Call for proposals NAACI 2014

North American Association for the Community of Inquiry (NAACI)

The Community of Philosophical Inquiry and its diverse applications

Laval University, Québec City, Québec, Canada

June 25-27, 2014

The conference will focus on the unique pedagogical model developed by Philosophy for Children (P4C) founders Matthew Lipman and Ann Margaret Sharp at Montclair University. P4C is based on philosophical dialogue within a community of inquiry. This year, the NAACI conference will examine the multifaceted, diverse applications of the Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CPI) in various settings. Since P4C’s beginnings, many fresh and original applications of the CPI have emerged. In recent years, the CPI model has been used in myriad ways for a range of populations and purposes: from prison-based and popular literacy programs to distance education and teacher training, from informal discussion groups in nursing homes and family care facilities to schools for children with exceptionalities, from religion and ethics education to health promotion and mathematics classes.

The 2014 NAACI conference aims to explore these rich possibilities for CPI application as both extensions to its potential as an educative tool and as promising avenues for cultivating philosophical thought in diverse people and circumstances. What challenges arise for those who attempt to use the CPI in contexts that differ from Lipman and Sharp’s original vision? What form do these challenges take in terms of curriculum materials, pedagogical goals and facilitation styles, moral obligations to different audiences, and the varying psychological and learning needs of participants? What common opportunities and obstacles do these practices share? What successes and difficulties can be highlighted overall and within particular approaches? What perspectives and insights do these “new” CPI applications offer?

Although the conference will focus on these fresh and diverse CPI applications, participants who are interested in exploring the community of inquiry in its original context with children and adolescents are also welcome to contribute.

Types of conference presentations

Presentations will last 45 minutes. The conference will include three types of formats:

1-    Community of inquiry session

A brief presentation on a pedagogical or philosophical dimension of the CPI and its diverse applications with the aim to stimulate a community of inquiry dialogue. The overview presentation will last 15 minutes (or less) and the dialogue will last 30 minutes (or more).

2-    Research session

A presentation of scholarly research inspired by a philosophical essay or research findings. The overview presentation will last 25 minutes (or less) and the question-and-answer period will last 20 minutes (or more).

3-    Exhibition poster or kiosk

A poster or kiosk display illustrating a CPI project or initiative, including its goals, implementation and results, and any relevant audio-visual materials, to be showcased as an exhibition throughout the conference.


To ensure all participants get their allotted time, chairs will be appointed as time-keepers for each session. The presentations will be made in the participants’ original language (French, English, Spanish) with live translation.

-Community of inquiry session: A few weeks before the conference, the summaries and short texts for this section will be posted online for all participants to review. We will ask participants to send one or two short questions inspired by their readings of the summaries (and short texts, if time permits). The conference committee will select a few questions per session and send them to the participants and chairs in charge of the community of inquiry sessions. After the presentation (15 minutes maximum), the session chair will offer participants one of the inquiry questions (among those selected by the committee) to stimulate a CPI dialogue. The session presenter will be responsible for facilitating the CPI.

Research session: During the question and discussion period following the presentation, the session chair will take care of time-keeping and facilitate exchanges among participants.

Exhibition poster or kiosk: The full poster or kiosk display must be set up on the first day of the conference, prior to the first session. The exhibition of CPI applications will remain in place throughout the conference for participant viewing and sharing.

Submission of proposals


The deadline for proposal submission is Friday, January 31, 2014.

Applicants are invited to submit a short proposal (2-3 pages, in French, English or Spanish) summarizing the topic they wish to address with respect to the conference theme.

Please clearly indicate whether your proposal is for a community of inquiry session, a research session or an exhibition poster. Note that applicants may submit more than one proposal if they wish to participate in both the presentation sessions and the exhibition. Presentations may also be done in pairs.


Each proposal will be evaluated by the conference committee. Submissions must be sent to all four committee members at the following addresses: Mathieu Gagnon (, Michel Sasseville (, Myriam Michaud ( and Natalie Fletcher (

Applicants will receive an email reply from the conference committee within a month of their submission (no later than February 28, 2014). If your proposal is accepted, you will be asked to confirm your attendance by sending a cheque for CA $100 to cover part of the conference registration fees.

Applicants who are selected for a community of inquiry or research session will have until Friday, April 25, 2014 to send a short text (10 pages maximum) on their chosen topic. All texts and summaries will be posted on-line before the conference.


For the community of inquiry sessions, the conference committee will select submissions that are most likely to deepen understanding of the CPI’s applications and are also most likely to stimulate a CPI at NAACI: The submissions should reflect unresolved issues surrounding the CPI as method, present a problem that can be addressed from multiple perspectives, highlight challenges and strategies to consider, etc. Further, presenters should underline their familiarity and expertise with the CPI method as conceived by Lipman and Sharp by highlighting their relevant professional and academic experience in the field.

For the research sessions, the conference committee will select submissions that are most likely to deepen understanding of the CPI’s applications. The committee will consider submissions involving empirical and/or theoretical research that contributes to advancing knowledge in the field.

For the poster and kiosk sessions, the conference committee will select submissions that show strong potential for integrating the CPI model in traditional and unconventional contexts.

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