The Age of Identity
with Andy Hargreaves & Dennis Shirley


7th March 2024
4:00pm - 5:00pm AEDT

Workshop Cost

Non Member - $170
ACEL Member - $150

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*Receive a discount when you combine your registration with a new ACEL membership

Group Rates (3+)

Non Member - $155 pp
ACEL Member - $135 pp

Identity is an essential part of every young person’s development. It should be a priority for all learners and their teachers. However, the reality is that many people are stigmatised and excluded just because of their identities. All educators need to honestly confront this wherever it exists within and beyond our schools.

At the same time, we need to move beyond discussing what to do about these injustices in languages of accusation, indignation, guilt, and shame. A host of research now shows that doing so only provokes a backlash that reinforces the very injustices we should all seek to eliminate.

This explains why identity has become such a tinderbox of politicised emotion. One misstep, many educators worry, might not only lead to a serious dressing down by the powers that be. It could even lead to losing your job and your livelihood.

How can we get past the culture wars and the more volatile aspects of identity politics that divide communities into villains and victims, or aggressors and aggrieved? How can we move beyond treating each other as one-dimensional beings, defined by or demonised solely because of our race, disability, privilege, or gender identity?

In this webinar, drawing on our new book based on 10 years of collaborative research with schools, we will explore the ways in which identities are multiple and complex. All of us are many things, not just one. There’s more to everyone than meets the eye. Race and gender are parts of our identity, but so too are our nationhood, generation, social class, being a twin, or a cancer survivor, for instance. To treat and categorise people in relation to just one aspect of their identify, however important, even where we mean well, is an insult to their dignity as full human beings.

This webinar will get us out of the identity trap that more and more of us feel we are falling into. In practical terms it will introduce participants to:

  • 12 principles to guide discussions about identity controversies
  • 3 ways to make these discussions more fully end effectively inclusive
  • Strategies and exemplars to develop whole schools to support the whole child in the fullness of their identities

Andy Hargreaves

Andy Hargreaves is a speaker, writer, researcher, and government adviser. He is Visiting Professor at the University of Ottawa, and Research Professor at Boston College. He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Education, adviser to the First Minister of Scotland and former Adviser to the Premier of Ontario (2015-2018). Andy is co-founder and president of the ARC Education Collaboratory, a group of 7 systems and their leaders dedicated to humanitarian goals in education. Andy has published more than 30 books and has 8 Outstanding Writing Awards. He has delivered invited addresses in more than 50 countries. He has been honoured in Canada, the US, and the UK for services to public education and educational research. In 2015, Boston College gave Andy its Excellence in teaching with Technology award.

Andy’s most recent books are Leadership from the Middle: The Beating Heart of Educational Transformation (2023), and The Age of Identity: Who Do Our Kids Think They Are…and How Do We Help Them Belong? (November 2023) – with Dennis Shirley. He is one of 6 global experts commissioned in 2023 to write papers for the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel of 17 ministers and other leaders, on the future of teaching.

Dennis Shirley

Dennis Shirley is Duganne Faculty Fellow and Professor of Education at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College in the United States. Dennis dedicates his life to the improvement of teaching and learning for students so that they may flourish wherever they may be. He has conducted research and led professional development workshops for teachers, principals, and affiliated staff in 30 nations in 6 continents and his work has been translated into many languages.  He led the Massachusetts Coalition for Teacher Quality and Student Achievement for 7 years and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Educational Change for 7 years as well. He is the author of many books that are popular with educators, including The Mindful Teacher and The New Imperatives of Educational Change.

Dennis has worked with educators around the world to help with clarifying their challenges, identifying promising strategies, and implementing and assessing change. He is skilled at breaking down ill-defined problem sets to establish ambitious goals that can be attained with persistence, creativity, and dignity. Combining cutting-edge research with high levels of engagement for the educators charged with educating the young on a daily basis, Dennis is highly sought-after because of his respect for teachers and administrators and his enjoyment of the pleasures involved in working with students to improve their learning.

Dennis holds a doctoral degree from Harvard University.  In addition to his appointment at Boston College, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London and a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow of the Bosch Foundation in Berlin. His newest book with Andy Hargreaves is entitled The Age of Identity: Who Do Our Kids Think They Are...and How Do We Help Them Belong? (November 2023)