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The Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the Universityof Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the journal Educational Theory are pleased to announce the Fifth Annual Educational Theory Summer Institute.

Scholars in educational philosophy and theory from around the world will be invited to a three-day Institute to carry out a focused research project that will be published as a special issue of the journal Educational Theory. The journal will cover participants’ travel and lodging expenses and provide meals throughout the event. We hope that this Summer Institute provides a valuable opportunity for scholars to collaborate with each other and to interact with faculty and students from the University of Illinois, as well as other neighboring institutions.

Groups of scholars who are interested in participating should submit a prospectus for a project, which will be evaluated by University of Illinois faculty and, where appropriate, invited outside experts. The project that is selected will normally comprise 6-8 paper proposals, depending on the length of the papers. Draft versions of these papers will need to be completed before the Institute, so that colleagues at Illinois and other participants can review the materials before the invited scholars arrive. During the three-day visit, there will be closed sessions, limited to the proposal authors and a very small number of University of Illinois colleagues, to discuss the papers in a workshop format, providing critical and constructive feedback, considering the papers in relation to each other, and discussing how best to craft the set of papers as a collection for a special issue of Educational Theory. There will also be open sessions, where participants formally present their work as individual papers or in a panel format; these sessions will be open to anyone who wishes to attend, including students. The goal of the Institute is to have a focused set of conversations around the papers and the larger issues they raise.

We believe that the Summer Institute will be of great benefit to the invitees, to receive feedback on their work, to work with each other, and to get a chance to interact withUniversity ofIllinois colleagues. The result, we expect, will be a set of papers that are of high quality and more closely integrated with each other than is typical of most edited collections. Separate publication as a book may be a possibility.



We want to keep the scope of possible submissions broad, but any submission should relate philosophical and/or theoretical perspectives to a prevailing issue of educational research, policy or practice. This does not mean that only narrowly “applied” work will be considered. But the evaluation of the proposals will bear upon not only the quality of the papers as scholarly pieces; the salience and timeliness of the issues addressed will also be an important factor.


We request that all submissions be sent electronically to: by January 21, 2013. A decision will be made by February 11, 2013. The current dates for the Institute are August 19-21, 2013.

Application Process

Interested participants should submit the following materials:

(1) An overall description and rationale for the collection, roughly 1000 words, which highlights the significance and potential impact of the project;

(2) A list of the authors, with brief bios, and titles of the proposed papers along with an abstract for each of 750 words, including an estimated word length (the total word length of all the completed papers should not exceed 50,000 words, including footnotes);

(3) A letter from each participant promising that if the project is selected they will complete and submit a draft version of their paper by July 29, 2013, they will commit to attending the full three-day Institute at Illinois, and they will agree to have their paper published by Educational Theory as part of the symposium.


There are no restrictions on participants, though the total number of participants should not exceed eight. Due to length restrictions for a journal issue, the total number of articles should also not exceed eight. Co-authored papers are acceptable, but in such cases it may be necessary to designate one representative for on-site participation. Students, writing individually or as co-authors with other contributors, are not excluded from eligibility. Submissions that include international scholars are welcomed. Previous applicants are eligible to revise and resubmit earlier proposals, without prejudice.

Direct any questions to the Editor of Educational Theory, Nicholas Burbules (




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