Forum 2013

28th Annual Research Forum
Research Informing Reform

Saturday August 10, 1:00pm-6:00pm
Tannock Hall, The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle (Cnr Cliff and Croke Streets)


WAIER invites individuals and groups wishing to attend, make a presentation, or conduct a symposium or panel discussion on topics and research related to education or the Forum theme, Research Informing Reform.

Keynote address
‘You can’t be neutral on a moving train’: Why critical educational research matters in ‘dark times’

Professor Barry Down – City of Rockingham Chair in Education, School of Education, Murdoch University

This presentation borrows the title of Howard Zinn’s (2002) book “You can’t be neutral on a moving train” to provoke some difficult conversations about the crisis of education with a view to advancing the centrality of critical educational research in ‘dark times’ (Arendt, 1968). The intent is, firstly, to identify how schools and those who inhabit them are increasingly ‘caught in the crossfire’ (Grossberg, 2005) of a regime of hyper-accountability, corporatisation and deficit ideologies (Ahlquist, Gorski & Montano, 2011) and how things came to be this way; secondly, to explore what it means to be a critical researcher in conservative times and what kinds of obstacles and possibilities exist; and thirdly, to identify some potential research issues worthy of critical investigation and how we might go about the task. At the end of the day, I hope we are better placed to start some purposeful conversations around the question: ‘Has our research done anything to level the playing field, to overcome disparity, to promote a more mutually beneficial democratic society?’ (Shields, 2012, p. 12).

Click here for Professor Barry Down’s Keynote PowerPoint slides.

WAIER Awards

Forum activities include presentation of WAIER’s Early Career Award and Postgraduate Awards. Nominations for the Early Career Award have closed. Winners of these awards can be found here.


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