Professor Matt O'Leary - Inaugural Lecture - Faith Over Fear

Inaugural Lecture: Faith over fear
Date and time
05 Jun 2019 (5:30pm - 8:00pm)

City South Campus

Westbourne Road Edgbaston Birmingham B15 3TN United Kingdom

Map and Directions



Tea/Registration: 5.30pm
Lecture: 6 – 7pm
Drinks Reception: 7.15pm
Close of event: 8pm

Matt O'Leary lecture

Investing in professional responsibility and trust as a basis for improving teaching

A common thread running through much of my research is a commitment to interrogating and challenging the neoliberal ideology that continues to dominate education policy thinking and decision making. I am particularly interested in confronting and exposing those ideologies and methodologies of teaching and learning ‘improvement’ that rely on reductive performance metrics and systems of managerialist accountability. This talk will begin by unearthing the flaws of such ideologies and methodologies, arguing that they are misguided, unethical and inherently incapable of bringing about meaningful and sustainable improvements to teaching and learning. I will go on to argue that not only does the teaching profession need to resist these conceptualisations of improvement but that it must actively seek to put forward the case for a reimagined, alternative ideology that is underpinned by professional responsibility and trust.

Speaker: Matt O'Leary

Matt O’Leary is Professor of Education and works in the education research centre CSPACE at Birmingham City University. He has worked in education for over 25 years as a teacher, teacher educator, head of department and educational researcher in colleges, schools and universities in the UK and abroad. Matt’s main research interests focus on the impact of education policy on teaching and learning and the interface between the two, especially in the context of professional learning and teacher development. He is well known internationally for his work on classroom observation, which has been instrumental in challenging engrained orthodoxies and influencing policy and practice across education sectors. His books include Classroom observation: A guide to the effective observation of teaching and learning (Routledge 2014), Reclaiming lesson observation: supporting excellence in teacher learning (Routledge 2016) and Teaching Excellence in Higher Education: Challenges, Changes and the Teaching Excellence Framework (Emerald 2017).