work of the New London Group, Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures (Routledge, London, 2000) and A Place in the Sun: Re-creating the Australian Way of Life (Harper Collins, Sydney, 2000).

3.30-5.00pm THURSDAY 6 th JULY 2000


  • Professor Mary Kalantzis, Dean, Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, What are the 'Basics' of Learning for the Future? Changing Roles for Teachers.