School of Education News

Department of Curriculum and Instruction hosting conference on Theory and Data in Curriculum, History and Educational Studies

August 30, 2017

Scholars from across the United States and Europe will be meeting on the UW-Madison campus Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 for a conference titled, “Theory and Data in Curriculum, History and Educational Studies.”

The annual event, which rotates between Stanford University, the University of Vienna and UW-Madison, is being hosted this summer by the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

The conference is designed to allow faculty members and graduate students from different parts of the world to meet and think about a range of education issues and their historical contexts.

In particular, the conference provides Ph.D. students a unique forum in which they can engage in dialogue with faculty members concerning theory, methods and the substantive conclusions related to their research. The event also allows those in attendance to meet scholars with similar research interests that can lead to future collaborations.

"The symposium has provide a unique opportunity for our Ph.D. students to engage in an international and cross-disciplinary conversation about substantive issues in the conduct of educational research," says UW-Madison's Thomas Popkewitz, an event organizer and a faculty member with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. "The symposium includes faculty across campus. Over time, it has also become intergenerational and includes former graduates students who are now at major research institutions as discussants."

In addition, the conference includes two public lectures for the general research community related to current European and comparative research of the participating faculty members.

The public lectures will be held Thursday, Aug. 31 and Friday, Sept. 1, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in room 220 of the Teacher Education Building.

Daniel Tröhler of the University of Vienna will deliver the public talk on Thursday titled, “The dignity of Protestant souls and trajectories in the educationalization of the world: The lasting legacy of the European Reformation of the 16th century.” And the abstract for this lecture explains: “This paper engages with the lasting effects of the European Reformation that is said to have started 500 years ago in 1517 with Luther’s work ‘The Ninety-Five Theses.’ Thereby it focuses on one of the crucial aspects of Protestantism, the outstanding importance of the soul of the individual as instance for salvation that is, in principle, in no need of institutional support by a church and its ordained personnel.”

David Labaree of Stanford University will give the public talk on Friday titled, “The Power of the Parochial in Shaping the American System of Higher Education.” An abstract of the talk explains: “From the perspective of 19th century visitors to the US, the American system of higher education was a joke.  Underfunded, underwhelming in its dedication to learning, dispersed to the hinterlands, and lacking a compelling social function, the system seemed destined for deserved obscurity.  But by the second half of the 20th century, the system had assumed a dominant position in the world market in higher education.  The question is how this happened.”

For more information, visit the conference’s website.

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