Conference 2022 News & Events

ESAI Conference 2022: Call for Proposals

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Reconstructing Education: what matters?

7-8 April 2022 | Marino Institute of Education, Dublin


During the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers and educators at all levels responded to the exceptional challenge of continuing education in new and creative ways. The quality of the student experience was the main driver of practice, and children and students continued to learn on-line, at home, on the street. Educators recognised the value of creating shared learning environments, and were innovative in seeking the means to “build human connection at a time of distancing and isolation” (Soskil, 2021, introduction). Nonetheless, when educational settings closed there was a sense of loss in our communities, in our families and in our lives. For schools and colleges are more than spaces for learning, they are places where teachers and pupils/students can connect fully and concretely with everyday experiences, they are places that enable encounter, places that are connected with and part of our communities.

The period of not being able to attend schools and campuses has very much awakened in us the value and purpose of education itself. Howard et al argue that ‘pedagogy is not merely an instructional strategy, but an embodied practice of being oriented to the life of the child and young person in a thoughtful sensitivity for what is in their best interest’ (2021, p.2). It is the sense of interconnectedness, the encounter between the teacher and the child or young person, which is the greatest purpose of education. When Gert Biesta (2017, p.1) argues ‘that teaching matters’, he calls us to value and reassess the nature of teaching, the complexity of the role of the teacher, who provides opportunities for children and young people to ‘be’. It is an appreciation of teachers as thinking, caring, acting, judging, and feeling professionals who can look with the ‘eye of a teacher’ and can see beyond the evident.

As we return to our schools and campuses, we have an opportunity to critically reflect on what matters in education and what we wish to carry forward in rebuilding our education system. While it is recognised that the on-line engagement with learning did not match the nature of the face-to-face encounter, embedding digital technology into teaching and learning is now an essential feature of education. As we reflect on the artistry of teaching (Stenhouse 1988), and the essence of the relational encounter, perennial questions remain: What now matters in education? What is educationally desirable here and now?

The Educational Studies Association of Ireland invites scholars, practitioners, policymakers, emerging researchers and interested others from Ireland and beyond to come together at our face-to-face (public health guidelines permitting) conference on 7-9 April 2022, and to reflect upon, debate and discuss the possibilities in education. The conference theme, ‘Reconstructing Education: what matters?’ welcomes broad interpretation and interrogation, and we invite papers that consider the concept through a variety of lenses which include (but are not limited to) sociological, pedagogical, historical, religious, ethical, technological, philosophical, political and economic. Hosted by Marino Institute of Education, Dublin, the ESAI annual Conference 2022 will continue our strong tradition of providing a forum for the dissemination of research that considers past, present and potential contributions and influences at local, national and international levels.

Reference List:

  • Biesta, G.J.J. 2017.  The Rediscovery of Teaching. New York and London: Routledge.
  • Howard, P.,  Saevi, T.,  Foran, A., Biesta, G.J.J. (eds) 2021. Phenomenology and Educational Theory in Conversation: Back to Education itself.  London & New York: Routledge.
  • Soskil, M. 2021. Flip the system: How teachers can transform education and save democracy’. New York: Routledge.
  • Stenhouse, L. 1988. ‘Artistry and Teaching: The teacher as focus of research and development’ in Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, Vol 4, no 1, pp43-51.


Call for Proposals

All abstracts should be submitted via our online abstract submission system. The system will close on Monday 10 January, 2022. Please note information about (1) Structure of Abstracts, (2) Presentation Formats, and (3) Abstract Review, when preparing your abstract.

(1) Structure of Abstracts

Abstracts should make reference to:
(a) background/context
(b) research aim/objectives
(c) methods and data sources, or equivalent for theoretical/conceptual papers
(d) key findings/takeaway points

Abstracts must be between 200 and 400 words in length

(2) Presentation Formats

  • Paper: Individual papers will be timed for 20 minutes: 15 minutes presentation and 5 minutes for Q&A.
  • Poster Presentations: Posters will be exhibited during the conference and presentation time will be scheduled in the conference programme. The topic should lend itself to presentation in poster format. Final poster versions should be A0 (118.9 cm x 84.1 cm).
  • Concise On-Demand Paper: Concise papers will be pre-recorded papers timed for 5-7minutes. They will be recorded and submitted in .mp4 format and will be available on-demand.
  • Symposium: Symposia will typically contain 3 papers based around a central theme and will usually be timed for 60 minutes. This should include at least 10 minutes for discussion after the papers have been presented. To submit a symposium proposal, please use the form below to enter the symposium title, all author details, and the abstract for the overall symposium, then upload the Symposium Proposal form (which can be downloaded at this link) to provide the remaining details about symposia papers, etc.
  • Early Career Researcher: ECR papers will be timed for 15 minutes: 10 minutes presentation plus 5 minutes feedback from an experienced mentor, plus a brief open discussion at the end of the session. The ECR strand is intended for current research students or those who have recently completed a research degree.

(3) Abstract Review

All abstracts will be double-blind reviewed (reviewers of abstracts won’t see the identity of the author(s), and the author(s) won’t see the identity of reviewers).

(4) Closing Data for Submissions

The closing date for proposal submissions is 10 January, 2022 at 5pm. Submissions are now closed.

(5) Conference Registration

ESAI Conference 2022 will be online. Registration for ESAI Conference 2022 will be available from 2 February 2022.



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