Call for Papers "confronting adultcentrism in educational philosophies and institutions"


The inspiration for this open call comes from conceptual synergies which emerged during scholarly conversations at the Childism Institute‘s online Transnational Childism Colloquium from 2022 to 2023. The Childism Institute is a research program at the University of Rutgers–Camden (USA) dedicated to developing theoretical and methodological lenses for deconstructing historically engrained adultism and reconstructing concepts and norms to include children’s diverse marginalized perspectives. The aim is to expand the horizons of what social inclusion and justice could mean from a childist perspective. As such, this call responds to our need to understand, problematize, discuss and develop childist approaches in the areas of philosophy of education and philosophy of childhood, primarily through transdisciplinary collaborations.

Multiple understandings of childisms, in the transformative sense of the term, are already being explored across the social sciences and the humanities. In social scientific scholarship, for example, it has been applied around human rights and social justice, political theory, globalization, sustainability studies and decoloniality, citizenship studies, playwork, and education. And in the humanities, it has been used, for example, in ethical theory, literary studies, Judaic studies, girlhood studies, feminist studies, philosophy and post-human studies. While the word childism has, like earlier concepts of adultism, been used in a deficit sense, this call aligns with the use of the term in its affirmative and transformational sense or in its ‘double-edged’ sense. Childism shares much with recent theoretical advances such as the concept of “generation,” “critical childhood studies,” “childprism research,” “child as method,” “transformative childhood studies,” as well as studies centered on adultification, childhoods in their diversity, and childhood policy activism.

In addition, its expansion is possible in a conceptually interdependent relation with research on adultcentricism as well as the intersection of adultism and coloniality/racism in the ‘figure of the child’, because they explore childhood’s systemic marginalization and what it might mean to advance intergenerationally just societies. In addition, however, a childist engagement necessarily implies asking how children’s lived experiences both critique and transform structural norms. As in the shift from second- to third-wave feminism, it examines the need for structural and systemic change in the face of adultism and patriarchy.

The particular structural and systemic change that this open call invites contributors to address pertains to the areas of education and pedagogy in their broadest sense, including contexts that concern adults and adulthood, i.e. approaches not necessarily linked to a chronological/aged understanding of childhood. The guest editors especially encourage contributions that explore the decolonial potential of childism for overcoming the ongoing injustices perpetuated by Eurocentric, patriarchal schooling and other forms of education.

The aim of this call is, then, to invite scholars from a diversity of social scientific and humanities disciplines to explore, examine, and further develop the possibilities of research in the overlapping areas of philosophy of education and philosophy of childhood, focusing through the lens of childism. Interested contributors are invited to submit papers, which explore the following themes, or themes falling under the scope of this call as read by potential contributors:

- A childist/childlike perspective on the relationship between childism, philosophy for
children, and philosophy of childhood;
- How such a perspective might transform existing educational and philosophical
practices and institutions;
- How such a perspective might affect fields such as philosophy per se, psychology,
political science, economics, anthropology, sociology and so on;
- The possible role of childism in de-colonization practices in institutional and noninstitutional contexts beyond chronological childhood;
- How childism might relate to humanist, post-human or more-than-human
- Critical perspectives on adultism and adultcentrism;
- Intersectional considerations of (minor) age as one of the axes of discrimination;
- Exploring the intersection of adultism and coloniality/ childism and decoloniality;
- Determining what childist methodologies in qualitative and post-qualitative research with human beings, regardless of their chronological age, might look like.

Full manuscripts should be sent through the Journal's website by 31st December 2023. All articles will be submitted to double blind peer review and published according to the childhood & philosophy rolling pass system: articles will be published in 2024 as soon as they are approved, and edited in one single dossier before the end of 2024. childhood & philosophy is included in major indexes such as Scopus and Web of Science. Guideline for authors can be find at the journal’s website:

The guest editors are especially committed to supporting early career scholars, and welcome their original contributions toward collectively shaping the future of childist theorization and research. Articles can be submitted in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian and German.