PESA Conference 2016

Knowledge Ecologies

Dec 8 - Dec 12, 2016, Warwick Hotel, Coral Coast, Fiji

Annual PESA Conference

2016 PESA Conference

Where: Warwick Hotel, Coral Coast, Fiji
When: Dec 8 - Dec 12, 2016

Registration is Now Open: Register Now

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Important Dates:

  • Abstract Submissions Close: Final Extension to July 31 2016
  • Acceptance issued by: 1 September 2016
  • Full Paper Submission Close: 1 September 2016
  • Early Bird Registration: 1 August - 1 October 2016

Contact Details:
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Conference Theme:

Knowledge Ecologies

The theme of Knowledge Ecologies aims to explore a diversity of cultural epistemologies, sustainability and social organisation in relation to Educational Philosophy. Ecologies of knowledge include a plethora of ways of knowing that have remained obscure to the dominant western epistemology. In the same way that Marx, for example, forgot to mention that women's unpaid work is the foundation for paid labour when he was writing on Capitalism, or the 'ecological services' of clean air and CO2 absorption was left out of neoliberal accounts of the cost = benefit analysis, there are epistemological regimes that are considered on the ‘margins’ that are part of the overall ecology of knowledge systems. The conference call is for a reconsideration of the status of epistemology - whether it be a key figure from the Western canon, or a mode of indigenous knowledge, or a revisioning of science and evolution, or changes in the philosophy of time - that resituates knowledges in the greater context of contemporary society. Climate change, financial tremors, the end of economic growth, population saturation, and resource exhaustion are all calling us to reconsider existing epistemologies and resituate erstwhile marginalised modes of thought for the greater good.

Fiji is the first nation to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The Pacific is one of the most vulnerable areas for climate warming, and sea level rise. The future of education relies on our ability to engage with the reality of the current situation, and embrace the plethora of ideas that could affect emissions profiles, better financial management, deeper valuation of pluralist politics, and a more genuine setting for education in its role of transmission and co-creation of knowledges for future generation.


Early bird registration will open August 1 to October 1.

The conference will be held December 8-12 at the Warwick Hotel, on the Coral Coast, Fiji.

Keynote speakers include Ron Barnett (London) and Tupeni Baba.


  • The interface between knowledge and natural ecologies - emergence, self-organisation, rhizomes, ecosystem processes and digital models, grassroots participation, community knowledge networks and advocacy
  • Collective intelligence, distributed cognition, co-production, co-creation, global public goods, collaboration, knowledge networks and network analysis, digital learning systems
  • How to harness and enable existing knowledges; integrate scientific and indigenous systems; develop action-oriented strategies of the kind that are required by small states and research communities to connect with and leverage knowledge
  • Fruitful and redundant aspects of Western onto-epistemology in the context of climate change, overpopulation, peak oil, resource exhaustion, and ecological collapse
  • Futures education, transformative education, digital education, the role of educational institutions in rapid environmental change, the Knowledge Society, and Lifelong Learning
  • Climate change in the Pacific, coral reef biology, Community engagement, Ridge to Reef, governance and climate change, climate change and education, globalisation and the Pacific, sea level rise and villages, food sustainability, species and climate change

These themes are by no means exhaustive and all papers engaging with philosophy and philosophy of education will be assessed for acceptance to the conference.



General Conference Information

The annual PESA conference provides the major venue in Australasia for the presentation of research papers and discussions about philosophy of education. In recent years, the conference has been held in exotic locations, including Hong Kong (2005) and Hawaii (2009).

Conference Participation

The tradition of the Society is to provide a supportive environment for the presentation of papers and the encouragement of a more profound understanding of practical and theoretical issues in education. Those new to the philosophy of education are always welcome.

Previous PESA Conferences

  • 2015 Melbourne (ACU)
  • 2014 Hamilton (Tina Besley, Michael A. Peters, Jayne White, Hamilton, New Zealand)
  • 2013 Melbourne (University of Melbourne)
  • 2012 Taiwan (Ruyu Hung, National Chiayi University, Taiwan)
  • 2011 Auckland (Nesta Devine, Andrew Gibbons, AUT University)
  • 2010 Perth and Margaret River (Bruce Haynes, Felicity Haynes, Murdoch University and Tingrith Farm
  • 2009 Hawaii (Hunter McEwan, University of Hawaii, Manoa)
  • 2008 Brisbane (Eleanor Horton, Queensland University of Technology)
  • 2007 Wellington (Robert Shaw, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand)
  • 2006 Sydney (Jim Mackenzie, The University of Sydney)
  • 2005 Hong Kong (Derek Sankey, Hong Kong Institute of Education)
  • 2004 Melbourne (John Ozolins, Australian Catholic University)
  • 2003 Auckland (Peter Fitzsimons, University of Auckland)
  • 2000 Sydney (Marjorie O'Loughlin, University of Sydney - with INPE)
  • 2002 Brisbane (Mark Freakley, All Hallows School)
  • 2001 Perth (Bruce Haynes, Edith Cowan University)

Further Details and Proceedings are available in the conference archive