Philosophy of Education Society 

Call for Papers/Proposals

75th Annual Meeting, March 13-18, 2019 

Omni Richmond Hotel

Richmond, Virginia


The Program Committee invites papers to be submitted for presentation at the Annual Meeting and for subsequent publication in the PES yearbook, Philosophy of Education 2019.  The Committee also invites proposals for: (1) alternative sessions and (2) work-in-progress sessions designed to bring participants together to collaborate on developing ideas not yet ready for the paper submission process.  Papers and proposals that address the conference theme are specifically encouraged, but all submissions will be considered on an equal basis.


***Hotel room reservations can be made at this LINK. Alternately, members may call 1-800-THE-OMNI and tell the person who answers they are with the Philosophy of Education Society Annual Meeting group. 


PES 2019 THEME: Rethinking Philosophy of Education for our Complicated Times

In 2019, the Philosophy of Education Society (PES) will be celebrating our 75th annual conference.  Philosophers of education have explored a wide range of issues and questions in that time, including many related to the value, purpose, and place of our work.  Indeed, reflecting on the role and contribution of philosophy of education as a discipline has been a perennial concern in the field.  We often struggle to be both philosophically sophisticated (consistent with traditions in philosophy) and practically relevant (as is often the demand in schools of education).  We regularly revisit the question of what philosophy of education is and how and why the work we do matters.   


In developing the theme for this conference, we begin by affirming the usefulness of revisiting questions of purpose, especially in light of changing social, political, and educational dynamics.  At a time when the liberal arts are under attack and instrumentally rational approaches to education are ascendant, and where commitments to the public and especially public schooling are waning in many contexts, revisiting this question is both timely and critical.  As part of the upcoming conference, we invite Society members, and other interested parties, to reconsider questions about our organization and discipline, for example:  What counts as philosophy of education? What are our relationships to philosophy?  To education?  To teaching, learning, and other school-related practices?  Who gets to do philosophy of education? 


Perhaps most importantly, we invite members to place questions about value, role, and relevance into today’s context.  Examples of some of the kinds of questions that philosophers of education might consider include:


  • Public schools are under attack from a variety of positions. Perhaps most distressingly, it is often the “public” part of public schools that is most targeted. How can/should philosophers of education engage in this battle?


  • Teachers are under siege. They are blamed for social problems beyond their direct control, their professional autonomy/authority is undermined, and their actions are increasingly prescribed by administrators, legislators, and even educational researchers. What sort of work might philosophers of education engage in to productively contribute to improving this state of affairs?  


  • Our communities are experiencing demographic changes. How can we do philosophy of education in ways that helps us to consider inclusion and diversity as a means of enriching/enlivening our democracy rather than dividing us?  How do we ensure the inclusion of diverse perspectives within our field and organization?


  • Technology is happening to schools and students. This often takes place in very uncritical ways. What roles might philosophers of education play as schooling gets “technologized?” 


  • Approximately 47 percent of the electorate in the U.S. did not vote in the most recent presidential election. What does this say about the state of our democracy and what role might philosophers of education have in reinvigorating democratic education?


  • How can philosophers of education contribute to the possibility of equity and justice during this time of increasing economic, social, and identity-based forms of inequality? 


  • In this era of “fake news” and even a general assault on truth, how can philosophers of education help to think about what role schools ought to play in cultivating understandings of the nature of knowledge that can restore faith in science and other democratic institutions?


  • The relationships between educational policy, research, and practice are fragmented or even nonexistent. How can philosophy of education contribute to efforts to (re)connect these largely disparate parts of the educational world? 


  • How can we make a convincing case for the importance of speculative forms of philosophy of education, particularly more abstract or “pure” philosophical projects given the ongoing devaluing of the humanities and the fact that a healthy philosophy of education thrives on the dynamic tension that exists between the pure and applied parts of our discipline?


While the conference theme foregrounds the role of philosophers of education in contending with practical/political problems, submissions do not need to directly address this call. Our call is open and we encourage submission of all varieties of philosophy and on all topics.  Yet we also argue that this moment in time necessitates a rethinking of the boundaries and priorities of philosophers of education, and thoughtful attention to sustaining our traditions and our livelihood as a field, while also challenging anachronistic practices.  In addition to bringing our disciplinary expertise to bear on education and related social issues, part of our task is the meta-enterprise of rethinking what philosophy of education is in light of the contemporary crises that we face.  While submitted papers do not need to directly address this call, meeting attendees will be encouraged to think about how the presented work, and the work of PES members in general, matters.   



The Program Committee will review only submissions made in accordance with the instructions below. Papers reviewed and accepted by the Program Committee, and invited responses to them, will be published online in the society’s annual yearbook, Philosophy of Education 2019. Past issues can be viewed here:


Thanks in advance to this year’s Program Committee members: Stephanie Burdick-Shepherd,  Paul Farber, Dianne Gerelek, Mike Gunzenhauser, Glenn Hudak, Liz Jackson, Kathleen Knight-Abowitz, Pam Konkol, Tone Kvernbekk, Dan Mamlok, Cris Mayo, Kevin McDonough, Donal Mulcahy, Peter Nelsen, Nassim Noroozi, Nakia Pope, Doris Santoro, Barb Stengel, and Winston Thompson (Graduate Assistant: Brionna Nomi, Virginia Commonwealth University).


Deadline: Papers and proposals must be submitted electronically to no later than November 1, 2018 (submission instructions appear below).


Submission Formats

Paper Submissions: Papers may not exceed 4,500 words, including footnotes, and must be written in proper PES form (see the  Style Guide). The 4,500-word limit will be strictly enforced. Papers that modestly exceed the 4,500-word limit will be subject to editing. Papers that exceed this limit excessively will be subject to rejection without review or to not being published in the PES yearbook.


Multiple reviewers will review papers blindly. Final decisions on manuscripts rest with the Program Chair. Criteria for review include quality of argument, links to philosophical and philosophy of education literature and to education policy and practice, quality of expression, and significance of the contribution. Please make sure that references to your name, institutional affiliation, or work (e.g., “As I have argued on many occasions…”) are omitted from the paper, including the notes. Your identifying information will not be available to reviewers.


Alternative Presentation Submissions: Proposals may not exceed 1,000 words, including references. If the session being proposed involves multiple presenters, please specify the contribution of each presenter.


Alternative presentation proposals take two general forms:


• Alternative Sessions: Examples include roundtables, author meets critics panels, performances, interviews, and panel conversations on issues. Criteria for review include originality and clarity of motivating question or idea, potential interaction with session attendees, and relevance/importance to educational philosophy and educational policy and practice. Alternative sessions may be scheduled concurrently with paper sessions or in separate time slots.


• Work-in-Progress Sessions: These sessions will group scholars with work-in-progress in an informal collaborative setting. Proposals should detail the question or claim being investigated, relevant sources/resources, likely direction, and mode(s) of analysis. Criteria for review include clarity and significance of the question/claim, suitability of sources/resources, suitability of mode(s) of analysis, and potential for thinking anew about issues in the field of educational philosophy. 


Submission Process

Submit papers or proposals as a Word attachment to by November 1, 2018.  In the body of your e-mail, please provide the following contact information:

• Name

• Institutional affiliation 

• Email address

• Phone number

• Mailing address


Submissions will be accepted beginning September 15, 2018. An email confirmation that your submission has been received will be sent within two business days.


Note: If you do not receive an email confirmation within two business days of your submission, please contact Brionna Nomi at


Respondents and Chairs

Members of PES who are interested in serving as session chairs or respondents are invited to contact the Program Chair, Kurt Stemhagen, at  Please specify your areas of expertise and provide your full contact information (mailing address, email address, and phone number). For questions concerning the program, please contact Kurt Stemhagen, at We look forward to receiving your submissions.


A note on A/V:

Due to prohibitive costs, technology is not available to use during conference sessions.  PES is unable to provide screens, projectors, extension cords or other A/V equipment.  The walls in the meeting rooms are covered in dark wallpaper and are, thus, not usable in place of screens.  Speakers wishing to use A/V equipment will need to provide it themselves (including screens) or rent from the hotel at their own expense ($200-$650).

Draft Program