Nominees

There are two nominees for the position of Chair-elect: Amanda Fulford and Bob Davis.  There is one nominee for the position of Conference Chair: Laura D’Olimpio.  There are two nominees for the two elected members of the Executive Committee: Eri Mountbatten-O’Malley and Jeff Standley.  Details of the nominees can be found below.

Members will be sent instructions on how to vote in due course. Voting is only required for the position of Chair-elect. The other positions are uncontested and therefore will be formally elected at the next AGM.

Chair-Elect

Bob Davis

It is indeed an honour to be nominated for this role in the Society and I should like to outline here some of my vision for it.  One touchstone for this is my 10 years of Editorship (2011-2021) of the Society Journal, where under my leadership, and in consort of course with many others, I oversaw considerable growth in the international circulation of the Journal, its downloads by many different kinds of reader and learner, its impact factor, and its income to our Society. This is the role through which most PESGB members will know me and I should certainly take important learning from it into chairing the Society.

My decade as an Editor was one of great turbulence and change in education and society––from austerity to Black Lives Matter; from Donald Trump to an international pandemic. The approach I took to leading the journal through this era was to favour growth over contraction, to enlarge the compass of our contributors and readership, to empower the officers and Board of the journal, and to maintain the trust and confidence of our publisher and our subscribers. This meant for me two things: first, honouring the distinguished and living traditions of British philosophy of education as practised by its various founders; secondly, unreservedly embarking upon a project of renewal and expansion which would take our work to new audiences, to conceptual and professional questions insufficiently addressed in the past, and to pressing local and global themes of our own times where fresh and often previously excluded voices and witnesses were demanding to be heard.

Chairing the Society is of course different from editing the journal. The canvas is larger, the range of demands wider, the interests and workstreams more varied. I bring to these aspects of the role many years of experience in Higher Education––including occupancy of the appointments of Head of Department, Head of School and now Director of a major Research Centre in the University of Glasgow.  From these positions I have I believe won respect for my attention to detail, my collegial and inclusive style and my empowerment and responsibilisation of others. 

These I believe will be assets as a ‘post-COVID’ PESGB moves forward. I have welcomed recent innovations in the operation and procedures of the Society.  However, I do believe we could go still further in radicalising our hospitality to a more diverse membership and leadership.  We must renew our commitment to the removal of all barriers of race, gender, class, disability and academic status to full participation in the fashioning of the Society and its decisions and objectives. We must grow new and productive interdisciplinary links with other areas of philosophy and other fields of enquiry. We must make tangible our commitment to the enrichment of professional life in the practice and policy of education. We need to demonstrate the salience of our work to the volatile times in which we live.

Amanda Fulford

PESGB has been my academic home since I found that the kinds of questions that interested me about education were deeply philosophical ones. The Society has had a profound influence over the last 20 years in enabling me to engage critically with, and help shape, key debates in philosophy of education, most notably those related to my more recent research interests in philosophy of higher education, and in public and community philosophy.

As a member of the Society, I have supported its work in a number of significant ways. I established the West Yorkshire Branch in Leeds, and as Secretary, organised its seminars, reading groups, film screenings and book launches. In 2017, I was elected to the Executive Committee of the Society, and am currently the Programme Chair, having worked with the Conference Committee to organise the Society’s first virtual conference in September 2020. I also co-organise the annual Gregynog conference. I have served on the Large Grants Committee, have spoken at the Society’s undergraduate summer school, and regularly review for the Journal of Philosophy of Education.

I remain deeply committed to furthering philosophical work in education that has impact for young people, families, and communities, as well as for educational policy and practice. As part of my wider commitment to the academic community, I sit on the advisory board of the International Network of Philosophers of Education (INPE). I was one of the founding members of the Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education Society (PaTHES), serving as its Vice Chair until 2020. I also sit on the editorial board of the journal Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education. As a trustee, and member of the Governing Council of the Society for Research into Higher Education (2017 – 2021) I developed an in-depth understanding of the role and work of a learned society. I would bring all this significant experience to the role of Chair of PESGB, working to benefit the Society and enhance further its reach and influence.

My career has included work in diverse sectors of education: in further education, adult and community education, and in schools. It has also included consultancy for government agencies. Most recently, I have held senior research and leadership roles in higher education. If elected to Chair of the Society, I would want to ensure that it continued to offer an environment in which diversity is valued, and where those with experience of a wide variety of forms of education, and philosophical inquiry, are welcomed. I would be a strong advocate for the Society, promoting its work to academic communities, and with the public. The future of the Society is in its membership; I would actively seek ways to increase this, and to encourage under-represented areas of research. Working together with the Executive and the membership, my aim would be to explore new and original ways of sustaining and furthering the Society’s work, to help it fulfil its constitutional aim to promote, for the public benefit, the advancement and teaching of philosophy of education.

Conference Chair

Dr Laura D’Olimpio

Associate Professor of Philosophy of Education, University of Birmingham, UK.

I am delighted to have been nominated for the PESGB Conference Chair role. I have served as an executive member for two years and would like to contribute more to the society using my skills to help the annual conference remain a highlight of the philosophy of education calendar.   

I am associate professor of philosophy of education at the University of Birmingham, having moved to the UK at the start of 2019 to take up this position. Prior to this, I was senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame Australia and I remain an adjunct at UNDA’s Institute for Ethics and Society.

I gained my PhD in philosophy from the University of Western Australia. My Thesis, ‘The Moral Possibilities of Mass Art’, examined the moral impact on society of mass artworks and their potential as tools for moral education. As a postgraduate student, I became involved in philosophy in schools and public philosophy.

I am excited to now be teaching in philosophy of education, with a focus on ethics and moral education. In terms of my research, my first book, Media and Moral Education: a philosophy of critical engagement won the 2018 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA)’s annual book prize. I am now working on my second book, The Necessity of Aesthetic Education: the place of the arts on the curriculum, from which I was delighted to give the keynote at last year’s PESGB annual conference.

I have previous experience in organising successful international conferences. I have been involved in the philosophy in schools association of Western Australia since my postgraduate days. I became Chair in 2013, after which I was elected President of the national association, the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations (FAPSA). During my tenure as chair of FAPSA (2016-2019), I organised two international conferences: one held in Fremantle, Western Australia and one held in Sydney, NSW. They were both great successes and resulted in special issues of the journal I co-founded and co-edit, the online, open access Journal of Philosophy in Schools.

The PESGB annual conference is a highlight of every member’s year and I know how much it and the associated traditions mean to everyone, particularly over the past few years where we have not been able to meet in person due to the pandemic. I am keen to work with the Conference Organiser, the Conference Committee and the administrative team from SAS Events to continue to make the annual conference a wonderful, thought-provoking, inspiring, fun and inclusive event full of camaraderie and various accents!

I would welcome the opportunity to contribute my talents and expertise to the wonderful work being done by the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain in the capacity of Conference Chair.

Elected Members

Eri Mountbatten-O’Malley

I am an early career researcher and senior lecturer in Education policy at Bath Spa University. I have a passion for advancing philosophy of education in order to release its potential to aid meaningful understanding of complex social problems, influence educational policies and practices, and thereby to transform the individual and society for the better.

I have an eclectic work history with nearly 10 years’ experience providing specialist advice and advocacy for a variety of people from all walks of life, such those suffering from mental ill health or learning disabilities. I have also led a number of research projects and successful campaigns for persons with disabilities as well as for the wider student body within higher education.

My PhD research (recently completed) is philosophical in nature and has a bearing on multiple fields and disciplines which invoke the concept of ‘human flourishing’ to their own ends and for their own purposes, including education, health, psychology, and ethics. As I suggest, failing to grasp conceptual issues adequately inevitably leads to poor quality and misleading research, for when empirical problems are addressed without adequate conceptual clarity misconceived questions are bound to be raised, and misdirected research is likely to ensue, and hence, confusions in the design of experiments intended to answer those questions.

Finally, I have represented both students and professional members on a range of local and national committees and trustee boards including Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth Students’ Union, NASMA, NAWRA, Edge Hill Students’ Union (where I still serve as a director), and more recently, as the mid-career academic representative on the Research & Ethics Committee at Bath Spa University. I have also been an active member of PESGB, and a member of the PESGB Development committee since 2019 supporting various mini-conferences, summer schools, graduate workshops, and grant applications for our members.

I absolutely love this organisation: the aims, the people, the conferences. I would be an effective member of this committee and would work hard to represent your interests.

Jeff Standley

I am delighted to have been nominated for the position of elected member of the PESGB Executive Committee. It is an organisation that I have developed a close relationship with over the past 4 four years, in which time I have regularly attended (and also presented papers at) the PESGB annual conference and the Birmingham branch seminars, written about my conference experience within the PESGB newsletter and been published in the PESGB-affiliated Journal of Philosophy of Education. I envisage my relationship with the PESGB continuing to flourish in the future. I am currently part of a thriving community of fellow PESGB members and philosophers of education at the University of Birmingham, and have recently submitted fresh papers to this year’s annual conference and to a JOPE special edition.

I feel that my non-traditional personal and professional academic background means that I am able to provide a unique voice to the PESGB committee. I am a first generation university student from a working-class background in Birmingham, and completed my undergraduate and master’s degrees after returning to study part-time in evening classes as a mature student. Alongside my studies, I have worked for 23 years in the education field in a variety of roles. I have been a nursery nurse, learning mentor, play worker and higher education lecturer in this time, and worked at nearly every stage of the English education system. This has allowed me to experience education from a multitude of perspectives.

During my years in practice, I worked predominately with children who faced barriers to learning and accessing education, and those with special educational needs. As a lecturer, I have worked at two different post-92 widening participation universities in the highly diverse city of Birmingham that cater for non-traditional university students, like myself, who historically have been underrepresented in academic circles. I feel that both my personal and professional experience has offered me some insight into the perspectives of those from backgrounds who typically experience underachievement, marginalisation and a lack of a voice within the education system. Should I be elected as a member of the PESGB committee, I aim to do my best to consider such alternative voices when contributing to decision-making within the organisation.

I am currently a senior lecturer in education at Birmingham City University and a part-time PhD student at the University of Birmingham. I teach research skills and educational policy in my job, while my thesis is focused on the ethics of belief in the classroom, reflecting my interest in both epistemology and ethics. These dual roles of student and lecturer help to keep me informed of developments in both philosophy of education and in the education field more widely, which I feel will help me to be a valuable contributor to the Executive Committee of the PESGB, should I be fortunate enough to be elected it. Thank you for considering my nomination.