IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Bridging research, policy and practice in education – remembering the legacy of Geoff Whitty

14 September 2022, 5:30 pm–7:45 pm

Image of Geoff Whitty in black and white with yellow fingerprint and 120 roundel. Photo Richard Lea-Hair for UCL.

This event marked the contribution of the late Professor Geoff Whitty to IOE and the field of education.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to





IOE Events


20 Bedford Way

Watch the event

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLMqpF_kgjg


Geoff enjoyed a 50-year association with IOE, from being a student teacher in the 1960s to returning as a member of academic staff and later taking the helm as IOE Director, 2000-10. 

Throughout his career, he embodied a distinctive approach in his research and scholarship, one that we might define as ‘critical utility’ – seeking to bridge the worlds of education research, policy and practice but without losing a critical lens. It was an approach also woven through his leadership of IOE and the many other institutions where he spent time over his career.

This event will address the enduring and still very live question of the relationship between education research, particularly the sociology of education, and policy, practitioner and public audiences; why Geoff’s work offers a noteworthy exemplar; and the lessons the field can continue to draw from it, in the pursuit of social justice in and through education.

The event also provides the belated opportunity, ‘post-Covid’, to mark the publication of 'Knowledge, Policy and Practice in Education and the Struggle for Social Justice: Essays Inspired by the Work of Geoff Whitty' as well as the naming of the Whitty Wing at IOE in Geoff’s honour, and to launch the Geoff Whitty Doctoral Thesis Prize for the IOE doctoral community.

Online viewers will be able to watch the event (17:30 – 18:45). For in-person audiences, a drinks reception will follow the event until 19:45.

This event will be particularly useful for those interested in the work of Geoff Whitty.


Covid-19 measures

To minimise Covid-related risks for in-person attendees at our events we will facilitate social distancing where possible. In-person attendees will be required to pre-register via the booking form to gain entry to the event. We strongly encourage attendees to wear a mask while in our buildings. We ask that those registered for our events do not attend in-person if they are showing respiratory symptoms. Thank you for your co-operation.

About the Speakers

Professor Li Wei

Director and Professor in Applied Linguistics at IOE

His research covers many aspects of bilingualism and multilingualism, including language acquisition in childhood, education policy and practice regarding bilingual and multilingual learners of minoritized and transnational backgrounds, and the cognitive benefits of language learning. He is editor of the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism and the Applied Linguistics Review. He has won the British Association of Applied Linguistics Book Prize twice, for the Blackwell Guide to Research Methods in Bilingualism and Multilingualism (with Melissa Moyer) and Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education (with Ofelia Garcia). He is a fellow of the British Academy, Academy of Social Sciences, UK, and Academia Europaea.

More about Professor Li Wei

Professor Andrew Brown

Emeritus Professor of Education and Society at IOE

He is also an Honorary Professor in the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education at the University of Newcastle. Between joining IOE in 1987 as a temporary contract primary teacher educator and leaving in 2018, he held a number of positions, including Interim Director (2016), Pro-Director for Academic Development (2014-6), Dean of the Faculty of Policy and Society (2013-4) and Dean of the Doctoral School (2005-10). As founding Director (Research) at the Institute for Adult Learning in Singapore (2010-2) he created three research centres focusing on adult vocational education. He is an artist, based at SPACE studios in Ilford, working with digital, analogue and alternative photographic processes. He is currently studying for a Doctorate in Fine Art at the University of East London, and serves as a Member of Council at the National Institute of Education (Singapore), Vice-Chair of Governors at Barking and Dagenham College and Chair of the Board of UCL Consultants. 

More about Professor Andrew Brown

Professor Gemma Moss

Professor of Literacy at IOE

She is interested in the shifting relationships between policymakers, practitioners and stakeholders that are reshaping the literacy curriculum, and the use of research evidence to support policy and practice. 

More about Professor Gemma Moss

Dr Richard Freeman

Head of the Centre for Doctoral Education at IOE

He is also the Deputy Director of the UCL, Bloomsbury and East London (UBEL) ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) that brings together five leading Social Science institutions - UCL, SOAS, LSHTM, Birkbeck and UEL – to fund, support and develop PhD and early-career researchers in the social sciences. 

More about Dr Richard Freeman