B2 – 2013 President’s Report

Saturday, April 27, 2013

President’s Report


JDS sponsored a session at the APA Eastern Division meeting, December 28, 2012 in Atlanta, GA.  The session was titled “The State of American Philosophy in U.S. Higher Education” and features John Lachs (Vanderbilt University), Paul Taylor (Penn State University), Jessica Wahman (Dickinson College), John Stuhr (Emory University), and Kenneth Stikkers (Southern Illinois University).

JDS was a co-sponsor, with the Committee on Inter-American Relations, of a session at the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy meeting, held March 7-9, 2013 in Galloway, New Jersey.  The session was titled “The State of Democracy and Education in Latin America” and  features Marcus Cunha (Universidade de São Paulo), Gonzalo Obelleiro (Teachers College, Columbia), Pablo Quintanilla (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú), Guillermo Hurtado (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), and Gregory Pappas (Texas A&M University), Galloway, New Jersey, March 7-9, 2013.

Georgia State University – College of Education is supporting JDS in the amount of $2,500 this year.  Miami University, Pragma, and University of Tennessee are also institutional sponsors.

Sponsorships—Last year began our initiative to have JDS Board Members approach their respective department chairs, deans, etc., to secure amounts of either $250 or $500.  Those amounts yielded institutional listings as sponsors for The John Dewey Lecture, The John Dewey Symposium, School & Society Forum, and notation on the new website.   While I realize that not all schools are willing or able to contribute, we were able to generate ~$2,000 this year, in addition to the $2500 support from Georgia State University.  This initiative provides visible support for the sponsoring institutions on the program.  In an effort to extend the sponsoring opportunity, moving forward, all members of the Society are invited to solicit sponsorships from their institutions.  A sponsorship form and a template for letters requesting support have been distributed to all attendees today.

Dewey Studies SIG—We are continuing to work with Craig Cunningham and Donna Breault to be sure our respective sessions at AERA are not in competition with one another.  In terms of cross-memberships, we continue to clarify the new membership fee structure (graduated based on income) in hopes of recruiting more members who have dual membership in JDS and the Dewey Studies SIG at AERA.

The Board approved the new staff position of Student Liaison to continue our efforts to grow the membership.  Matt Ryg, from Southern Illinois University, has been appointed Student Liaison.  Please join me in welcoming him.  Matt can be reached at mattryg@siu.edu.


Congratulations and welcome to our new Board Members:  Jeff Milligan (Florida State), Megan Laverty (Teachers College, Columbia), and David Labaree (Stanford).  Also, congratulations to our new President-Elect, Len Waks (Temple, emeritus).  The Society is grateful to Eric Sheffield, Bill Wraga, John Covaleskie, and Naoko Saito for their willingness to stand for office.

Central Features of the Program

 School & Society Forum—An outgrowth of the School & Society Committee, last year’s inaugural session was repeated this morning.  I am happy to report that Board Member Margaret Macintyre Latta organized again and she secured SFUSD Superintendent Richard Carranza as part of the program.  On the suggestion of Past-President David Hansen, Margaret also worked with Judy Pace to include her colleagues from the University of San Francisco and practitioners from the surrounding area.  I believe I can speak for those who attended in saying the event was stellar.  Let me underscore just how much work Margaret and Judy did to organize such a stimulating and high profile opening session.

John Dewey Symposium—I am delighted to highlight Isabel Nuñez, Eric Bredo, Susan Laird, and Nick Burbules as participants in the 2013 John Dewey Symposium.  The speakers will be offering their thoughts regarding the recent and increasing attacks on the foundations of education and what options there might be for re-thinking and revitalizing foundations in the face of cuts to core courses and social foundations programs nationwide.  The Symposium will be held in this room at 2 pm today.

John Dewey Lecture—I am happy to highlight David Labaree as the 2013 John Dewey Lecturer.  The Lecture will also be in this room at 4:15 pm this afternoon.  Following the Lecture is the Annual Reception, to be held in this hotel, the Grand Hyatt, Orpheum Room.

Outstanding Achievement Award—I am also happy to highlight Jane Roland Martin as this year’s awardee.  She will be presented the award just prior to the John Dewey Lecture.

Continuing Initiatives

 Centralized Web Presence—We currently have a website and a “ning,” including a blog and space for postings and announcements.  Part of the charge to the School & Society Committee from 2011 was to explore multiple ways JDS can influence practitioners and expand Dewey’s philosophy of education.  We have been working on bringing our web presence under a centralized structure to better enable access to information about JDS, provide outlets for public participation and comment (including the excellent commentaries and blog postings by the Committee on Social Issues, and others), access to the new journal, ease of maneuverability, connections to related links, etc.  Debbie Seltzer-Kelly secured support from her institution, Wabash College, to host the new site and provide student and tech help.  We entered our “testing” mode in March and continue to make improvements.  I’m happy to reveal the latest version of our new website: http://www.johndeweysociety.org/.  JDS members are invited to navigate the current site and make suggestions to Debbie to be sure that when the site is fully operational, we have as many problems resolved as possible.  Debbie can be reached at seltzerd@wabash.edu.

 Journal of School & Society—Building on “Insights,” S&S is being developed as a practitioner-focused outlet for classroom teachers, community partners, and researchers.  The goal is to continue the overarching theme of connecting theory and practice and also to have a refereed web presence for broad dissemination and understanding of school and societal issues most relevant to teachers, students, community stakeholders, etc.  We are in the process of asking a variety of people to lend their names as part of an Advisory Board—no work on their part, just lending their names.  If you are willing to lend your name, please contact Debbie Selzer-Kelly at seltzerd@wabash.edu. The real work will be done by Debbie and her team of Associate and Managing Editors, TBD.

Education & Culture

Under the editorship of David Granger, Education & Culture continues to produce thoughtful, high quality scholarship.  In 2012, David was in ongoing discussions with Purdue University Press (PUP) and we met with PUP representatives in October for a detailed and extended discussion regarding the future of the journal and, specifically, the renegotiation of the E&C contract for 2013.  Subsequently, I sent President-Elect Kathleen Knight-Abowitz a detailed letter from PUP and spoke with her at length about the details of the possible move.  The issues that were raised were discussed with the Board of Directors during a conference call in the fall of 2012.  I am happy to report that the Board of Directors voted to approve our move toward full Open Access.  The implications of this move are outlined below.  As Charles Watkins wrote, prior to the BoD meeting:

  •  If a strategic goal is to expand the reach and impact of Dewey scholarship outside the walls of the academy (where library subscriptions to Project Muse provide access), then opening access to older issues will begin to achieve this goal. My (limited) knowledge of Dewey’s philosophy is that he would have approved of this goal.
  •  The interdisciplinary nature of Dewey’s writings makes an Open Access approach, where articles are freely discoverable across disciplinary boundaries, desirable. Otherwise there is always a danger that only universities with substantial investments in the philosophy of education will choose to subscribe and other scholars will not have easy access.
  •  There will be substantial increases in usage and potentially citations. Another journal we publish in education, the Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning (www.ijpbl.org) has seen an exponential increase in usage since they decided to go fully Open Access in 2006. In 2011, there were 45,000 full-text downloads (compared to 7,000 for Education & Culture) and IJPBL has much less content and history than E&C.

More details about this move and other issues related to E&C will be discussed under Agenda Item 3a.

Respectfully submitted,

Deron Boyles


Awards Committee: Barb Thayer-Bacon, Doug Simpson, and Rosetta Cohen were successful in honoring Jane Roland Martin with the Outstanding Achievement Award.

(As we move forward, I suggest we keep our institutional memory current and be sure this committee is provided a list of previous awardees so they can avoid unnecessary duplication and work.)

Nominating Committee:  Doris Santoro, Mike Gunzenhauser, and David Hansen also were successful in assembling what might be one of the strongest slates of candidates we’ve had in a while.  Congratulations and welcome to our new Board Members:  Jeff Milligan (Florida State), Megan Laverty (Teachers College, Columbia), and David Labaree (Stanford).  Also, congratulations to our new President-Elect, Len Waks (Temple, Emeritus).  I’m also grateful to Eric Sheffield, Bill Wraga, John Covaleskie, and Naoko Saito for their willingness to stand for office.

Board Members:

We’ve tried to “ramp up” a bit of the work of our Board Members, including holding regular conference calls and having Board Members lead key initiatives and committees.  Please join me in thanking Margaret Macintyre Latta (University of British Columbia), Linda O’Neill (Northern Illinois University), and Douglas J. Simpson (Texas Tech University).  They have served the Society from 2009 to now and they have fulfilled their roles well and their work and commitment to JDS is deeply appreciated.

Special Appreciation:

Lynda Stone as Past President

Dan Tanner

Margaret Mcintyre Latta

Debbie Selzer-Kelly

Matt Ryg

Mark Kissling

David Granger

Kyle Greenwalt

Kathleen Knight-Abowitz, our new President (Pass the Gavel)


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