General News

General news and announcements relevant to the philosophy of education community.

Inaugural issue: Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education

Peter Lang announces the publication of the inaugural issue of Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education. PTHE is an international refereed scholarly journal committed to advancing understanding of the role(s) and purpose(s) of higher education. The journal strives to be inclusive in scope, addressing topics and issues of significance to a wide range of scholars and practitioners concerned with the relationship between higher education and society.  Rigorous submissions informed by diverse philosophical and theoretical orientations, including, but not limited to, critical theory, existentialism, feminism, queer theory, post-colonialism, Marxism, liberalism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, and posthumanism will be welcomed. 

PTHE aims to stimulate critical analyses of policy and practice in higher education, with an emphasis on inter-disciplinarity and international perspectives. The content will be primarily philosophical and theoretically-based research papers. Analytical papers that reflect on empirical projects will also be featured in the journal. Short responses to previous articles as well as essay reviews of new works in the field will be considered in order to promote ongoing critical dialogue within the journal. Proposals for special issues, with thematically linked papers, are encouraged.

The inaugural issue is open-access. To access the first issue, find more information about the journal, and/or submit a manuscript, go to: .


Professor Emeritus Ivan Snook

Ivan Snook passed away on the 19th October, 2018 at the age of 85.

Professor Emeritus Ivan Snook was a celebrated analytic philosopher of education who came to prominence internationally for his work on the concept of indoctrination. He was a passionate defender of liberal education and spent his life in support of liberal causes including public education. In the late 1960s and 1970s he was one of the leading international representatives of the analytic ‘revolution in philosophy’ sparked by Bertram Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and others, that was championed in educational philosophy by R.S. Peters and his colleagues from the London Institute of Education.

Professor Emeritus Ivan Snook was very active in the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia during the course of his career and was made a Fellow of the Society in recognition of his contribution to the Society and the field.  He was well respected and published extensively in the Society’s journal Educational Philosophy and Theory. He has had a long interest in moral philosophy, the status of children, teaching and the rights of education, winning many honours and accolades both for his philosophical work and for his services to education in New Zealand and overseas. In a piece ‘Reflections on PESA: 1969-2009’ Ivan recounts how Richard Peters spent several months at ANU in 1969 and visited other Australian universities to meet with philosophers of education, who shortly after called a meeting to discuss the setting up of PESA. Leaving New Zealand, Peters spent two days visiting Ivan at the University of Canterbury where he, as he recounts: ‘signed me up for a book (which became “Indoctrination and Education”) and encouraged me to build up philosophy of education in New Zealand.’  He continues:

I was indeed present at the inaugural conference [in 1970] but can remember very little about it. I can recall some of the dramatis personae as mentioned by Bruce [Haynes] but the conference is merged with subsequent conferences. My own paper at the inaugural conference was entitled “Teaching Pupils to Think” and it was later published in “Studies in Philosophy and Education.”  I recall attending academically rewarding and socially satisfying conferences in Adelaide (2), Canberra, Melbourne (3) Sydney (2 or 3), Auckland (3), Christchurch (2), Palmerston North and, most recently, Wellington. I did not attend any conferences in Perth, Brisbane, Newcastle or Hobart or anywhere else in Australia.  During the later 1970’s and into the 1980’s I ceased to attend the annual conference, for a set of complex reasons which I can only dimly recall.

Indeed, Ivan remembered the PESA conferences in Christchurch (1972) and Auckland (1976) because Peters was the main speaker although Paul Hirst defended his ‘forms of knowledge thesis’ at the Christchurch. The Auckland conference

was memorable in that Kevin Harris presented his devastating critique of the linguistic approach to educational philosophy, “Peters on Schooling.” It affected different people in different ways (I suspect that some in Britain still haven’t “seen the joke”) but it changed my perspective for ever. Thereafter in my senior classes I would lead the students up the analytic garden path for a month or two and then slap them with Kevin’s paper; the results were among the pedagogically most satisfying of my career.

Forgive the extensive references to Ivan’s paper but it seems appropriate to allow him the final word on himself.

Was I an analytic philosopher? My first two published papers (written while a doctoral student at Illinois) consisted of strong critiques of linguistic analysis and a defence of traditional metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. But I had not then (1966) come across the work of what came to be called “the London School.” When I did, I found their work congenial because it seemed philosophically sophisticated (as much educational theory was not) and educationally relevant (as much educational philosophy was not.) I recall a feeling of great excitement at discovering this literature.  My dissertation was on “Indoctrination and The Teaching of Religion”, a combination of analytic techniques and more substantive philosophy of religion.

Ivan mentions the courses he took under direction of Harry Broudy and the selection of topics: ‘The nature and aims of education; the organisation and administration of education; the school curriculum; teaching and learning.’ He was by all accounts a formidable teacher.

Ivan confesses that he did not flirt with Marxism not understand thinkers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Foucault, and Derrida, but:

The problem was “solved” for me in practice by devoting most of the last 20 years to writing critically of current policy initiatives where the techniques of argument, learned in the analytic tradition, were very useful for critiquing obscure and often ideologically motivated positions lacking in rigour or a research base.

The Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia formally honoured him, along with Jim Marshall and John Codd, at the 2007 at the Conference held in Wellington.

Ivan Snook was a rare individual – at once philosopher, reformer, activist and policy advocate who was able to work with teachers, other professionals and the community to improve New Zealand education. He is without doubt one of New Zealand’s leading educators of the modern era and one who engaged with education in the broadest sense.


Michael A. Peters, Editor-in-Chief

Tina Besley, President of PESA

Video: Rene Novak - Virtual Reality - The place of immersive pedagogy

Rene who has been a member of PESA for three years attended and presented at the annual Early Years Research Centre conference at the University of Waikato in New Zealand about his PhD research. The topic investigates the pedagogical potential of virtual reality in early childhood education and offers an innovative methodology of ‘seeing’ through embodiment in the digital space. Immersive videos employed in the research as a form of virtual reality provide an embodied observational platform that allows the analysis of teacher perceptions concerning ambiguous phenomena in education such as child’s play. Several philosophical notions concerning pedagogical immersion through virtual reality technology have been drawn upon to develop a methodological framework for examining the concept of ‘seeing’ through embodiment.


EPAT Impact Factor Increase

With the release of Clarivate's new data for 2017 we've seen EPAT have a significant boast in its rankings.

We're very happy to note that the Impact Factor of EPAT has increased from 0.566 to 0.864. The journal now has a ranking of 177/238 in the Education & Educational Research subject category.

Congratulations to all involved with the Journal!


The Evolution of Truth | Michael Peters | TEDxRuakura


Michael A Peters made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand

Professor Michael A. Peters was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand this first week of March 2018. The Royal Society indicates “We have more than 400 Fellows (FRSNZ) who have been elected to our Academy for distinction in research or for advancing science, technology and the humanities. We have been electing Fellows since 1919.” Professor Peters was also a Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Humanities before it joined with the Royal Society. The Philosophy of Education of Australasia (PESA) is an affiliated society. Professor Peters is the Executive Editor of PESA flagship SSCI journal Educational Philosophy and Theory (EPAT). He recently wrote an editorial with Prof Tina Besley “The Royal Society, the making of ‘science’ and the social history of truth” examining the original charter for the Royal Society (Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge) granted by Charles II in 1662 that named twenty members under William Brouncker (2nd Viscount Brouncker) as the first President and included such luminaries as Robert Boyle, natural philosopher, chemist and  physicist, and the theologian John Wilkins, as well as Henry Oldenburg, a German theologian and later Editor of The Philosophical Transactions. The Royal Society of New Zealand established in 1933 was preceded by the New Zealand Institute set up under an Act of Parliament in 1867. Peters is a philosopher of education influenced by Wittgenstein and Foucault who has an interest in the political economy of knowledge and education, and a practical focus on academic publishing and forms of open science and education.

Visiting Lecturer Position:Soka University

Under the Global Human Resources Development initiative recently awarded to Soka University by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science & Technology (MEXT), a short-term position of Visiting Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Soka University is offered.

Attachment 1: SOKA_jobvl171019.pdf

Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education

A new journal from Peter Lang Publishing
in association with The University of Alabama.

Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education is an international refereed scholarly journal committed to advancing understanding of the role(s) and purpose(s) of higher education.

Attachment 1: Journal Flyer_CFP_2017.pdf

h p://

Research excellence recognised

The 2017 Faculty of Culture and Society of Auckland University of Technology award for Early Career Research Excellence will be presented to Leon Benade at an award ceremony on Wed 6th Dec.

Algorithmic Capitalism in the Epoch of Digital Reason

New article by Michael Peters, in the latest issue of Fast Capitalism.

New open access article

PESA members may be interested in reading this topical article by Henry Giroux titled 'Political Frauds, Donald Trump, and the Ghost of Totalitarianism' which is published in our journal Knowledge Cultures and is available open access:

New open access article

PESA members may be interested in reading this topical article by Henry Giroux titled 'Political Frauds, Donald Trump, and the Ghost of Totalitarianism' which is published in our journal Knowledge Cultures and is available open access:

Don't have an account yet? Register Now!

Sign in to your account