the ethics of teaching

 in pluralistic and unequal societies

 22-24 November 2018

Department of Humaniites & Social Sciences, IIT Bombay

 Ground Floor Conference Hall, Jalvihar Guest House


sponsored by Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (www.sici.org)

 to be published by Bloomsbury Publishing (www.bloomsbury.com/in)

      In modern societies, one of the aims of formal education is to partially mitigate the disproportionate impact of the unchosen and passively received structures on self-formation and life chances, important as they are as realms of intimacy, meaning and difference. In this sense, education must transform the ‘secret courts’ of citizens’ hearts, enmeshed in the conceptions of the good as well as the prejudices and burdens of tradition, in order to make democracy understood as ‘associated living’ genuinely possible. Constitutions, laws, governments, political systems and mass media alone cannot achieve this task. Formal education teaches learners ‘learn’ in that they make critical questioning and reflective reception possible. Thus conceived, even the teaching of the “objective” sciences must be undergirded by the spirit of questioning, critique, respect for difference and rejection of unreasoned prejudices. Indeed, the school never makes an engineer alone; it makes, rather, a free, responsible person, who is also an engineer. However, capitalization of education and the ensuing idea that the learner is merely the customer and consumer of knowledge and skill, and the excessive formalization and technologization of education defeat the purpose of forming persons who are different and unique, and yet equal, competent and capable of meaningful forms of associated living. Ambedkar’s statement in 1948 in the Constituent Assembly that “democracy in India is only a top-dressing on an Indian soil, which is essentially undemocratic” highlights this call to envisage educational settings as environments of cooperative learning, respect for difference, personal growth and social responsibility. The focus of this Conference is the ethics of teacher-learner and learner-learner relationship in the formal education settings within the democratic setup (of India and Canada), and the possibilities of critique and transformation emerging out of that relationship.

The following are its broad concerns: 

  • Assessments of the formal system of modern education

  • Canadian and Indian models of pluralism in educational settings

  • Cooperative teaching and learning in contexts of radical difference

  • Teaching, democracy and critique

  • Capitalization of education: Learners as customers of knowledge

  • Learning, disagreement and authority

  • Education, inequalities and discrimination

  • Language pluralism and the challenges of teaching and learning

  • Teaching, learning and social transformation

  • Teaching the humanities

  • The future of teaching: Learning without teaching?


  • Amrita Banerjee, HSS (Philosophy), IIT Bombay

  • Apaar Kumar, Manipal Centre for Philosophy, Manipal

  • Bruce Gilbert, Department of Philosophy, Bishop’s University, Quebec, Canada

  • Dhara Chotai, Centre for English Studies, Central University of Gujarat

  • John Russon, Department of Philosophy, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

  • Kanchana Mahadevan, Department of Philosophy, Mumbai University

  • Karilemla, Department of Philosophy, University of Pune

  • Kesava Kumar Perikala, Department of Philosophy, University of Delhi

  • Kym Maclaren, Department of Philosophy, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

  • Patricia Fagan, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada

  • Pravesh Jung, HSS (Philosophy), IIT Bombay

  • Rakesh Chandra, Department of Philosophy, University of Lucknow

  • Ranjan Panda, HSS (Philosophy), IIT Bombay

  • Rinzy Lama, Department of Sociology, North Bengal University, Siliguri

  • Roshni Babu, Faculty of Arts (Philosophy), Manipal University, Jaipur

  • Sameer Mohite, PhD Candidate (Sociology), TISS, Mumbai

  • Siby K. George, HSS (Philosophy), IIT Bombay

  • Suryakant Waghmore, HSS (Sociology), IIT Bombay

  • Tarun Menon, Centre for Science, Technology and Society (Philosophy), TISS Mumbai


  • John Russon(jrusson{at}uoguelph.ca)

  • Siby George(kgsiby{at}hss.iitb.ac.in)

  • Pravesh Jung(pgjung{at}iitb.ac.in)

How to Reach IITB: http://www.iitb.ac.in/en/about-iit-bombay/getting-to-iit-bombay 

Event Date: 
Thursday, 22 November 2018 - 9:30am to Saturday, 24 November 2018 - 6:00pm
Ground Floor Conference Hall, Jalvihar Guest House
IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai