Institute of Education


Towards powerful educational knowledge

18 October 2021, 3:00 pm–4:30 pm

uniform pupil working - UCL Imagestore, Kirsten Holst

This symposium explores the contributions of professional educational knowledge and discusses potential ways forward towards ‘powerful’ professional educational knowledge from the perspectives of educational foundations, curriculum theory and Didaktik.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Dr Arthur Chapman

The event will be particularly useful for those interested in Curriculum Theory. It will address three questions:

  • What contributions would educational foundations, curriculum theory and Didaktik offer for educational practitioners?
  • How might powerful professional educational knowledge be constructed?
  • In what sense is this knowledge powerful?

Educational theorising and the preparation of educational practitioners have been heavily influenced in the Anglosphere by the foundations of education (sociology, history, philosophy and psychology) and curriculum theory, and in continental European countries by Didaktik (Furlong & Whitty, 2017).

From a social realist perspective, these traditions have certain characteristics that can offer professional educators a ‘powerful’ educational knowledge base steeped in reflective consideration of educational purposes and processes, but yet relevant to the practical work of educators (Young & Muller, 2014).


It consists of five leading international scholars (four presenters and one discussant) from the US, the UK, Germany, and South Africa.


  • Brian Barrett, SUNY - College at Cortland,
  • Zongyi Deng, UCL Institute of Education,
  • Jim Hordern, University of Bath,
  • Johan Muller and Ursula Hoadley, University of Cape Town,
  • Helmut Johannes Vollmer, University of Hamburg.


  • Michael Young, UCL Institute of Education.

Related links

Image: Kirsten Holst for UCL.