The Keynote Speakers for ESAI 2021 are Professor Jan Derry, co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy of Education at the UCL Institute of Education and Professor Gert Biesta, Professor of Public Education in the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Maynooth University.
Professor Jan Derry
Centre for Philosophy of Education at the UCL Institute of Education
Jan Derry is co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy of Education at the UCL Institute of Education. Her research focuses on philosophical psychology, the connection between epistemology and pedagogy, and the nature of professional expertise and judgment. She has taught in the post-16 sector and worked in Teacher Education before developing her research in Philosophy of Education. She led the European funded Philosophy of Technology-enhanced Learning Special Interest Group for the Kaleidoscope Network of Excellence, while based at the London Knowledge Lab. She recently worked on the application of the semantic theory of Inferentialism to the teaching of probability, a research project funded by the Swedish National Research Agency. Her book Vygotsky, Philosophy and Education, (2013) continues her work addressing the connection between epistemology and pedagogy.
Professor Derry’s keynote address will take place at ESAI2021 on Thursday 25th March. It is entitled: The possibility of agency: examining assumptions about knowledge through an Inferentialist lens.
Knowledge and epistemic access have come to the fore in recent discussion yet on both sides of the debate agency has not been at the centre of attention. Accounts stressing the importance of knowledge and facts on the one side and arguments emphasising the meaning making of learners on the other, neglect the significance of individual assent. In my talk I will consider aspects of the heated debate around knowledge and attempt to show how attending to learners’ meaning making is not at odds with a secure and robust account of a knowledge domain. But to appreciate this, we need to consider the limitations of existing presuppositions. One aspect of this neglect is a failure to appreciate the significance of norms and their role in the mediation of human action: the consequences of this neglect affect thought about learning and teaching.
Professor Gert Biesta
Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Maynooth University
Gert Biesta (www.gertbiesta.com) is Professor of Public Education in the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Maynooth University, and Professor of Educational Theory and Pedagogy at the Moray House School of Education and Sport of the University of Edinburgh. He currently holds visiting professorships at the University of Agder (Norway) in the departments of education, arts and mental health, and at the University of the Arts in Helsinki. He writes about the theory of education and the theory and philosophy of educational research, with a broad interest in questions of curriculum, teaching and teacher education. In 2020 he became a member of the national curriculum review committee in the Netherlands. Recent books include Obstinate Education: Reconnecting School and Society (Brill, 2019); Educational Research: An Unorthodox Introduction (Bloomsbury, 2020) and World-Centred Education: A View for the Present (to be released in July 2021 by Routledge).
Professor Biesta’s keynote address will take place at ESAI2021 on Friday 26th March. It is entitled: What’s the point of education? Untimely reflections in the age of learning
In this presentation I would like to go back to a rather fundamental question, which is the question what the point of education actually is. Nowadays we often hear that education ought to be ‘all about learning,’ but this idea misses the point of education in a number of ways. In my presentation I my presentation I will try to argue that the central and in a sense first concern of all educational work should be for the possibility for our students to exist in and with the world as subjects of their own life, and not as objects of the wishes and desires of others – be they other individuals or groups or such entities as ‘the economy’ or ‘the state.’ I will explore what such a ‘world-centred’ account of education looks like, how it can be justified, and how it might make a critical intervention in contemporary discourses, policies, and practices.