Main Speakers

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

Garden Conversation Sessions


The Speakers

  • Bill Cope

    Bill Cope is a Research Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA and Director of Common Ground Publishing. His current research interests include theories and practices of pedagogy, cultural and linguistic diversity, and new technologies of representation and communication.

  • James R. Gavelek

    James R. Gavelek is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Gavelek received his PhD from Washington State University. His scholarly interests focus on the role of language and other embodied semiotic processes in understanding the development of mind. He is especially interested in the implications of an integrated and embodied semiotics for rethinking teaching, learning and the school curriculum. Dr. Gavelek serves on the editorial boards of Reading Research Quarterly and the Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. He is the coordinator of the Ph.D. program in Literacy, Language, and Culture.

  • Juana M. Sancho Gil

    Juana M. Sancho Gil is and Educational Technology Professor at the University of Barcelona. She is the Coordinator of the Quality Research Group Education, Training, Innovation and New Technologies (FINT-Formación, Innovación y Nuevas Tecnologías); and co-director of the Centre for the Study of Change in Culture and Education at the Scientific Park of the University of Barcelona. She’s developing research on: (a) teaching and learning for understanding and sense making in the Information Society; (b) institutional, organisational and symbolical aspects of new learning environments that integrate information and communication technologies; (c) the construction of students and teachers subjectivity in a changing and complex world; and (d) new forms of exclusion and the Information Society. These research interests are developed through different European, international and local projects. She is codirector of the book series Repensar la educación (Rethinking education) published by Octaedro and has published a good number of books and articles both nationally and internationally.

  • Fernando Hernández

    Fernando Hernández is a professor in the Unit of Art Education at the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Barcelona and coordinator of an Interuniversities Doctoral program on “Art Education: Teaching and Learning on Visual Arts”, where several researcher projects are carried out on how primary and secondary students and teachers understand Art Education issues and notions, particularly those around Visual Culture. In this field he is the director of a post-graduate course on 'Studies on Visual Culture'. He is also a member the Quality Research Group Education, Training, Innovation and New Technologies (FINT-Formación, Innovación y Nuevas Tecnologías); and codirector of the Centre for the Study of Change in Culture and Education at the Scientific Park of the University of Barcelona. He is codirector of the book series Repensar la educación (Rethinking education) published by Octaedro and has published a good number of books and articles both nationally and internationally.

  • Mary Kalantzis

    Dr Mary Kalantzis is Dean of the College of Education and Professor of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois Urbana Campaign, USA. She also is an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, attached to the Globalism Institute and Research Director of the Knowledge Design Forum. She was the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia from 1997-2003, the President of the Australian Council of Deans of Education from 2000-2004 and an inaugural member of the Australian National Institute for Quality Teaching and School Leadership 2004–2005. She has also been a Commissioner of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Chair of the Queensland Ethnic Affairs Ministerial Advisory Committee and a member of the Australia Council’s Community Cultural Development Board. Her academic research and writing, crosses a number of disciplines, including history, linguistics, education and sociology; and examines themes as varied as Australian immigration, leadership and workplace change, professional learning, pedagogy and literacy learning. With Bill Cope, she is co-author of a number of books, including: 'The Powers of Literacy', Falmer Press, London, 1993, 'Productive Diversity', Pluto Press, Sydney, 1997; 'A Place in the Sun: Re-Creating the Australian Way of Life', Harper Collins, Sydney, 2000; 'Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures', Routledge, London, 2000; and 'Learning by Design', Victorian Schools Innovation Commission, Melbourne, 2005.

  • Kimberly A. Lawless

    Kimberly A. Lawless is an associate professor of Educational Psychology and Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Lawless studies how individuals acquire and comprehend information from nonlinear digital environments, focusing on how aspects of the learner, the media, and the task influence navigational strategy and learning outcomes. She has procured over five million dollars in grant funding and published over 90 articles in these areas. She currently serves as the principal investigator on the Digital Literacy Assessment Project, funded by the Institute for Educational Science. This project seeks to build an instructional assessment of middle school students' 21st century literacy skills. She recently (2007) co-edited a yearbook for the National Society for the Study of Education focusing on technology integration in teacher education. In addition, Dr. Lawless serves on the editorial boards of several major journals within the field of education including the American Educational Research Journal, Contemporary Educational Psychology and Instructional Science.

  • James W. Pellegrino

    James W. Pellegrino is currently a Distinguished Professor in Psychology and Education and Co-Director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research and development interests focus on children's and adult's thinking and learning and the implications of cognitive research and theory for assessment and instructional practice. He has written over 235 books, chapters and journal articles in the areas of cognition, instruction and assessment. Much of his current work is focused on analyses of complex learning and instructional environments, including those incorporating powerful information technology tools, with the goal of better understanding the nature of student learning and the conditions that enhance deep understanding. Increasingly his research and writing has focused on the role of cognitive theory and technology in educational reform and translating research results into implications for practitioners and policy makers. He has served as head of several National Academy of Science/National Research Council study committees, including the Study Committee for the Evaluation of the National and State Assessments of Educational Progress, co-chair of the Study Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice, and co-chair of the Study Committee on the Foundations of Assessment. He chaired the NRC/NAS Panel on Research on Learning and Instruction for the Strategic Education Research Partnership and served as a member of the Study Committee on Test Design for K-12 Science Achievement. He is a lifetime National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences and a member of the Board on Testing and Assessment of the National Research Council. He was recently elected a member of the National Academy of Education.

  • Salim Vally

    Salim Vally is a Senior Researcher/Lecturer at the Education Policy Unit, School of Education, University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. He had\s studied at the universities of York and the Witwatersrand. He was employed at the Wits Education Policy Unit in 1995. Vally was a founding member of the South African Students Movement until its banning in 1977. In 1979 he left South Africa as a result of fierce repression by the erstwhile apartheid regime. He returned to South Africa to teach in township schools and spent eight years as a trade unionist in the then newly formed independent trade unions being a founding member of the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

    He is the spokesperson of the Anti-War Coalition and the Palestine Solidarity Committee He serves on the boards of various non-governmental and professional organisations and is an active member of various social movements. Vally is also the co-ordinator of the Education Rights Project which works with communities in many townships and informal settlements around the country. He has published extensively in journals and books and is a regular commentator in the mass media. His research interests include the impact of globalisation on education, school violence, resistance and reproduction, curriculum developments, social movements and the academy and the nexus between poverty, social justice and education. Salim is also the recipient of the Visiting Scholar Award from the Institute for Social and Economic Research from the School of International and Public Affairs, University of Columbia. He belongs to a number of professional associations and editorial boards including the Editorial Advisory Board, Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, University College, Northampton, the Centre for Civil Society, School of Development Studies, University of Kwazulu-Natal and the Community Law Centre, University of the Western Cape. He will be taking up a visiting professorship at his alma mater, York University, in September 2007.