Conference 2020 News & Events

Conference 2020

Opening Up Education: Options, Obstacles and Opportunities

3rd – 5th September | Online (hosted by Institute of Education, Dublin City University)

“We cannot sow seeds with clenched fists. To sow we must open our hands.”
– Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

The foundations of openness are rooted in altruism and the belief that education is a public good (Weller, 2014). While the concept has been a focus of increased debate and discussion in recent times (Bayne, Knox & Ross, 2015), Hug reminds us that characteristics of openness can be found in many respects throughout the history of education, “from Comenius’ call for pedagogical reform to postmodern educational theory, requirements of access, social justice, creativity, knowledge sharing, innovation, and capacity building” (2015, p. 72). Openness in education advocates transparency and the lowering or removal of barriers at all levels in research, teaching and learning (Inamorato dos Santos, Punie & Castaño-Muñoz, 2016). It is a multifaceted concept that draws on a complex history of social, political, economic and technological change (Costello, Huijser & Marshall, 2018), an evolving term that covers a range of philosophies and practices aimed at widening access to education (Weller, 2018). In the rapidly changing world in which we find ourselves, and at a time when discussions about borders and boundaries feature so prominently, openness has never been more important or more in need.

As we reach the calendar milestone that signals we are one fifth of the way through the 21st century, the Educational Studies Association of Ireland invites scholars, practitioners, policymakers, emerging researchers and interested others from Ireland and beyond to come together at our annual conference and reflect upon, debate and discuss the opening up of education. The rich concept of openness welcomes broad interpretation and interrogation, and we invite papers that consider it through a variety of lenses which include (but are not limited to) sociological, pedagogical, historical, religious, ethical, technological, philosophical, political and economic. The ESAI 2020 Conference 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.

Call for Proposals

The online abstract submission system is now open for submission of proposals. Please note information about (1) Structure of Abstracts, (2) Presentation Formats, and (3) Abstract Review, before submitting an abstract.

The closing date for submission of abstracts is Friday 06th December 2019.

The abstract submission system can be accessed at


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