Raphael's The School of Athens

Education Education, Philosophy and Culture

The Education, Philosophy and Culture research group includes a broad range of research interests and activities, including philosophy of education, moral education, museology, anthropology and archaeology, literary, aesthetic and cultural education, and practical philosophy with children and adults. What binds this community of researchers is an understanding of education as not only a social science, but also as a human science: education as encompassing the humanities.

Scholars within this research group engage in a wide variety of research approaches but tend to focus on theoretical, conceptual and logical, ie philosophical, analysis of educational ideas and practices, and the ways in which they are embedded in and shaped by different cultures and subcultures. In general terms, this work consists in the elaboration and critical analysis of different conceptions of education, teaching, the teacher, the student, educational relations, children, parenting, schooling, and so on. This work is also significantly concerned with the purposes of education, and in examining justifications for the varied claims or hidden assumptions about those purposes. The methods employed are varied but they usually centre around different ways of interpreting educational phenomena. Often theoretical and textual in focus, the work undertaken within this group examines historical as well as contemporary educational ideas and concepts as presented in all sorts of media like texts, movies, pictures, rituals, architecture, institutionalised structures, etc. In empirical terms, much of the work pertains to exploring the potential benefit and impact of practical philosophy with children and adults in schools and other settings. In relation to developing new research methods, the group is also developing the use of philosophical dialogue as a rights-based research method. 

Our activities

The School of Education at Strathclyde hosts regular philosophy of education events funded by the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain Strathclyde branch: http://www.philosophy-of-education.org/about/strathclyde-branch.html

Recent seminars have included talks by Prof Gert Biesta; Dr Rille Raaper; Prof Tim Ingold; Prof Paul Standish; Dr Andrea English.

In addition to those series of seminars and lectures, we regularly attend and present at national and international conferences and entertain an extensive network of philosophers and philosophically interested people within and out with academic circles all over the world which expands our own expertise, supports us in our research and broadens the horizon within which we work.

We are active members of a range of academic societies and organisations and contribute to different funded and self-sustained research activities within the School of Education at Strathclyde as well as of other institutions. For example, Dr David Lewin is secretary of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (http://www.philosophy-of-education.org/) and Associate Editor of Brill Research Perspectives in Religion and Education and Dr Claire Cassidy is on the editorial board of the journal Childhood & Philosophy.

Some recent projects undertaken by members of this group include: 

  • East-Asian pedagogies: a conference hosted at Strathclyde in 2017 that is leading to an edited book of the same title (under review with Springer) edited by David Lewin and Karsten Kenklies.
  • Love and Desire in Education: a conference panel at the American Philosophy of Education Society annual conference in Seattle in 2017 that will appear as a Special Issue of the Journal of Philosophy of Education in 2019 edited by David Lewin and David Aldridge.
  • Human Science Pedagogy: a conference hosted at the University of British Colombia in collaboration with Dr Norm Friesen (Boise State University), June 2018. Currently the research team are exploring publications options for a range of papers presented.
  • Christian Flourishing in a Technological World: David Lewin is engaged in a 3-year project funded by Isaachar Trust with a group of international scholars whose aim is to develop an anthropology in the context of Christian faith. See project website: https://www.christianflourishing.com/
  • Nanjing-Strathclyde Symposium: a number of members of the research group presented papers at Nanjing Normal University at the 2nd collaborative research colloquium
  • David Lewin is Guest researcher at Nanjing Normal University (2019-2021)
  • Beyond Vice and Virtues: a collaborative book project engaging a number of the members of the research group along with some select international partners
  • F.D.E. Schleiermacher: On Pedagogy. A Lecture (1826): A commented translation with additional reflective chapters (of international partners and members of the research group) is edited and introduced by Karsten Kenklies and Dr Norm Friesen (Boise State University)
  • The Times of Education: A Panel at PESGB 2019 which will be prepared by some of the members of the research group
  • Education Studies: A Systematic Approach: A book project which emerges as collaboration of Karsten Kenklies, David Lewin, and Norm Friesen (Boise State University)
  • Hong Kong-Strathclyde Symposium: a number of members of the research group will present papers at Hong Kong Education University to explore the possibilities for collaborative research
  • Children’s Voices on Childhood is a project involving colleagues from ten countries and six continents exploring children’s conceptions of child/childhood through philosophical dialogue.  Claire Cassidy is the PI.
  • All-Ireland Doctoral Conference: Claire Cassidy delivered the keynote lecture on Practical Philosophy and Creating Agents of Change.
  • Gareth B. Matthews, The Child’s Philosopher will be published by Routledge. Claire Cassidy, in collaboration with Prof. Walter Kohan from Rio State University, Brazil, is authoring a chapter on Matthews’ foundational contribution to the field of Philosophy of Childhood.
  • Collective Worship and Religious Observance in Schools: An Evaluation of Law and Policy in the UK was an interdisciplinary AHRC-funded project between Law and Education for which Claire Cassidy was on the steering group.  The study produced a report (http://collectiveschoolworship.com/documents/CollectiveWorshipReligiousObservanceAHRCNetworkReport13November2015.pdf) and the book, Collective Worship and Religious Observance in Schools, edited by Peter Cumper and Alison Mawhinney, and published by Peter Lang in 2018.

Recent publications

  • Book: Tonner, P. (2018) Dwelling: Heidegger, Archaeology, Mortality (Routledge 2018).
  • Article: Jessop, S. (2018). How modernity’s futurism puts children in the front line. Childhood (online).
  • Article: Lewin, D. (2018) Review of 'Reconstructing 'Education' through Mindful Attention: Positioning the Mind at the Center of Curriculum and Pedagogy,' Oren Ergas’ Studies in Philosophy and Education, 37:3, 315-321.  
  • Article: Kenklies, K. (2018). (Self-)transformation as translation: the birth of the individual from German Bildung and Japanese kata. Tetsugaku: International Journal of the philosophical Association of Japan, 2, 248-262.
  • Chapter: Cassidy, C. (2018).  Philosophy with Children: an alternative to religious observance. In P. Cumper & A. Mawhinney (eds), Collective Worship and Religious Observance in UK Schools: Challenges and Opportunities. Oxford: Peter Lang International Publishing.
  • Chapter: Conrad, S-J., Mathis, C. and Cassidy, C. (2018). Philosophieren mit Kindern ist aktive Demokratie. In: B. Ziegler and M. Waldis (eds). Politische Bildung in der Demokratie. Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven. Wiesbaden, Germany: Springer.
  • Article: Lewin, D. (2017) 'Who's Afraid of Secularisation: Reframing the debate between Gearon and Jackson' British Journal of Educational Studies, 65:4, 445-461
  • Article: Lewin, D. (2017) 'The Hermeneutics of Religious Understanding in a Postsecular Age' Ethics and Education, 12:1, 73-83.
  • Article: Lewin, D. Bamber, P., White, M. (2017) '(Dis-) Locating the transformative dimension of global citizenship education' Journal of Curriculum Studies, 50:2, 204-230.
  • Chapter: Lewin, D. (2017) ‘Pay attention! Exploring contemplative pedagogies between Eckhart and Heidegger’, in Lewin, Podmore and Williams (eds.) Mystical Theology and Continental Philosophy (London: Routledge).
  • Book: Kenklies, K., Koerrenz, R., Kauhaus, H., & Schwarzkopf, M. (2017). Geschichte der Pädagogik. Paderborn, Germany: Utb Gmbh.
  • Article: Cassidy, C. (2017). Grown-upness or living philosophically? Childhood & Philosophy 13(28), 481-492.
  • Article: Cassidy, C., Conrad, S-J., Daniel, M-F., Garside, D., Kohan, W., Murris, K., Rego, M., Wu, X. and Zhelyazkova, T. (2017). Being children: children’s voices on childhood. International Journal of Children’s Rights 24(3-4), 698-715.
  • Article: Cassidy, C., Marwick, H., Deeney, L. & McLean, G. (2017). Philosophy with Children, self-regulation and engaged participation for children with emotional-behavioural and social communication difficulties. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties 23(1), 81-96.
  • Article: Cassidy, C. (2017). Philosophy with Children: a rights-based approach to deliberative participation. International Journal of Children’s Rights 25(2), 320-334.
  • Book: Lewin, D. (2016) Educational Philosophy for a Post-secular Age (London, Routledge).
  • Book: Kenklies, K., & Waldmann, M. (Eds.) (2016). Queer Pädagogik: Annäherungen an ein Forschungsfeld. Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt.
  • Book: Kenklies, K., & Imanishi, K. (Eds.) (2016). Aufklärungen: Modernisierung in Europa und Ostasien. München: Iudicium Verlag.
  • Article: Jessop, S. (2016). Adorno: Cultural Education and Resistance. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 1–15.

Some International links

The research group is well-connected nationally and internationally. Below are some particular connections and partners concerning various international projects (this list is indicative rather than exhaustive).

  • USA (Multiple contacts: Philosophy of Education Society)
  • Canada (Dr Sam Rocha, University of British Colombia)
  • China (Prof Caiping Sun, Dr Xiaoling Wu, Nanjing Normal University)
  • Taiwan (Dr Max Luo-Xiang Chen, Taiwan Normal University)
  • Chile (Dr Fernando Murillo)
  • Japan (Prof Hiroyuki Sakuma, Tamagawa University, Tokyo; Prof Yasuo Imai, Women’s University, Tokyo; Prof Jun Yamana, Tokyo University)
  • Germany (Prof Ralf Koerrenz, University of Jena; Dr Sebastian Engelmann, University of Tübingen)
  • Belgium (Dr Joris Vlieghe; Prof Jan Masschelein, KU Leuven)
  • Poland (Dr Piotr Zamojski, University of Gdansk)
  • Netherlands (Prof Gert Biesta, University of Humanistic Studies)
  • India (Prof Rohit Dhankar, Azim Premji University)
  • Brazil (Prof. Walter Kohan, Rio State University)
  • Canada (Prof. Marie-France Daniel, University of Montreal)
  • Portugal (Dr Maria José de Figueiroa-Rego, University of Porto)
  • Switzerland (Dr Sarah-Jane Conrad, Pädagogische Hochschule, Bern) 

Staff working in this area

Dr Claire Cassidy

Claire is interested in the concept of child, mainly from a philosophical perspective.  Her book, Thinking Children, offers a unique philosophical exploration of the concept of child and proposes ways in which children’s voices and children’s participation might be promoted in society. A major part of her work is in the area of Philosophy with Children (PwC).  She is particularly interested in children’s dialogue and participation. She is currently developing the use of philosophical dialogue as a rights-based research method.  A key feature of her work is her collaborations with teachers on research projects relating to Community of Philosophical Inquiry in classrooms.  She leads to international project Children’s Voices on Childhood, exploring international concepts of child/childhood with children through philosophical dialogue. https://www.strath.ac.uk/staff/cassidyclairedr/

Dr Sharon Jessop

Sharon’s research interests focus on conceptualisations of child and childhood in relation to modernity and the implications of these understandings for education. Specifically, she is interested in understandings of the child in relation to history, the present and the future, particularly with reference to 20th Century French and German theorists associated with the Frankfurt School and the international Surrealist movement. Recent work on Georges Bataille has connected her long-standing interest in educational inclusion and her active promotion of equality and diversity within the School of Education, with a philosophical anthropology that explores the themes of difference and exclusion. https://www.strath.ac.uk/staff/jessopsharonmrs/

Dr Karsten Kenklies (Co-convenor)

Karsten’s interests range from systematic discussions of concepts of education of all periods and places to international and intercultural comparisons of ideas and practices of education in a contemporary, but also in a historic perspective. Especially East Asian pedagogies come into view here: Karsten not only spent some time in Japan, he also returns there every year and is working on a series of papers addressing Classic theories and practices of education in Japan in order to challenge modern educational thinking of ‘the West’. This connects to broader interests in Aesthetic education as well as more arcane debates around for example Martial Arts pedagogy. Besides all this, he has a personal interest in modern debates around the conceptualisations and possible practices of a Queer pedagogy. https://www.strath.ac.uk/staff/kenklieskarstendr/ 

Dr David Lewin (Co-convenor)

David’s research addresses questions that intersect three domains: philosophy of religion, philosophy of technology, and philosophy of education. His recent work examines: different conceptualisations of religion and religious identity, and the implications of the concepts for education; concepts of mindfulness applied to education; ideas of secularism and the ‘post-secular’ in education; educational theory and philosophy informed by the work of Heidegger, Ricoeur, Teilhard de Chardin, Paul Tillich, Jean-Luc Marion, Meister Eckhart, and continental philosophy in general. https://www.strath.ac.uk/staff/lewindaviddr/

Dr Philip Tonner

Philip’s work explores themes at the intersection of philosophy, anthropology/archaeology and education. Philip also has a sustained interest in museums, heritage, and literature, in connection to both education and childhood studies. https://www.strath.ac.uk/staff/tonnerphilipmr/