Abstract image of blue swirls

Facts & figures

Our members

  • 74 Associate members from 48 universities in 19 countries
  • 56 Postgraduate associate members from 39 universities in 14 countries

LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building

Improving education through Legitimation Code Theory
The LCT Centre is the heart of a multidisciplinary and international field that advances social justice and knowledge-building in education and beyond.

About us

Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) is a framework for analysing and shaping knowledge practices to advance social justice and knowledge-building. LCT concepts reveal the ‘rules of the game’ shaping arenas of social life, such as education. Making these ‘legitimation codes’ visible enables the rules of the game to be taught and learned, or changed. LCT also reveals how different codes enable or constrain knowledge-building.

The social impact of LCT is growing rapidly. In education, LCT is changing university teaching in South Africa and Scandinavia, transforming teacher training in Australia, the United States and South Africa, and shaping curriculum in numerous countries. Outside education, LCT is used in counselling criminals in China, changing the culture of the armed forces, in private dance studios and music companies, and many other contexts.

The multidisciplinary and international field of LCT is fast expanding. The LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building was created to be the world leader in developing new ideas in LCT and support this high-impact community. The centre has a hub-and-spokes model:

  • a specialist hub of highly dedicated scholars and students at the University collaborate closely to create cutting-edge advances in the framework
  • spokes link the centre to other centres, groups and individuals around the world to provide training, mentoring, teaching materials, communication media, and publishing infrastructure that support the initiatives of LCT scholars and educators worldwide.

Our activities

Our people

  • Professor Karl Maton, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney
  • Professor James R. Martin, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney
  • Professor Andy Dong, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, University of Sydney
  • Dr Yaegan Doran, LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building, University of Sydney
  • Dr Eszter Szenes, Learning Centre, Academic Enrichment, University of Sydney
  • Dr Hongzhi Yang, Faculty of Arts, The University of Sydney
  • Sharon Aris, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney
  • Yufei He, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney
  • Yu Zhigang, Tongji University and LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building (joint PhD)
  • Patrick Locke, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney
  • Tom Gordon, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney
  • Elena Lambrinos, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney
  • Mauricio Quilpatay, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney
  • Saul Richardson, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney
  • Mathew Toll, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney
  • Kirstin Wilmot, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney
  • Professor Wang Zhenhua, Executive Director, Martin Centre for Appliable Linguistics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
  • Associate Professor Sarah K. Howard, Head of SMART Education, University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Professor Chris Winberg, NRF SARChI Chair in Work-Integrated LearningCape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
  • Professor Patricia Preciado, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla – BUAP, Mexico
  • Professor Chrissie Boughey, DVC Academic & Student Affairs, Rhodes University, South Africa
  • Dr J Andrés Ramirez, Florida Atlantic University, USA
  • Professor Michael Grenfell, University of Southampton, UK
  • Professor Sioux McKenna, Director of Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Rhodes University, South Africa
  • Associate Professor Lee Rusznyak, Deputy Director of School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Dr Margarita Vidal Lizama, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  • Dr Anna Maria Hipkiss, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Dr Anna-Vera Meidell Sigsgaard, Copenhagen University of Applied Sciences, Denmark

The LCT Centre is partnering with other centres of research and practice. If your centre, department or institute is interested in partnering with the LCT Centre, please contact us directly.

SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, Australia

SMART Infrastructure Facility brings together experts from fields such as transport, water, energy, economics and modelling and simulation and provides a state-of-the-art facility to support applied infrastructure research. SMART is collaborating with the LCT Centre on an ambitious plan to translate LCT concepts into learning algorithms that will enable analysis of text at scale, as a first step towards providing feedback on knowledge-building. Key to this collaboration is Dr Sarah K Howard (IAB Member at the LCT Centre).

Early Start, University of Wollongong, Australia

Early Start combines research, teaching and community engagement in the earliest years of life to help children flourish and realise their potential, particularly those from vulnerable or disadvantaged backgrounds and living in regional, rural, remote communities. The LCT Centre is collaborating with Dr Sarah K Howard and Dr Elizabeth Duursma on a pilot study of child-carer interactions while reading childrens books. This is co-funded by the University of Wollongong, and the LCT Centre, with the support of industry partner, PiSCEAN Publishers. 

Martin Centre for Appliable Linguistics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

The Martin Centre is an internationally oriented research institute focused on applying systemic functional linguistics. The LCT Centre is collaborating with the Martin Centre on:

  • publications, including an edited collection introducing LCT and SFL work on education;
  • conferences, including a week-long conference on academic discourse in December 2018;
  • intensive courses, including December 2018; and
  • sharing research ideas, co-supervising students, and hosting visiting scholars.

Wits School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

The LCT Centre is partnering with WSOE to organise the Third International LCT Conference, to be held in Johannesburg, 1–5 July, 2019. The co-organisers are Deputy Head of WSOE (and IAB Member of the LCT Centre) Associate Professor Lee Ruznyak, and Professor Karl Maton (Director of LCT Centre and Visiting Professor at WSOE).

CHERTL and CPS, Rhodes University, South Africa

The LCT Centre has a longstanding collaboration with the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) and the Centre for Postgraduate Studies in running intensive courses in LCT for postgraduates and developing a new generation of leaders in South African higher education studies. Key to this partnership are IAB members Professor Sioux McKenna and Professor Chrissie Boughey.


Headshot of Professor Karl Maton