Nominated for Secretary of the PESGB: David Lewin

It has been my privilege to serve the PESGB as secretary for the last 3 years. I am very willing (and hopefully able!) to continue in this role. I have been working in the field of philosophy of education for the last decade and have greatly appreciated the support that the PESGB has offered to me and to colleagues. It is a great community to be part of and I want to thank everyone involved for their commitment to this wonderful subject. If you want to read more about me or my work, why not check out our project website:


Nominated for Treasurer of the PESGB: Naomi Hodgson

Naomi HodgsonI have served as the PESGB Treasurer for one three-year term and would be honoured to be re-elected. In my initial statement in 2018 I wrote as an early career researcher who brought personal experience of how PESGB’s activities and funding streams enable ‘the development and sustainability of educational philosophy in what are precarious times for both junior academics and learned societies’. Three years later I am fortunate to have a permanent position in an institution that continues to value the humanities, but the conditions in which we all work, and in which early career researchers try to enter and remain in academia, grow ever more challenging. The role of Treasurer is a significant responsibility, which I take seriously. As a charity, PESGB must adhere to Charity Commission rules on how it uses its funds for the benefit of its community, and decisions we make now about how we use our resources will have consequences for the sustainability of the field. Because of that, the role is also a great privilege; as Treasurer I can play a part in ensuring that the Society supports new researchers, maintains a voice in the wider field of education, and does so in ways that reflect its diversity.


Nominated for Conference Organiser of the PESGB: Ruth Wareham

Information to follow.


Nominated for elected member of the Executive Committee: Qasir Shah

Qasir ShahI am delighted to be nominated for PESGB’s Executive Committee, but what to say, and how? I guess saying I’m British and like fish and chips won’t be enough. So, here are a few basics about me: I’m a part-time PhD student at UCL Institute of Education and hopefully coming to the end soon. My thesis is on Confucian ethics with particular reference to educating the ethical person; without this aspiration, how can a compassionate world be realised? I’ve been a teacher for 21 years, and a member of PESGB since 2014. As a member I have been active: a postgraduate mentor at PESGB’s annual summer school; a student helper at the annual conference, and a peer reviewer.

Do vote for me should any of the following resonate with you:

  1. PESGB should be in the vanguard of critiquing educational policy: a covert transformation has taken place in our schools (the academisation process) without any public debate, and an almost deafening silence from the PESGB
  2. There should be more commentary and action on the undermining of democracy and the idea of the truth by the likes of Trump and Johnson. The UK Government’s recent policy guidance proscribing certain materials and bodies of work from the curriculum in schools and colleges in England should worry us all
  3. Greater diversity of representation and inclusivity: some effort ought to be made to reduce the Eurocentric bias, for example by inviting speakers from other philosophical traditions to the Annual Conference, and encouraging JOPE articles

Remember, the notionally “Swiss neutrality” of the PESGB is not an option: this is a political stance in itself. As Machiavelli warned although most of us desire a personal liberty that is unencumbered by others, this cannot be achieved unless we actually participate in civic matters: only by participating and challenging can our liberties be guaranteed.

PESGB should not remain a peripheral voice and needs to engage critically with the undermining of our current schooling/educational system by all the main parties. We should fight for an inclusive and critical concept of education, one that seeks to challenge received wisdom. Lest we forget, Rhodes Boyson was once considered a fringe thinker, but just see how he and his colleagues’ ideas have shaped school education today: league tables, testing of primary school pupils and ‘accountability’ via constant monitoring. If you would like a more active PESGB, then please vote for me.


Nominated for elected member of the Executive Committee: Sharon Smith

Sharon SmithSix years ago, when I returned to study and started an Education Studies degree, I would never have been able to imagine what 2020 might look like. Not only could I have not predicted the global pandemic, but it never crossed my mind that that I would be both a 2nd year PhD research student, and that I would have been nominated for PESGB’s Executive Committee. During the last six years, I have been welcomed into a community of committed and passionate philosophers and scholars, who have helped me find ways of exploring the inclusion of disabled children within education, a topic that is very close to my own heart.

Although I still feel I am very much at the beginning of my own personal journey, I have already gained so much from being a part of PESGB – for instance from my attendance at summer schools and annual conferences, which provided the opportunity to meet other students and academics working in the field. These events have been a valuable addition to my university experience, exposing me to a wide range of philosophical perspectives and different interpretations of theory and practice. My own research will be significantly better for having been involved in the PESGB community and all that it affords.

I have always believed that if I am able to take advantage of opportunities from being part of a group or organisation, then I should also be willing to give something back. During the last year, I have volunteered as part of the PESGB social media team, updating facebook and twitter on a daily basis. Additionally, this summer, together with a fellow philosophy of education PGR student, I organised the inaugural PESGB South-Coast branch PGR conference. Our vision was to create an inclusive and welcoming space for PGR students to share their current thinking, encouraging dialogue and networking in what can be quite a lonely time (especially during a global pandemic!). We were delighted to attract PGR students from across the world, whose attendance has enabled them to further share their work via PEGSB or build links with other researchers with similar interests. It felt such an important event to organise, and I personally found it to be an incredibly valuable and enjoyable experience too.

I feel honoured to have received this nomination for PESGB’s Executive Committee, a role which I feel would allow me to make an even greater contribution to the organisation and to the field. I can bring (gulp!) over 25 years’ marketing and communications experience, and 15 years’ of voluntary sector experience. However, I think more importantly, I would bring my recent experience as a philosophy of education student, together with my ongoing commitment to inclusion and a passion for creating spaces for those of us who are new to the field to find ways to share our work and to build a network in which we can learn together – with and from each other. Thank you to my nominators. Your support is very much appreciated.