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Third Summer School in Philosophy of Education:
June 6 - 17, 2016

Call for Applications

Theme: Philosophy of Education for Teachers and Teacher Educators

The NCTE – Curriculum Frameworks for the 2 year B.Ed and the M. Ed. program describe teaching and teacher education as 'reflective practices'. The M. Ed. Curriculum Framework describes the objectives of the Philosophy of Education (PoE) course for M.Ed. Programs as follows: “This course should be used to develop capabilities for conceptual analysis and recognize issues that need understanding from ethical, epistemic, aesthetic and political philosophy perspective.” On the other hand, the curriculum framework for the 2-year B. Ed. Program locates Philosophy as essential for reflection in all three curricular areas – Perspectives in Education, Curriculum & Pedagogic Studies and Engagement with the field. All three aspects of education are the target of reflection in this document – studying “theoretical foundations of school knowledge from historical, philosophical and sociological perspectives”, “critical analysis of curricular aims and contexts” and reflecting on the teacher's own notions of teaching and learning using “theoretical frames from psychology, philosophy, sociology, and language learning.”

A teacher faces numerous issues in course of her work, which on careful examination sometimes unravel critical questions about human nature, nature of knowledge, morality, political theory or art and aesthetics. These questions often lead to further issues that seem profoundly difficult to deal with. But their responses to these issues critically influence the practice of teaching, and ignoring such questions often adversely affect the practice of teaching and other related practices.

Philosophers have been engaging with such questions on human nature, knowledge, ethics, aesthetics and political theory for centuries and also developing tools and methods like conceptual analysis, logic and reasoning that are required to engage with such questions. This rich body of analytical frameworks and tools prove to be useful in analysing issues that a teacher/practitioner faces, and also in re-examining the very grounds of the nature of education itself. Given this, we are able view Philosophy of Education not only as a body of statements and theories, but also as a means to equip us with tools and the necessary conceptual repertoire to address and respond to a wide variety of issues that confront a practitioner.

While this clearly justifies the need for teachers and teacher educators to engage with Philosophy of Education, it also raises questions about PoE curriculum and pedagogy. PoE curricula and textbooks in India are usually a combination of three different types of philosophical content:

  • Theories of education propounded by important thinkers like Gandhi, Tagore, Plato
  • Various theories or theoretical approaches and stances within philosophy like Idealism, Realism, Empiricism, Rationalism with a brief description of how these views have important implications for education
  • Historical treatment of the discipline of philosophy that narrates developments in Philosophy in the West, and compares it with Indian or Eastern traditions or theories.

However, such a curriculum, while offering a glimpse of what Philosophy is all about, turns out to be of little use to the practitioner. She is forced to think that PoE is a finished body of theories that only needs to be applied and leaves little room for her own imaginative and critical capabilities and judgments. It poses the additional difficulty of her being unable to decide between a number of equally interesting, and often conflicting theories and philosophies of education. All of these point to the need re-imagine Philosophy of Education curriculum.

The focus of the Third Summer School organized by the Philosophy of Education Unit in Azim Premji University is to develop an understanding of how and why PoE is essential for a practitioner of education and an exploration of possible ways in which PoE curriculum could be designed and taught. The premise of this summer school is that PoE should not only be considered as a body of theories, but also a way of approaching issues and finding reasonable and sound responses to these issues and that it is essential for all practitioners of education, especially teachers. The summer school will place a practitioner of education at the center and recognize issues stemming from practice that demand philosophical treatment, introduce participants to a variety of tools and methods Philosophy of Education provides, that encourage reflection and rigorous philosophical analysis.

In the process, the summer school will also engage with questions like – How should PoE curriculum be structured? How should PoE be taught? How is PoE related to other disciplines like Sociology of Education – that deal with distinct issues equally important for a reflective practitioner?

The programme of the Summer School will consist of lectures by resident and invited resource persons, discussions, group reading sessions and presentations by participants.

Applications

Applications are invited from pre-service and in-service teacher educators, curriculum developers and those interested in these roles. Applicants could be from state institutions like the SCERT and DIETs, people teaching or developing curriculum for B.Ed., M.Ed. and similar formal programs in other institutions. Preference will be given to people familiar with Philosophy and Philosophy of Education.

The Summer School will accommodate 30 participants. Candidates who desire to participate must send the following along with their application:

  • Curriculum Vitae that includes the candidate’s contact information (address, email, telephone number)
  • Brief statement of Purpose (not exceeding 800-1000 words)
  • A reflective note of around 2000 words on a particular issue in education with philosophical implications. People who are familiar with OR are engaged in teaching or developing PoE curriculum are encouraged to write specifically on PoE, teaching PoE or thoughts on PoE curriculum for teachers.

The last date for submission of applications is April 1, 2016. Selected candidates will be intimated via email by April 10, 2016.

Participants will be provided travel reimbursement to the extent of 3-tier AC trainfare from their place of residence, boarding and lodging near Azim Premji University and commute to and from the University to place of lodging for the duration of the programme.

Any further communication, may be addressed to poe.summer.school@apu.edu.in.



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