March 8, 2016

Special issue of IRE to be launched at CIES Conference in Vancouver

Written by Bernadette Ohmer, Senior Editor, Springer

A new special issue of the International Review of Education – Journal of Lifelong Learning (IRE) explores the relevance for international education of ubuntu, a philosophical paradigm that locates identity and meaning-making within the collective rather than the individual.

The issue is edited by CIES President N’Dri Thérèse Assié-Lumumba, Birgit Brock-Utne and joan.Osa Oviawe, and emerged from a panel session entitled “Re-centering Education as a Moral Enterprise” at the 59th annual conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) in Washington D.C. The theme of that conference was “Ubuntu! Imagining a Humanist Education Globally”.

Although the term originates in Southern Africa, ubuntu is part of the humanist traditions of broader African belief systems. With ubuntu, the individual is not independent of the collective; rather, the relationship between a person and her/his community is reciprocal, interdependent and mutually beneficial. Other indigenous belief systems such as Confucianism offer a similar perspective. Like ubuntu, Confucianism espouses a view of education that is closely intertwined with a moral imperative.

This special issue will be launched on at the CIES conference in Vancouver at an open panel session entitled Rediscovering the Ubuntu paradigm in education. The session will be chaired by joan.Osa Oviawe and will include presentations by the contributors to this special issue.



Wednesday 9, March 2016, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM


Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Room 654 (access elevator to 6th floor)


All articles in this special issue will be available in Open Access for the duration of the conference (5–10 March).