In July 2010 he will be leading a Masters Course on Education for the Professions for the Institute of Adult Education in Singapore. Since 1990, he has developed a close association with colleagues in universities in South Africa, supervised and examined a number of research students, advised a range of Government Bodies and was a member of the Study Team reviewing the South African National Qualifications Framework. He is currently leading a project in collaboration with Johan Muller (University of Cape Town) on Alternative Educational Futures for a Knowledge Society funded by the British Academy.
From 2006-2009 Michael was a part time Professor of Education at the University of Bath as well as at the Institute of Education and he has also held Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Pretoria, Witwatersrand and the Capital Normal University Beijing. In 1989 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences by the University of Joensuu in Finland.
In 2004 Michael was commissioned to write a report on the implications of National Qualifications Frameworks for developing countries (ILO 2005) and has been an adviser to a number of countries in Europe, Africa and Asia on their policies on qualifications. Michael Young's research and writing has been largely concerned with the issue of knowledge in education and the related issues of curriculum and qualifications. His early work focused on the school curriculum and in particular, school science, but more recently the focus of his work has shifted the role of knowledge in vocational professional education.
The promise, embraced by governments around the world, is that the knowledge economy will provide knowledge workers with a degree of autonomy and permission to think which enables them to be creative and to attract high incomes. What credence should we give to this promise?
The current economic...
Published January 5th 2012 by Routledge
Series: Routledge Revivals
First published in 1957 ,and reprinted with a new introduction in 1986, Michael Young and Peter Willmott’s book on family and kinship in Bethnal Green in the 1950s is a classic in urban studies.
A standard text in planning, housing, family studies and sociology, it predicted the...
Published July 25th 2011 by Routledge
The Lion and the Clockwork Mouse
Series: Routledge Library Editions: Development
This reissue, first published in 1980, is based on the experiences of the International Extension College in developing distance teaching. The volume begins by reviewing the world problems of educational quality and quantity, and then examines the ways in which print, broadcasts and group study...
Published November 25th 2010 by Routledge
From the 'New Sociology of Education' to a Critical Theory of Learning
In this important book the author looks back on the 'knowledge question'. What knowledge gets selected to be validated as school knowledge or as part of the school curriculum, and why is it selected? Looking forward, Young discusses how most developed countries have high levels of participation in...
Published August 27th 1998 by Routledge
From Social Constructivism to Social Realism in the Sociology of Education
'This book tackles some of the most important educational questions of the day... It is rare to find a book on education which is theoretically sophisticated and practically relevant: this book is.' From the Foreword by Hugh Lauder
What is it in the twenty-first century that we want young...
Published October 30th 2007 by Routledge
When I left Cambridge with a degree in Natural Sciences, I never imagined I would become a teacher and even less that I would have a job in an Education Faculty as a sociologist. After finishing Cambridge, I got a job as a management trainee with Shell Chemical Company. Bored and with little to do, I became interested in the theatre and politics and soon realized that I knew nothing about the society of which I was a part. It was a search for some understanding that led me to sociology. I was turned down when I applied to study sociology full time at LSE, so I took the only job my science degree qualified me for, and began teaching- hoping that the holidays would give me enough time to study. Despite the demands of teaching, I became really involved in my studies and to my enormous surprise my tutor, Stephen Cotgrove, suggested that I should do a Masters degree. I got a studentship to go to Essex, where I was fortunate in having a number of inspiring tutors including Basil Bernstein. It was he who not only suggested that I apply for a job at the Institute of Education, but that I should write a dissertation on sociology and the curriculum. The following Sociological questions about knowledge have been with me ever since and at the heart of virtually everything I have written.
What is knowledge?
Is there something about knowledge beyond its recognition by those in power?e
My academic career and ideas about knowledge, however, have undergone a sea change since my book The Curriculum of the Future (Routledge 1998) was published. I had started (in Knowledge and Control) with the idea that all knowledge was no more than a form of power and therefore a political question - free the world from the claims of authoritative knowledge and everyone will be able to realize their potential. It was a seductive thesis and seemed original at the time. Three things forced me to re-think these ideas. First, there was the emptiness of the relativism that such ideas lead to, second were the critiques of such a view of knowledge and power by people I respected and who were often my friends and third, the painful experience that such a theory of knowledge was useless when it came to changing the curriculum and extending access to what I now call 'powerful knowledge'. Knowledge is fallible and can change, but it is real and must be the basis of any curriculum that seeks to extend access and opportunity. This is the message of my recent book Bringing Knowledge Back In (Routledge 2007) and the work I have been doing for the last decade and hope to do in the future.