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Special Interest Group

Social Theory and Education

The Social Theory and Education SIG aims to support and develop theoretically informed educational research.

The Social Theory and Education SIG aims to support and develop theoretically informed educational research, to engage with and facilitate new social theory and to explore the relationships between theory-work and research. Social theory here refers to the use of theoretical frameworks to explain and analyse social action, social meanings and large-scale social structures.

Research interests 

  • Generating new social theory for application across education sectors.
  • The relationships between theoretical frameworks and social action, in all educational sectors.
  • The relationship between social theory and social structures, cultures and practices, as they are revealed through education and across geographies and temporalities.
  • Social theory, education and the struggle with grand challenges.
  • Interdisciplinary engagement with social theory, drawing ideas from a range of disciplines that contribute to educational research, but particularly from politics, philosophy and sociology.
  • Social theory and the critique of conceptual and methodological tools for analytical and interpretational work, across all educational contexts.
  • Educational research based upon theoretical concepts, models and frameworks.
  • Exploring and critiquing the contributions to education of major social theorists.
  • Critiques of hegemonic social theory, thereby encouraging a plurality of voices in this debate.

SIG aims

The SIG’s overarching aim is as follows.

  • To generate new social theory for application across education sectors.

In order to achieve this aim, it has the following objectives.

  • To explore how social theory and social theorists enable educational research to be applied across sectors, geographies and temporalities.
  • To explore how educational research relates to theoretical concepts, models and frameworks, and the contributions to education of major social theorists.
  • To critique hegemonic social theory, and thereby contribute to the struggle with grand challenges.

Core SIG activities are as follows.

  1. Termly webinars, in relation to book launches, work in progress, panel discussions and seminars.
  2. Supporting contributions to the BERA conference.
  3. Supporting members in work across BERA SIGs, in order that there research is enriched.
  4. Working with other special interest groups, in order to facilitate innovation.

SIG Convenors

Profile picture of Richard Hall
Richard Hall, Professor

Professor of Education and Technology at De Montfort University

Richard Hall is Professor of Education and Technology at De Montfort University. A National Teaching Fellow, Richard directs the research and evaluation work of the Decolonising DMU project. He is the author of The Hopeless University:...

Content associated with this SIG

BERA Educational Research Book of the Year

Closes 15 Jul 2024

This award celebrates the publication of educational research and is awarded to a scholarly book on education deemed to be high quality, engaging and innovative.

AwardOpen

Social theory, educational research and polycrisis

22 May 2024 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Following Covid-19's acute phase, educational researchers/practitioners have been forced to reconsider their work, cultures, and institutions in relation to crisis, including in the entangled...

Upcoming eventVirtual