CFP: “The Irony of Early School Reform”

Upon its publication, Michael B. Katz’s “The Irony of Early School Reform” (1968) underscored the possibility of using historical study to shed light on the contemporary state of schooling in the United States. This one-day conference aims to bring together emerging and veteran scholars whose work, like irony, excavates the past to expose the present.

Conference organizers are soliciting papers from younger scholars — graduate students and assistant professors in the early stages of their career — whose work engages the history of America’s public schools with an eye toward contemporary challenges and debates.

The conference program committee will organize panels from submitted papers. During these panels, young scholars will have 15 minutes to present their papers, after which they will be discussed in a rigorous yet supportive workshop setting facilitated by a leading expert in the field.

With generous support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York City, the Spencer Foundation, and various departments and programs at the University of Pennsylvania, we have been able to secure the participation of some of the most eminent researchers in the history of American Education. We also will be able to offer a select group of younger scholars funding to offset travel costs. By bringing together junior and senior scholars for a day of critique, encouragement, and shared questioning, we hope to strengthen the community of scholars committed to studying the history of American education.

Submission Procedures:
Please send the following information as attachments to

  1. A paper proposal of 350 words that identifies the topic, its significance, and preliminary findings.
  2. A c.v. containing email and mailing addresses

And visit the website at

Submission deadline: December 8, 2007
Conference date: April 12, 2008

About Jeremy Burman

Jeremy Trevelyan Burman is a senior doctoral student in York University’s Department of Psychology, specializing in the history of developmental psychology and its theory (especially that pertaining to Jean Piaget). Prior to returning to academia, he was a producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.