“Education from a Whiteheadian point of view”
Alfred North Whitehead, as a mathematician and philosopher, seems an unlikely
candidate to write about education. However, given his seat on the Prime Minister’s
Committee on the Place of Classics in Education and his position as first Dean of the Faculty
of Science at the University of London in the first decades of the 20th century, it is not, in fact,
surprising that he had something to contribute. Whitehead discusses the aim of education, the
role of a university, and the importance of science, in speeches first published in 1929 and
reprinted without edit or introduction in Aims of Education and Other Essays.
Alfred North Whitehead’s aim of education, much like his view of the universe, is a
“protest against dead knowledge, that is to say, against inert ideas”. The goal of this conference
is to critically analyze Whitehead’s views on a philosophy of education and its manifestation in
general principals applicable to education in all countries. Despite nearly a century, Whitehead’s
criticisms of educational practice are as applicable as ever. Globally, educational policy, pedagogy,
and philosophy often fail to articulate a view that, “the students are alive, and the purpose of
education is to stimulate and guide their self-development” and that, “the teachers also
should be alive with living thoughts.” It is the purpose of the Fourth European Summer
School in Process Thought (2016), themed “Education from a Whiteheadian Point of View”
to investigate Whitehead’s philosophy of education and synthesize his point of view with
contemporary thinkers and practices across the globe.
This aim will be realized through the investigation of the following tasks and thematic
- Whitehead and other process philosophers’ historical contribution to education in UK
- Whitehead’s philosophy of education in primary or early education
- Whitehead’s philosophy of education and (in) higher education
- Developing new aspects of process philosophy (and pedagogy) education
- What would a process education curriculum look like?
- What is process pedagogy?
- Contrast contemporary education/pedagogy with Alfred North Whitehead
- The role of process thinking in education
The Summer School will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, Monday to Saturday,
August 1 – 6, 2016.
The event format combines introductory lectures, moderated discussions and seminar
units. Five main lectures as well as fifteen presentations are planned. Presentations will be
selected through an open, international call for papers on the basis of submitted abstracts of
no more than 500 words. Presentations will not exceed 20-30 minutes and will be followed by
30-40 minutes question and discussion period.
Provisional invited speakers (confirmation is expected): Franz Riffert (University of
Salzburg, Austria), Helmut Maaßen (University of Düsseldorf, Germany), Howard
Woodhouse (University of Saskatchewan, Canada), Michel Weber (Center Chromatikon,
Brussels), Maria-Teresa Teixeira (University of Lisbon, Portugal).
A publication of selected contributions to the European Summer School in Process
Thought 2016 is planned.
Organizer: Bulgarian Center for Process Studies
Abstract Submission Deadline: 31.03.2016
Notification for acceptance: 30.04.2016
Conference Fee for Non-Presenters: 80 Euro for students; 120 Euro for nonstudents
(fees include lunch and drinks)
Venue: Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.