Symposium: The Ethics of Democratic Discourse and Educational Justice

Dr. Christopher Martin, Associate Professor, is hosting a Canadian Philosophy of Education Society seminar. 

One key virtue proffered by defenders of democracy is its inclusive nature. However, the nature and value of democratic inclusion is far less than clear when we focus on what such inclusive requirements actually mean in the context of educational policy, practice, and education for citizenship/moral education. For example, growing political polarization has led to a call for greater ‘viewpoint diversity’ in schools and universities. But is this a fundamentally, moral, political, or epistemic requirement? Consider also that many scholars have defended the educational value and importance of teaching ‘controversial issues’ as a means of fostering greater tolerance among future citizens. But the very decision to treat certain issues as ‘controversial’ and not others now invites the charge of partisanship and a lack of inclusivity. Therefore, how might moral and epistemic arguments for deliberative inclusion inform how educators should approach this, and related questions of educational justice?

This symposium session brings together three scholars working at the intersection of democratic theory and educational justice as part of an upcoming Symposium Issue for the journal, Educational Theory.

Thursday, April 8
10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. PST
Via Zoom

The event is open for all to attend. While attendance is free, you still need to register to receive the Zoom link.


About the Speakers

Dr. Darron Kelly was appointed Assistant Professor with Memorial University, Faculty of Education, in May 2016. Darron is an award-winning, SSHRC-funded scholar who examines applications of critical social theory in educational administration (including communicative rationality, transformative leadership, and moral policymaking) and explores the educational value of place-conscious pedagogy (including teacher identity, school-community partnerships, and transformative student agency).

Dr. Quentin Wheeler-Bell is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University. His research interests include critical theory, critical pedagogy, and radical democratic theory.

Dr. Anniina Leiviskä works as a university lecturer at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, in Finland. Her research focus areas include democracy and democratic education, social and political inclusion and global citizenship education. She is currently starting a new research project “Democratic Education and Political Polarisation in the Era of Global Crises” (funded by the KONE foundation), which focuses on the current challenges of democratic education, including the climate crisis and the increasing political polarization of democratic societies.


About the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society Seminar Series

The Canadian Philosophy of Education Seminar Series aims to create a space to support in-progress work in the philosophy of education, provide opportunities for pre-tenure/early career and graduate students, and contribute to the cultivation of scholarly community. Anyone working at the intersections of philosophy and education are welcome to contribute to the series.

If you are interested in presenting a paper in future events, contact Dr. Christopher Martin at

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