Call for Papers: Philosophy of Education Conference, 2016 Azim Premji University, Bengaluru 10-12 January, 2016

Call for Papers
Philosophy of Education Conference, 2016
Azim Premji University, Bengaluru
10-12 January, 2016

Azim Premji University invites papers for the 4th Philosophy of Education Conference to be held from 10th to 12th January 2016 at Bengaluru.

Submissions must address one the following themes

1. Culture and School Curriculum

Through its public school curriculum, a modern society represents to itself and its wards the nation, its heritage, cultural pasts, and current socio-cultural, economic and political aspirations. The school curriculum also embodies the political and cultural values and ideals that a society resolves to identify with. In a culturally diverse society, decisions regarding what is worthy of inclusion in the curriculum and what should be kept out come to be contested, as different sections of society have diverse views on the issue. The question of how the school curriculum is to be decided also turns out to be a political contestation between rival ideological and cultural representations of history, past knowledge and the extant socio-political order, bringing into play principles of inclusion and exclusion, hierarchy and power.

Under the theme entitled “Culture and School Curriculum”, the Conference proposes to explore the social, psychological and philosophical dimensions of curriculum in terms of educational aims, and desirable political and cultural values. It is expected that doing so will help unravel the ideological and political contestations that have come to characterise school curriculum reform in present-day society.

Some questions that might be asked against this backdrop include the following. What ought the school curriculum to represent in contemporary society? In what ways might the ideological tensions of a culturally diverse society inform the content and principles of curriculum? If political power be not acceptable as the final arbiter on curricular decisions, what should determine adoption of content? What is the value of the critique that various standpoint theories offer to the analysis of curriculum? Is it possible for philosophers of education to transcend relativism and suggest universal criteria that decide educational aims and limn the contours of a desirable society?

2. Philosophy and the Practice of Teaching

In contemporary times, the concept and practice of teaching has witnessed unprecedented scrutiny from different quarters. While on the one hand it is claimed that quality of an educational system is determined by the quality of its teachers, on the other, the teacher is reduced to being an implementer of educational decisions made by others. . Calls for teacher-accountability underpin arguments for assessment-led educational reform, while activity-based learning programmes seek to turn teachers into facilitators of learning activities designed by experts.

The current wave of teacher education reform rightly recognises the importance of practice in teacher formation. However, it is not always clear what practice amounts to: is it a matter of “direct experience” gleaned from being in the classroom, or does practice transform in specific ways into knowledge and insight? Given this lack of clarity, there is a need to analyse and reconceptualise practice, and study its relationship with theory and reflection. The practice of teaching raises important ethical issues that demand critical examination of the theoretical underpinnings of particular practices. These include but are not limited to the use (or rejection) of rewards or punishments in pedagogy, discrimination among children based on perceived capabilities and need, and organization of the school and classroom environment.

Contributors writing on this theme might explore the ways in which past and on-going educational reforms have tended to (re-)conceptualise the teacher. They may argue for norms and principles that according to them ought to inform the practice of teaching in schools. They may also choose to use insights from epistemology and moral philosophy to shed light on the practice of teaching.

3. Educational Policy and Philosophy of Education

Policy decisions in education have been considered to be either a matter of technical expertise, or a matter of ideological preference. The technical expertise view has it that educational policy is about principles regarding what works and does not work, who should benefit, and who should not from public education programmes. This view works on a commodity conception of education whose logic tends to de-emphasize education for humanity and citizenship. Education considered as a tool for ideological indoctrination and political propaganda aligns educational policy with the political views of the ruling class which might favour a neo-liberal market regime, or espouse religious fundamentalism.

Contributors addressing this theme might reflect upon these and other models of educational policy-making, bringing conceptual/ philosophical tools to bear on the aims of education, learning, teaching, curriculum, citizenship and democratic society. They might inquire into the question of how educational policy documents conceptualise education. They might focus their analysis upon the relationship between education, conceptions of the good life, citizenship, democracy and justice in order to put forth proposals concerning the normative bases of educational policy.

The conference encourages authors to explore the given themes from Indian philosophical perspective. It especially encourages young scholars and doctoral candidates to write papers addressing these themes.

The papers presented in the conference will be published in the form of a book within a year of the conference.
Last date for Submissions

Complete papers between 4500-5000 words should be uploaded at the link provided on our website by October 15, 2015 11:59 PM, IST. Authors are advised to follow the prescribed word limit. They may also note that incomplete papers, extended abstracts, or papers significantly exceeding the word limit may not be considered.
Important Dates

• Deadline for submissions: October 15, 2015
• Communications on acceptance of submissions: November 15, 2015
• Conference Dates: January 10-12, 2016
Instructions for Submission

Submissions should be made by registering as ‘interested speaker’ in the online system and subsequently uploading a copy of the paper in MS Word format. Please don’t upload pdf version of the documents.
Young scholars and doctoral students are requested to specify that they are submitting under the young scholars category.

All submissions should have two documents;

I. Information about the author; name, institutional affiliation, email ids, and phone numbers.
2. Complete paper with the title, and containing an abstract of the paper in 200-300 words. Authors should not write their names, institutional affiliation, email id or any form of identification in the paper.

In case, you don’t receive an email acknowledgement on submission, or if you have any other query regarding the conference or paper submissions please write to

Authors are advised to first explore funding possibilities at their home institutions or other funding organizations and then contact us for travel funding. Azim Premji University may sponsor travel for a limited number of authors based on individual merit and need. Lodging and boarding for the period of the Conference will be provided by Azim Premji University.

About Matthew Dasti

Matthew R. Dasti is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bridgewater State University.

One Reply to “Call for Papers: Philosophy of Education Conference, 2016 Azim Premji University, Bengaluru 10-12 January, 2016”

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