Birmingham R.S. Peters Memorial Lecture

Room G33, School of Education (R19)
Lectures Talks and Workshops, Social Sciences
Thursday 12th June 2014 (16:30-18:30)
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Professor Michael Hand

If you would like to attend, please register using our online registration form.

R.S. Peters, who died in December 2011, was one of the most important philosophers of education of the 20th century and played a key role in establishing the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB) and the Journal of Philosophy of Education. To mark his passing, the PESGB is sponsoring a series of R.S. Peters Memorial Lectures across the UK. The Birmingham School of Education is proud to host one of these lectures.

Peters Redux: The motivational power of inherently valuable learning

Professor Randall CurrenThe Birmingham R.S. Peters Memorial Lecture will be given by Professor Randall Curren, Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, University of Rochester and Professor of Moral and Virtue Education in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Values, University of Birmingham.

Professor Curren is author of Aristotle on the Necessity of Public Education and editor of A Companion to the Philosophy of Education and Philosophy of Education: An Anthology


The dominant focus of national education systems today is on children’s future employment prospects and economic productivity, yet the collapsing market value of educational credentials compels students to devote ever longer and more intense expanses of their lives to formal education in order to reap such instrumental rewards. In these circumstances, it is more important than ever to be clear about why we are educating people and what could possibly sustain their engagement in a process that treats their present well-being as an expendable frill. Fifty years ago, R. S. Peters defended the inherent and direct formative value of education, and his ideas are no less relevant today. This lecture will revisit and substantially vindicate these ideas, focusing on the importance for student well-being and motivation of schools being communities devoted to things of value beyond self-serving attainment.

This is a free public lecture, open to all, and will be followed by a drinks reception. If you would like to attend, please register using our online registration form.