We are moving forward with the 77th meeting March 3--8, 2021 in an online platform.

Registration is now open!


Because financial hardship has scrambled the equation for many members who formerly had professional development budgets, this year's registration rates have been set up differently.   PES is offering steeply discounted rates for members and nonmembers who are unable to pay the full rate.  Rather than structure the fees by professional rank, we've set it up so that you can pay what you're able to.  The costs of holding the conference this year are much lower but still significant, so please pay what you can and what feels right to you. 

Our lowest rate, $5, is offered for students and also first-time PES attendees.  This year presents a great opportunity for a wider community than usually attends PES to check it out and experience some of the top-notch scholarship, thought-provoking conversation, and collegial interactions our conference provides. 

PES 2021 Call for Papers


PES 2021 Theme:

Engaging Philosophy of Education:

Public Knowledge, Public Interest, and Public Life During Uncertain Times


Engaged Philosophical Work on Education

Recent decades have seen a steady rise in the visibility of philosophical work addressing specific public problems. Such work often seeks to have direct bearing upon areas of practical significance—as well as intellectual resonance. Few areas of philosophical focus can claim greater connection to this category of practical questions and applied conclusions than the field of philosophy of education.


However, despite an awareness of increasingly complex moral, ethical, and political concerns related to education in, of, and for the public—especially against a backdrop of unsettling global events—the visibility of the field’s engagement and impact might be questioned. Are classroom educators, educational policymakers, administrators, public servants, and others conducting their practical work with explicit reference to—or application of—emerging scholarship in philosophy of education? What essential insights or guidance can engaged philosophical scholarship offer to our public educational circumstances?


Given these considerations, our field is positioned to appraise how philosophical work on a broad range of educational issues might be better understood as vital contribution to the urgent challenges faced in the professional, political, and moral world. As the predictability of that world is challenged by ongoing and novel public concerns, the kinds of questions familiar to those who work at the intersection of philosophy and education appear both immediate and timely in explicitly educational contexts and well beyond.


This year’s CFP considers various ways in which concerns relating to the 2021 theme might be explored during our time in Salt Lake City.


Creating Public Knowledge

  • Generally considered, what might it mean to create knowledge in public? Or for the public?

  • How do duties of public knowledge shift under times of extraordinary uncertainty?

  • What kinds of obligations are held by educational institutions to contribute to the creation and maintenance of a sufficiently legible shared world of interpretation and meaning?

  • To what extent is disagreement about matters of fact defensible within a public context?

  • Whose knowledge claims are (and/or ought to be) prioritized or marginalized within our educational projects?

  • How might philosophy of education guide our thinking about epistemic issues of justice?

  • Against a backdrop of rising skepticism regarding the insights and expertise of the academy, what obligations might scholars have to make their work more broadly accessible?

  • How might private forms of knowledge interact with knowledge in the public context?

  • How do and should knowers become authorized outside of institutional roles and processes?


Understanding Public Interests and Education

  • What contemporary public issues ought to shape an educational agenda?

  • How, if at all, should educators adapt their efforts in light of shifts within public attention?

  • Do educational aims exist that might be supported across a diverse range of views regarding public interest?

  • To what extent ought an understanding of public interest be shaped by antecedently justified educational aims?

  • How might emergent circumstances justifiably shift the public/private distribution of educational labor?

  • How does engagement with questions of public interest lead to consideration of the various values defining the ‘common good’?

  • How might specific educational duties manifest in relation to, for instance, collective issues of public health?


Education for Public Life

  • How might engagement with matters of public life lead one to consider education’s role in enabling a robust public context of mutual benefit, exchange, and progress?

  • How might education contribute to the ways in which a community defines itself and its problems, even as it remains uncertain about solutions to the same?

  • How does philosophy of education fruitfully address the complexity of moral matters within any society?

  • How can philosophy of education, conducted in public, offer useful insights in the service of promoting continued work of living well amongst diverse others?

  • How should education prepare individuals for public life? Are similar preparations necessary in readying communities for their engagement with other groups across various differences?

  • How might educational ethics inform our general and specific duties to one another as citizens?



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 journal, Philosophy of Education. Thanks in advance are owed to this year’s Conference Program Committee members in their dual roles as members of the 2021 Journal Review Board.


Deadline: Once the submission portal opens on October 1st, 2020, papers and proposals must be submitted online at www.pes2021.org by no later than November 2, 2020 (submission instructions appear below).

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 Philosophy of Education.


Multiple reviewers will review papers blindly. Final decisions on manuscripts rest with the Program Chair in an ex officio role as journal Editor. 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.

Please note that authors are NOT required to submit a paper on the theme in order to be considered for acceptance for general or concurrent sessions at the conference. In fact, in being considered for acceptance to the conference, no special consideration will be extended for a paper on the theme.


Additional Publication OptionGroundWorks is a PES publication that seeks to showcase and disseminate philosophical responses to educational issues; it aims to bring philosophical thinking to bear on pressing, controversial, or significant aspects of education and schooling. This year, in addition to the standard outcome of publication within the PES journal, Philosophy of Education, authors are invited to indicate at the time of submission whether they would like their document considered for separate development as a published GroundWorks paper. Within the standard submission portal, authors may also submit a freestanding paper (i.e., not for review as a conference presentation) solely for consideration by GroundWorks.


Selected authors will be invited to work with the GroundWorks editor to develop a short paper (under 3000 words) and an Op-Ed (under 1000 words) addressing the themes of that work as written for a public audience.


Alternative presentation proposals:

Proposals may not exceed 1,000 words, including references. If the session being proposed involves multiple presenters, please specify the contribution of each presenter. In some cases, alternative session presentations may be invited to submit revised papers for full review in advance of potential publication within the journal.


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: The submission portal (www.pes2021.org) will open on October 1st 2020. Papers and proposals must be submitted no later than November 2, 2020. 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 thompson.3588@osu.edu


Respondents and Chairs:

Members of PES who are interested in serving as session chairs or respondents are invited to contact the Program Chair, Winston C. Thompson, at thompson.3588@osu.edu. Please specify your areas of expertise and provide your full contact information (mailing address, email address, and phone number). For questions concerning the submission portal and/or program, please contact Winston C. Thompson, at thompson.3588@osu.edu. We look forward to receiving your submissions.

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Amy Shuffelton, PES Executive Director: ashuffe@luc.edu

The Philosophy of Education Society is an international forum that promotes the philosophic treatment of educational practice, policy and research, advances the quality of teaching the philosophy of education, and cultivates fruitful relationships between and among philosophers, philosophers of education and educators.