PoE Seminar – May 2014

Second International Seminar on Philosophy of Education

May 12-14, 2014 at the NIAS campus, Bangalore.

Click here to view recordings of paper presentations

Click here to view recordings of public talks

Click here to download the program brochure


Azim Premji University welcomes you to the Second International Seminar on Philosophy of Education, which concludes a series that began this year with regional seminars at Almora and Jaipur. Apart from the regional seminars, this year we co-organized a week-long summer school for young scholars on Indian Philosophy and Philosophy of Education, with Manipal Center for Philosophy and Humanities, Manipal University. The response to each of these events has been truly overwhelming, and the number of sessions and papers at this international seminar is yet another evidence of the growing interest in the area of philosophy of education. These responses clearly suggest how fundamental and urgent the task of addressing and engaging with philosophical issues and ideas concerning education is. Moreover, they also point towards the need for forums where philosophers and practitioners can come together and engage with one another. We are grateful to several philosophers and practitioners who have shown considerable interest in post-seminar engagement with practicing educators in the form of public talks, discussions and workshops. 

This year, the international seminar focusses on four themes discussed briefly below. The themes were chosen both for their relevance in contemporary discourses in education and the possibilities they open for further exploration. While a substantial number of papers address these four themes, there are several that discuss other, but equally relevant issues.


Social Justice and Education: Social justice has always been an important concern in philosophy of education. In India, too, cultural, ethnic and religious diversity coupled with socio-economic disparities makes it especially relevant in the present times. The issues concerning social justice gain further importance with increasing privatization of education. This theme seeks to explore the questions pertaining to the social role of education and equality.
Indian Philosophical Thoughts/ Thinkers and Education: This theme seeks to establish dialogues between Indian philosophical traditions and concerns of philosophy of education. Such an engagement promises to enrich philosophy of education through the infusion of fresh philosophical perspectives. The dialogue could also pertain to Indian thinkers/philosophers (both ancient and modern) and their engagement with education. Further, the elements of Philosophy of Education could be explored in the traditions of Indian Philosophy.
Nature of Educational Studies: Curricular and Pedagogic Issues: Many universities in India are now offering Master of Arts in Education or Master of Arts in educational Studies. These programmes are different from traditional Master of Education (M.Ed.) programmes. The nature and scope of curricula for MA in Education or MA in Educational Studies programmes give rise to many questions that need philosophical considerations. For instance, the characterization of educational studies as a field of liberal study requires resolution before a curriculum with reasonably clear principles of unity can be formulated. This theme is an invitation to explore these and similar questions.
Policy Issues in Education: Measurement and Assessment, Accountability, Quality in Education: Educational policies in recent times have shown an unprecedented tilt towards nurturing certain kinds of regimes with a claim to ensure better provision and outcomes of education. Some examples are teacher accountability, quality as placement opportunities in higher education and securing admission in college education for school education. Moreover, we are witnessing a refinement of the social purposes of education under the pressure of a globalized economy. Exploration of aims of education in the emerging reform and policy initiatives is itself an important sub-theme under the overall theme of policy issues. It is equally important to examine these concepts from the perspective of what implications they will have on education.

We hope the presentations and discussions over three days will prove to be a rich and rewarding experience for each one of us and will help initiate a series of rigorous conversations and also both independent and collective exploration of ideas and issues. We are also keen to bring out a volume consisting of these contributions for wider circulation.


  Day 1 – May 12, 2014

Plenary Session: Social Justice and Education


Gopal Guru – Two Conceptions of Education: Gandhi and Ambedkar


Theodore Lewis - The Continuing American Struggle to Realize Dewey’s Democratic Ideal through Education




Parallel Session: Education and Social Justice

Parallel Session: Teachers and Teaching


Neera Chandhoke – Thinking Through Social Justice

Poonam Batra – Studying Education, Practicing Education: Contesting and Reimagining


Krassimir Stojanov – Educational Inequalities and Educational Justice

Ajay Sharma – Neoliberal Ontology of Teaching: A Critique




Amman Madan – Unpacking Intersectionality: Conceptual Explorations of Convergences and Divergences of Class, Caste and Gender in Education in the 66th NSS Survey

Milbrey McLaughlin – Teaching as a Learning Profession


Manohar Kumar and Daniele Santoro – Bound to Fail: Epistemic Injustice and Educational Opportunities

Meera Gopichandran – Teacher’s Work and Identity: A Case for Strengthening Knowledge Relations




Rudolf C Heredia – Transformative Education for a Just Society

Devaki L – Teacher Accountability


Sadhna Saxena – Is there a Disjunction between Philosophy of Education and the Access Discourse?

Aruna B. – Philosophical Explorations of the Teacher-Pupil Relationship


Day 2: 13 May, 2014


Plenary Session: Indian Philosophical Thought/Thinkers and Education


Steven H Phillips – Classical Indian Philosophy’s Knowledge Sources (Pramana) as Educational Methods


Sundar Sarukkai – The Relationship between Learning and Language: Some Perspectives from Indian Philosophical Traditions




Parallel Session: Classical Indian Philosophy and Philosophy of Education

Parallel Session: Contemporary Indian Philosophy and Philosophy of Education


Parimal G Patil- Philosophy, Pedagogy, and Truth

in Late Indian Buddhism

Stephen DeGiulio – Power and Aesthetics: Rabindranath Tagore’s Decolonizing Pedagogy


Nand Kishore Acharya – Learning is Liberation: Indian View of Education

Ashwani Kumar – Awareness as Meditative Inquiry: Broadening and Deepening the Concept of “Awareness” in Educational Theory




Srinivasa Varakhedi- Authoring Textbook : Ancient Indian Methodology

Rajesh Kasturirangan – Embodiment, Flourishing and Education


Heeraman Tiwari – Context and Text: Commentary and Dialogue as Education in Ancient India

Venu Narayan – Education and Emotions




Arindam Chakarabarti – Conversing about Conversation, for Truth against Power: Sulabha’s Pedagogy of Parrhesia

Amitabha Mukherjee – Mathematics Learning in Pre-colonial India


Huma Ansari – Vidyā and Avidyā-

Underlying Harmony in the Fundamental Opposites

Vijaya Verma – The Revolution in Physics in the Last Hundred Years


Day 3: 14 May, 2014


Plenary Session: The Nature of Education Studies


John Furlong – The ‘Discipline’ of Education – Rescuing the University Project.


Rohit Dhankar – Education Studies: Exploring the Possibility of an Adequate and Coherent Conception




Parallel Session: Education Studies

Parallel Session: Issues in Assessment


Sebastian Rudas Nyara – Liberalism and Religion:

On Separation and Anticlericalism

Geoffrey Hinchliffe – The Space of Reasons: The Role of Academic Judgment in Assessment


Christopher Winch – The Assessment of Professional Knowledge: How Do We Know that Someone Knows How

Heinz-Dieter Meyer – The Limits of Measurement




Plenary Session: Policy Issues in Education


Sudhir Krishnaswamy – Policy and Education: Reflections on RTE


Padma Sarangapani – Why is Teacher Education Difficult to Regulate? Reflections on the Perpetually Changing Character of Education Studies




Parallel Session: Knowledge and Praxis

Parallel Session: Knowledge, Politics, and Indoctrination


Ravi Subramaniam – Conceptions of Knowledge Informing Education Theory and Practice

Elizabeth Rata – Epistemic Knowledge and Democratic Politics


Mohammad Talib – Pedagogic Authority and Self-Directed Learning: Some Thoughts and Encounters in the Learning-Unlearning Divide

Manuel Amodo – The Analytical Tradition and the Distinction between Education and Indoctrination